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Orioles score early, then overcome pitching issues to hang on for 8-5 win over Guardians

The stress free win still eludes this team, but it’s better than losing!

Catcher Adley Rutschman hugs pitcher Felix Bautista after the Orioles close out the 8-5 win
Bring it in
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles defeated the Guardians tonight in a game that proves, yet again, that the Orioles are incapable of easy, low-stress wins. They looked like they might buck that reputation early on with seven runs scored in the first two innings, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Shaky pitching late in the game and some missed opportunities at the plate meant that both Yennier Cano and Félix Bautista were needed to close out an 8-5 win. But in the end, a win is a win and this incredible season rolls on.

Tonight the Orioles did what they are supposed to do against Cal Quantrill, a starting pitcher with an ERA of almost five: they lit him up. And they got started right away. Adam Frazier and Adley Rutschman started the bottom of the first inning with a single and a walk, respectively, then moved up to second and third on a wild pitch. When neither Anthony Santander nor Austin Hays could bring them in, Gunnar Henderson stepped up.

Henderson’s disappointing offensive season has been trending slightly upward of late and he continued that trend with a clutch double to bring home Frazier and Rutschman. He hit the ball very well, 103.4 mph off the bat. But he also got some help from Guardians right fielder Will Brennan. Brennan got a terrible read on the ball, then he froze, then he haplessly chased it down when it flew over his head.

The Orioles poured it on in the second inning, which is good news because the Orioles tried to throw it all away later in the game. With the bases full of Birds and one out, Rutschman stepped to the plate and calmly took his second walk of the game, making the score 3-0. I know it’s not a grand slam, but I just love this guy.

Following Adley was Santander, who followed in Henderson’s footsteps and hit a ball to right field. The ball was well struck down the right field line and the runners raced home. Our old friend Will Brennan misplayed the ball in the corner and had to chase it down, which allowed Santander to get to third base with a triple. From there he scored on a sac fly that Hays hit to, you guessed it, Brennan!

The bats quieted down for a few innings, but Quantrill gave up one more run in the fifth. Once again, Santander was in the mix. He gave Brennan a break and instead doubled out to center field to start the inning, then came in to score later in the inning on a single from Henderson.

That was it for Quantrill, and it looked at the time like it would be more than enough. Orioles’ starter Kyle Gibson had been rolling. He retired the first 10 batters he faced and had a nice low pitch count through three innings. In the fourth inning he gave up one run on a single, a walk, and then another single. His pitch count got pushed up by quite a bit, especially thanks to an 11-pitch at-bat by Josh Naylor that ended in a walk.

Gibson struggled through the fifth inning but got a double play to keep the Guardians off the board, and he came back out for the sixth to try and get one more inning, but it didn’t work out.

With one out, Gibson gave up a single to José Ramirez and a double to Josh Naylor. A sac fly and another double later, the score was a slightly less comfortable 8-3, and Gibson’s night was over. Bryan Baker came in and recorded the final out. Gibson’s final pitching line: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

Baker was only the hero for a brief time because he came back out for the seventh inning and immediately botched things. Mike Zunino walked, Myles Straw singled, and Baker was pulled from the game for Danny Coulombe. Coulombe was bad. He went 3-1 on Steven Kwan but got a flyout. He walked Amed Rosario to bring up Ramirez, which felt like it would end poorly. But he got him! I could see the light at the end of the tunnel right up until Naylor lined a single back up the middle to plate two runs.

Just like that the score was 8-5 and the vibes were bad. Yennier Cano came in to get the final out, but the bad vibes continued in the bottom of the inning.

The Orioles incredibly loaded the bases with no outs. Rutschman singled, Santander doubled, and Hays walked. Santander’s double went out to our buddy Will Brennan. I’m not going to say he misplayed that ball the way he did the others, but he was positioned very poorly. Before anyone could get too excited, Henderson grounded into a 4-2-3 double play and Ryan Mountcastle grounded out to end the inning. Like I said, bad vibes.

In his past few outings, Cano has reminded everyone that he is not, in fact, a superhuman. And even though we expected it, it’s a bit of a letdown. That happened again tonight, though he did get out of the jam. Back-to-back singles started the inning, but Cano bounced back with a ground out and a double play ball to give us back some of our faith.

Just for fun, in the top of the ninth the Orioles hit one more ball out to Will Brennan. Ramón Urías did it this time, and Brennan, you guessed it, misplayed the ball. The Orioles couldn’t get him in, unfortunately, so closer Félix Bautista came in to close out the game.

Bautista made short work of the top of the Guardians’ lineup with a strikeout and two easy fly balls to right field and that was all she wrote. Orioles win! It was dicey at times, it was frustrating at times, but it was a win all the same. The Orioles are now 35-20 and will go for the series win tomorrow at 3:05.


Who was the Most Birdland Player for Tuesday, May 30th?

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    Anthony Santander (3B, 2 2B, 3 RBI)
    (465 votes)
  • 5%
    Adam Frazier (2 hits, 2 runs out of leadoff spot)
    (27 votes)
  • 6%
    Félix Bautista (low stress save)
    (36 votes)
528 votes total Vote Now