The Orioles opened up their midweek series with the visiting Blue Jays on a powerful note, besting their neighbors to the north by a final of 11-6 at Camden Yards on Tuesday night.
This one was all about the offense. The Orioles came out swinging, sending balls all over the park, into the outfield corners, and beyond the fences. In total they had 17 hits, four homers, and four doubles. They added nearly a full run to Chris Bassitt’s season ERA, jumping it from 3.29 coming in to the game to 4.02 in the fallout.
Despite all of that, it was actually Toronto that scored first. They got going immediately with a George Springer double. A handful of pitches later, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled through the middle of the infield to bring Springer home and secure the visitors’ only lead of the evening.
The Jays even got to savor their lead for one full inning, but in the bottom of the second inning the good guys reclaimed control of the game and never let it go again.
After an Austin Hays double to open the frame, Adam Frazier golfed a slider below the knees into the right field bleachers for a two-run bomb to put the Birds in front 2-1.
The third inning is where the flood came pouring in. Anthony Santander singled in front of the red hot Ryan O’Hearn, who then smacked an opposite-field dong for another two-run shot to make it 4-1.
Later that same inning, the Orioles loaded the bases with two-out singles from Aaron Hicks and Ramón Urías, followed by a rare Jorge Mateo walk. That set the stage for Gunnar Henderson to stay on his recent tear and muscle a ball just beyond the reach of center field Kevin Kiermaier for the first grand slam of his young career.
The O’s scored three more times after that. First was a Hicks solo dong off the right field foul pole in the fourth frame. A trio of singles scored Urías in the fifth to make it 10-1. And in the sixth inning Hays crossed the plate once more, scoring on a Frazier bloop in the sixth.
Imagine not having Aaron Hicks on your team pic.twitter.com/B37D6yLISq— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) June 14, 2023
That was more than enough wiggle room for O’s starter Dean Kremer to do some pitching. Over six innings, Kremer did allow eight hits but he avoided free passes altogether which helped to limit the Blue Jays to only two runs scored in those innings. Those are the sorts of things a pitch-to-contact arm needs to excel at if they expected to survive.
The O’s bullpen was less successful. Tasked with recording the final nine outs, Brandon Hyde went through four relievers before he was able to accomplish that mission.
Austin Voth coughed up two runs in just one-third of an inning, and Cionel Pérez gave up two more runs over 1.1 innings. Mike Baumann mercifully ended the pain in the ninth, but not before he served up a single to allow one of his inherited runners to score and be charged to Pérez.
Nevertheless, the outs were recorded, and as stressful as it may have been the Orioles wrapped up an important 11-6 win.
The entire offense deserves a round of applause for their efforts. Henderson had another three-hit night. The rookie’s season OPS is up to .830. Rutschman and Hays had a pair of doubles each. Hicks continues to be an on-base machine in the orange and black; two hits and a walk tonight.
And while the bullpen was far from perfect, they did enough to keep the big late inning arms in the holster for another day. That’s important for a team that doesn’t win may games by substantial run differences and needs to lock the close games they do encounter.
Tomorrow presents an opportunity for the Orioles to secure a crucial series victory. Kyle Bradish (2-2, 4.25 ERA) is on the bump for the O’s. He will be opposed by José Berríos (6-4, 3.61 ERA). First pitch is 7:05.
Who was the Most Birdland Player for June 13, 2023?
This poll is closed
Dean Kremer (win, quality start, six strikeouts)
Gunnar Henderson (three hits, first MLB salami)
Adam Frazier (go-ahead homer in the second)