The Orioles put their “haven’t been swept” streak on the line in Chicago and managed to escape with it still intact. The Orioles allowed only one hit after the first inning and tallied 14 of their own in a 6-3 victory at Wrigley Field.
The two teams went back and forth before Baltimore seized control with a three-run sixth inning. Ryan O’Hearn led off with a single to right, and Aaron Hicks put two in scoring position with a double that nearly left the ballpark.
Ramón Urías stepped in and tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center. Adam Frazier followed with a single straight up the middle that provided Baltimore a 4-3 lead. A pinch-hitting Ryan McKenna moved Frazier into scoring position with a single to left, and Jorge Mateo punched another ball to left field that drove in Frazier.
Mateo attempted to stretch his single into a double but was called out at second base. Baltimore quickly challenged, and Mateo appeared to beat the tag, but the call inexplicably stood after a video review. Instead of two on and one out for Austin Hays, Hays stepped up with two out and only McKenna at third. Hays lined out to right field to end the inning.
Baltimore allowed Chicago to stay in the game despite a glaring disparity at the plate. The Orioles ran into three outs on the basepaths and provided Chicago a pair of extra outs in the fourth inning.
Chicago center fielder Mike Tauchman fielded a shallow fly ball and threw out Austin Hays at the plate for the third out in the first. Tauchman ledoff the bottom half for Chicago and launched his first home run of the season over the left field fence.
Tauchman put the team on his back in the first, but the Orioles only had themselves to blame in the fourth inning. Dean Kremer entered cruise control after the first and appeared to have the third out secured. Cody Bellinger popped a ball into foul territory that Josh Lester failed to find. Kremer still managed to generate a catchable line drive to right field, but Ryan O’Hearn let the ball hit off his glove.
Bellinger made it all the way to third before Christopher Morel stepped to the plate. Morel took advantage with a 112.7 MPH line drive home run that provided Chicago a 3-2 lead. Fortunately, the blast marked the Cubs’ final hit of the game.
Danny Coulombe needed only six pitches to complete a clean sixth inning, but Mike Baumann ran into trouble in the seventh. Baumann reached two strike counts on Chicago’s number eight and nine hitters, but the reliever plunked both Miguel Amaya and Nick Madrigal.
Yennier Cano replaced Baumann, and the Cubs pulled off a double steal to place the go-ahead run in scoring position. Cano still managed to neutralize the threat with a weak ground ball by Nico Hoerner. Cano remained in the game and retired the Cubs in order during the eighth inning.
Austin Hays worked an infield single with two away in the ninth, and Adley Rutschman used a rare first-pitch swing to launch a ball to right field. The ball hit in the ivy and briefly appeared like it might get stuck, but the ball trickled out and Hays scored with ease.
Félix Bautista needed only 10 pitches to close out the game in the ninth.
Kremer still picked up the win with 5 innings pitched and three runs (one earned) allowed. All three runs came via the long ball, but the second homer obviously could have been avoided. Kremer walked two and struck out seven.
Hays led the Orioles with three hits from the leadoff spot. He forced Tauchman to make a strong throw after a double in the first and had a prime RBI opportunity reduced when Mateo was ruled out at second base.
Aaron Hicks continued his red-hot start with a pair of hits and a walk. O’Hearn finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Anthony Santander tied the game at two with a leadoff homer in the fourth inning. The ball traveled 404 feet to right center field. The switch-hitter worked a 13-pitch at bat but eventually ground out in the top of the ninth. He was thrown out attempting to stretch a single into a double in the seventh inning.
Gunnar Henderson was originally in the lineup before a late scratch. Brandon Hyde said after the game that Henderson had the stomach flu and that he should be fine for Tuesday.
The Orioles moved to 44-27 on the season. They get the day off tomorrow before a pivotal two-game set against the Rays.
Who was the most Birdland player on June 18?
This poll is closed
Austin Hays (3-for-4, 2B, R)
Ryan O’Hearn (2-4, 2 runs scored)
Yennier Cano (1.1 IP, 0 H, clutch out to end the seventh)
Dean Kremer (5 IP, 3 H, 3 R (1 ER), 7 K