If I told you before today’s game that Anthony Santander would stay hot and mash another home run, you’d probably believe me. But what if I told you that the go-ahead hit would come from a player whose last hit came on May 12, 2022? That would probably be a little tougher to believe. And yet, that’s what happened in today’s 3-2 Orioles win over over the Seattle Mariners.
Anthony Santander hit a two-run home run to tie the game in the bottom of the third inning, his fifth home run in the past six games. It was his only hit of the game but it was a big one. Then, two innings later with the score still tied at 2-2, backup catcher Anthony Bemboom stepped to the plate. Jorge Mateo was on first base via a walk. He had also been on base for Santander’s dinger, it was a good day for Mateo. And he really needed a good day.
The lefty batting Bemboom didn’t exactly crush the pitch he saw, but he got the job done all the same. His high pop fly fell inside the foul line, out of reach of both the second baseman and right fielder. Mateo flew around the bases and, as the second baseman fumbled with the ball, scored. Bemboom ended up on second base.
Initially ruled a double and an RBI, the cruel-hearted official scorer changed the hit to a single with an E-4. That didn’t change the score but did take away Bemboom’s RBI. No matter. It’s an extra-base hit in my heart and Bemboom got the sprinkler action to prove it.
That was all of the offensive excitement in the game, but it was just enough in support of the excellent outing from starting pitcher Kyle Bradish. Just a day after Dean Kremer pitched seven innings with three runs allowed, Bradish did even better.
Bradish pitched a 1-2-3 inning first inning with two strikeouts sandwiched around a stolen home run by Anthony Santander. Yes, that’s right! Santander was back out in right field today with Aaron Hicks taking his turn at DH. If I had a question about this, it went away when Julio Rodríguez hit what looked like it could be his 14th home run of the year to right field. And it would have just snuck out if not for Santander’s leaping catch at the wall.
We are all the grounds crew rn. pic.twitter.com/eDHuHKu0bi— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) June 25, 2023
Rodríguez, who committed his own home run robbery yesterday against Ryan O’Hearn, could only laugh and shake his head.
Bradish’s only trouble of the day came in the second inning, and it came with an assist from the umpire. After retiring the first two batters, it seemed like Bradish should have struck out Eugenio Suárez to end the inning. Ball one was a borderline pitch and ball two was smack in the middle of the strike zone.
Instead of getting an out, Bradish got a 3-2 count and left a sinker up that Suárez hit into left-center for a double. The inning continued with Cal Raleigh, who hit a long fly ball to right field that just managed to stay fair. It landed on Eutaw Street and the Mariners had a 2-0 lead that they would hold for just one more inning.
After that, though, Bradish was incredible. He went on to complete seven innings and did not allow another hit. He walked a batter in the third who was erased on a double play ball. And he walked another with two outs in the seventh, prompting a visit from pitching coach Chris Holt. There was double-barrel action in the bullpen, Danny Coulombe and Mike Baumman, but Hyde stuck with Bradish.
His faith was rewarded. Bradish induced a line out from Suárez, ending his fantastic day. His final pitching line: 7 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K.
Clinging to a one-run lead, Hyde turned to Coulombe for the eighth inning. The regular set up guy, Yennier Cano, was warming in the pen, but it was the bottom of the lineup that favored a lefty arm. Coulombe was great. He retired the side in order, punctuated with a strikeout of José Caballero.
Cedric Mullins led off the bottom of the eighth and picked up his first hit since returning from the injured list, a solid single to the right side. But there was no rally to be had as Santander struck out and Gunnar Henderson hit into a double play. And so we went to the ninth with just the razor-thin lead.
Félix Bautista was, of course, coming off the blown save yesterday. But closers need to have very short memories and it seems that Bautista does. He struck out J.P. Crawford and Julio Rodríguez, and had Ty France down 0-2 before France basically threw his bat at pitch and managed to dump it into left field.
It was down to Teoscar Hernández, who leads the league in strikeouts this year. That was a good omen, because Bautista struck him out easily to end the game. He celebrated with a hug from Anthony Bemboom. O’s win, 3-2!
Who is the Most Birdland Player for June 25, 2023?
This poll is closed
Kyle Bradish (7 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K)
Anthony Santander (game-tying HR, home run robbery)
Anthony Bemboom (go ahead hit, RBI in my heart)
Jorge Mateo (2B, BB, SB, two runs)