The Orioles tonight gave us all just what we needed. A good starting pitching performance? Check. A bunch of runs to keep things low-stress? Check. Closing out the game without using any of the high-leverage relievers? Also check!
The end result was a 13-3 win. That’ll help the ol’ run differential! They were clicking on all cylinders tonight as they continued their dominance of the Blue Jays and pushed the division rivals to 7.5 games behind them in the standings.
The Blue Jays tonight gave the ball to Hyun Jin Ryu to make his first start in over a year after having Tommy John surgery. The Orioles jumped on the soft-tossing lefty immediately with back-to-back doubles from Adley Rutschman and Ryan Mountcastle. When Anthony Santander followed with a single it looked like it could be a big inning, but they got just one more when Gunnar Henderson hit a ground ball that he beat out to avoid a double play.
They looked like they’d be back in business in the second inning when Ramón Urías led off with a double. He did come in to score on a single from Rutschman but that was the only run they got, and the only runs they’d get for a while.
Starting for the Orioles was Kyle Bradish, who needed a bounce-back start after his clunker against the Phillies. And he did get it, but early in the game, he had us all wondering. After the Orioles jumped out to their 3-0 lead after two innings, Bradish almost immediately gave it back. A Danny Jansen two-run homer in the second and Brandon Belt solo shot in the third inning tied the game at 3-3.
After three innings, both Ryu and Bradish settled down and stopped allowing runs. The difference between the two pitchers was that Ryu kept allowing baserunners and Bradish shut the Blue Jays down.
In the third, a leadoff single from Santander was erased on a double play ball from Austin Hays. In the fourth, Jordan Westburg was stranded after a leadoff single of his own. In the fifth, Santander walked and Mountcastle singled. But poor Hays hit into another double play to kill the rally.
As for Bradish, he retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced, only allowing Belt to reach again on a cheapie with an exit velocity of 50.4 mph.
On a night when the Orioles needed Bradish to step up, he did just that. He recovered from his shaky start to put together a pitching line of 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 7 K. He needed just 98 pitches to get through those seven innings, including just eight pitches in his final frame.
As for Ryu, he somehow make it to the sixth inning, but he’d go no farther. Gunnar Henderson greeted him with a home run to right field that just stayed fair. It gave the Orioles a one-run lead, something we are very used to seeing. But little did we know they were just getting started.
Genesis Cabrera pitched the seventh inning for the Blue Jays and it was there we saw some bad pitching and one very strange decision on the Jays’ part. Jorge Mateo got the party started with a single and came around to score on a one-out double from Mountcastle, the Blue Jay killer.
After Santander grounded out to third on an incredible diving play by Matt Chapman, the Blue Jays just had to retire the ice-cold Austin Hays to keep the damage to one run. But they elected to walk him intentionally! To get to Gunnar Henderson! What on earth, Blue Jays??
Gunnar, of course, made them pay. He smoked a line drive back up the middle that very nearly took off the pitcher Cabrera’s head. Mountcastle scored easily and as the ball deflected off the shortstop, Hays raced home as well. What a strange decision by the Jays.
After scoring three in the seventh inning, the Orioles took it further in the eighth with four more runs. Those all came on one swing from Santander. Jays pitcher Nate Pearson walked the bases loaded to bring Santander to the plate. Santander worked the count to 3-2, including taking a gutsy ball three that just barely missed the strike zone wide. He walloped the next pitch halfway back to the United States. Take a look:
Incredible. I watched the replay probably 10 times. The salami broke the game wide open as the Orioles took an 11-3 lead, but incredibly they still weren’t finished. They scored two more runs in the ninth when even Ryan McKenna got in on the fun. His RBI single knocked in Henderson and Westburg. It really seemed like every time you looked up, Henderson was on base.
After Bradish’s strong seven innings and the offensive explosion, Brandon Hyde turned the game over to Cionel Pérez and Joey Krehbiel, who combined to pitch the final two innings with just one baserunner.
Orioles win, 13-3! It was very nice to watch the end of the ballgame without having every muscle in my body tense from anticipation that they might blow it. Let’s do that more often, ok Orioles?
This was the Orioles seventh win against the Blue Jays this year, which means they are now 7-1 and have clinched the season series. With a win tomorrow or Friday they will also win this individual series.
Who was the Most Birdland Player for August 1st?
This poll is closed
Anthony Santander (3-for-4, BB, monster grand slam)
Ryan Mountcastle (3-for-4, BB, certified Blue Jay killer)
Gunnar Henderson (3-for-5, HR, 4 RBI)
Kyle Bradish (7 IP, 3 R)