The Orioles have notoriously kept it close in almost every game so far this year. The resilient Birds have deserved plenty of praise, but Baltimore failed to live up to its reputation today.
Logan Allen lulled Baltimore to sleep over seven innings, and Cleveland utilized a four-run seventh inning to put the Orioles away. Baltimore fell 5-0 in the first of a three-game series at Camden Yards.
The inning began innocently enough with a one-out Baltimore chop by Myles Straw against Cionel Pérez. Will Brennan followed with a seeing-eye single, and Cam Gallagher drove in Cleveland’s second run of the day with another grounder that snuck through the infield.
Steven Kwan bounced another grounball up the middle that made its way into the outfield. Brennan came around to score, and the runners advanced to second and third.
Baltimore, trailing by three, brought the infield in and turned to reliever Mike Baumann. Baumann generated a grounder to second that should have produced an out, but Frazier’s throw home failed to reach James McCann. The ball bounced, snuck beyond the catcher, and allowed two more runs to score.
Cleveland had dinked and dunked its way to a five run lead. The Orioles never recovered.
Things took a darker turn in the bottom of the eighth. Cedric Mullins bounced a ball to the hole at short and appeared destined for an infield single. Instead, Mullins pulled up and barely reached the bag. The throw beat a hobbled Mullins for the second out, and the center fielder left the game after reaching for his groin.
MASN’s Kevin Brown pointed out that Mullins has never made a trip to the injured list in his Major League career, to which Jim Palmer replied, “that just changed.”
Brandon Hyde said after the game that Mullins suffered a right abductor/groin strain.
Cleveland struck first when Brennan started the fifth with a double to right field. Brennan immediately advanced to third on a balk by Tyler Wells, and Gallagher drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly to center.
Wells pitched well enough to win the game but Baltimore wasted the quality start. The righty allowed four hits, just the one run, and struck out seven over six innings. He danced out of a jam in the first and threw 65 of 101 pitches for strikes.
Logan Allen kept the Orioles in check for seven nearly flawless innings. Allen allowed only three hits, two walks and struck out 10. The 24-year-old rookie generated plenty of weak contact and prevented Baltimore from ever settling into a groove at the plate.
The Orioles best chance came in the fourth when Ryan Mountcastle reached on an error and Ramón Urías bounced into a fielder’s choice. James McCann doubled down the line to advance Urías to third, but Adam Frazier struck out to end the inning.
The Orioles put two runners on to start the ninth, but Urías, a pinch-hitting Gunnar Henderson and Frazier all failed to drive in a run for the Birds.
Anthony Santander recorded three of Baltimore’s five hits. Mullins worked a pair of walks, but his injury will mark the lasting legacy of this game.
Colton Cowser and Kyle Stowers are both currently on the injured list at Triple-A. Daz Cameron, a depth piece that’s quietly putting together a nice season with the Tides, could replace Mullins if a trip to the IL is deemed necessary.
The Orioles have officially completed one third of the season. They are now 34-20 and currently on pace for 102 wins. Kyle Gibson will take the ball tomorrow evening against Cleveland starter Cal Quantrill.