Might the Orioles actually be able to play a significant spoiler role in this year’s pennant race? It’s a tad early to tell, but as long as they beat the Red Sox with some regularity, I think we can all be happy. They did their part on Friday with an 11-2 victory over the visiting Red Sox.
It’s like the old saying goes, if you can’t stand the heat then don’t pitch in a Major League Baseball game. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been real hot outside the last few days, and in Baltimore, heat typically comes along with insane humidity. Friday night was no exception, and the Red Sox pitchers seemed to struggle with it.
David Price, the Boston starter, got into trouble right away. In the bottom of the first inning, Price allowed a one out single to Hanser Alberto followed by a six-pitch walk to Trey Mancini. Two batters later, up stepped Anthony Santander, and he promptly launched a three-run homer into the center field bleachers.
Meanwhile, Orioles pitcher John Means had a few of his own early problems. In the second inning, the southpaw issued a lead off walk to Christian Vazquez, who then came right back home to score on a Sam Travis round-tripper, narrowing the home team’s lead to 3-2.
However, that would prove to be the low point of the night for Means. He went on to toss six innings in total, allowing two runs on four hits, two walks and one strikeout. After that second inning homer, the O’s starter did not allow a runner past second base. Maybe that all-star nod wasn’t a fluke after all. Were you paying attention, Alex Cora!?!?
On the other hand, the Baltimore bats could not be stopped. Richie Martin made it a 4-2 game in the bottom of the second inning with a little league home run off the out-of-town scoreboard in right field. It will go down as a triple in the box score due to J.D. Martinez kicking it around a bit, but in our hearts we will always know that he made it all the way home.
In the fourth, Keon Broxton added two more runs to the Orioles lead with his fourth home run of the season. On top of that, he and his teammates made Price work by throwing 29 pitches in this inning alone.
Cora turned to his bullpen in the fifth inning, but they would fare no better. Colten Brewer was the first to trot in, and although his stay would be brief it did have quite the impact. Within his first five pitches, Brewer loaded the bases on a pair of singles to Renato Nunez and Santander followed by a Chance Sisco hit by pitch.
Nunez came home to score on a Stevie Wilkerson sac fly moments later. Brewer then faced his final batter, Broxton, walking him to load the bases once again. The right-handed pitcher was replaced by Ryan Weber, who would do a nice job to stop the bleeding but did allow Santander to score on a Martin fielder’s choice. By the end of the frame, the O’s were ahead 8-2.
The Orioles had their final offensive outburst in the bottom of the seventh with a barrage of baserunners. Santander led off with a walk and moved to second base on a Sisco single. Broxton loaded the bases once again for a single of his own. Jonathan Villar drove in Santander and Sisco with a single to right field. And then Alberto put a cap on the night with an RBI fielder’s choice to give us our 11-2 final scoreline.
Baltimore’s normally shaky bullpen came through in this one. Richard Bleier, Jimmy Yacabonis and Miguel Castro delivered one scoreless inning apiece to close out the O’s second straight victory.
This was a rare dominating win for the Orioles. Every starter in the lineup recorded at least one hit. Santander’s three RBI led everyone. Martin added a stolen base to his two-hit performance. The shortstop also made a heck of a leaping play in the field. Not to mention, Means had a huge bounce back performance following a disappointing outing during his previous start. This was fun!
These two teams will meet again on Saturday night. Tom Eshelman (0-1, 5.06 ERA) starts for the Birds. He will be opposed by former Cy Young winner Rick Porcello (7-7, 5.37 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. at Camden Yards.
Who was the Most Birdland Player for Friday, July 19?
John Means (W, 6 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 1 SO)
Anthony Santander (2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB)
Richie Martin (2-for-4, little league HR, nice defense)
Keon Broxton (massive home run)
13 votes total