Baltimore Orioles: Three first inning homers do Birds in
Kevin Gausman gave up three first inning home runs, and the Baltimore Orioles fell in game one in Toronto, 6-5.
Kevin Gausman made things very difficult on himself early by giving up three first inning home runs for the Baltimore Orioles last night. Keep in mind that in general the prevailing wisdom is that solo home runs won’t beat you – that is and always will be true. But Toronto always seems to find a way to turn what’s viewed as common sense around on the Orioles; three solo shots is kind of a problem. Gausman’s line: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 4 K.
From the Orioles’ perspective the worst part was that they actually gave Gausman a lead early. Mark Trumbo smacked a two-RBI double in the first inning to give the Birds an early 2-0 lead. If that foreshadowed anything it was simply that some runs would be put on the board in this game. At the end of the day it wasn’t a crooked number by any means, but some runs were scored.
And in the last of the first the parade of home runs came. And they came off the bats of Bautista, Encarnacion, and Tulowitzki. Gausman was up in the zone, and when you hang fastballs in that particular ballpark against that particular group of hitters…that’s what’s going to happen. The Birds would actually tie the game again in the third inning when Machado scored on a fielding error, however.
But Toronto decided to semi-explode in terms of the scoreboard again in the last of the third. Encarnacion scored on a groundout, which was set up by a Wieters error. Martin’s infield RBI-single gave Toronto a 5-3 lead, and Martin would later score to run it to 6-3 on an RBI-single by Pillar. When the smoke cleared, the O’s trailed 6-3.
That’s hardly an insurmountable lead, especially with Oriole bats – which granted have been quiet. However when you’re having trouble scoring runs, you can always manufacture them. Hardy’s RBI-groundout in the fourth cut the lead to 6-4. The O’s would get to within one at 6-5 when Manny Machado launched a homer over the right field wall in the eighth, but at the end of the day that’s as close as the Orioles got.
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This is a huge series, and if the O’s are going to remain in first place they need to take the final two games. And incidentally, I’m not saying remain in first place in the interim. I’m talking more about the long haul. Toronto for whatever reason does not like the Orioles, and they seem to have no problem doing whatever they can to beat them. The last thing you want to do is surrender the division because of losing a series at the end of July.
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The Birds will get right back at it early this afternoon in game two of the series. Yovani Gallardo will get the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s J.A. Happ. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.