Baltimore Orioles: Branden Kline Earns First Major League Win
By Nick Stevens
The Baltimore Orioles earned a big come-from-behind victory against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday afternoon.
Game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader didn’t start out very promising for the Baltimore Orioles. In fact, game one quickly looked as if it would be yet another blowout, thanks to a disastrous showing on defense.
However, after falling behind 4-0 after three innings, the Baltimore Orioles climbed back and pulled off the 5-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox. Frederick, Maryland native Branden Kline provided an electric outing, picking up his first major league decision, a win.
A comedy of errors on defense prevented O’s starter David Hess from going deep into game one. Luckily, with Tuesday’s rainout and an off day scheduled for Thursday, Brandon Hyde‘s bullpen was fresh and included the newest member of the organization, reliever Shawn Armstrong.
A throwing error from Hanser Alberto, who got the start at third base today, led to a first-inning run for Chicago on a Jose Abreu double. At 113 mph off the bat, Abreu’s RBI-double was the hardest hit ball of the afternoon.
Two more errors in the bottom of the third lead to a three-run frame for the White Sox. Jose Abreu helped to extend the lead with his second RBI-hit of the game, a single off David Hess to score Leury Garcia.
Maybe a new month means a new Orioles’ team? That may be extreme, however, the Orioles were able to climb themselves out of their early hole, thanks to a dominant performance from the bullpen and a big offensive day for shortstop Richie Martin.
Baltimore Orioles bullpen owned the afternoon.
The comeback all started with a walk to Dwight Smith Jr.to lead off the fourth inning. It quickly turned into three runs for the Orioles. A Hanser Alberto single, wild pitch which led to Smith crossing the plate, a single from Pedro Severino, and an RBI-double from Richie Martin led to a three-run frame for Baltimore and new life.
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David Hess lasted just 4 1/3 innings, allowing four runs (only one earned) on four hits while walking two and striking out four, but his bullpen was there to back him up.
Shawn Armstrong made his organizational debut, allowing just one hit and striking out one in 1 1/3 relief innings, giving way to rookie Branden Kline after surrendering a two-out walk to Ryan Cordell.
Kline was superb in his two innings of work. Pumping his 96-97 mph fastball with a nasty cut, the rookie allowed just one hit across two innings, producing a swinging strikeout of Yonder Alonso to end the seventh and freezing James McCann to end his outing.
Thanks to an RBI-double from Dwight Smith Jr.and a sac-fly from Jonathan Villar, Kline left the game with a 5-4 lead and in line to earn his first major league victory.
All the Orioles needed were four outs from Mychal Givens. He punched out Yolmer Sanchez to close out the eighth and then worked a scoreless ninth to pick up his second save of the season and given Branden Kline the win.
It wasn’t pretty, but it was a big win for this ballclub. On an afternoon when very little seemed to go right, the Orioles dug deep and gutted out a victory. Now, they get to do it again in game two.
Andrew Cashner and the Orioles will take the field for game two at approximately 8:30.