Boy, that sure was a fun game to watch for Baltimore Orioles fans. The Orioles’ offense woke up in Thursday’s series finale, beating the Toronto Blue Jays in a runaway 10-2 win, securing a split of the series and the road trip as a whole, going 4-4 in 8 games away from home. Let’s dive a little deeper into the story of the Baltimore Orioles’ latest win.
The show starts for the Orioles were the top 4 hitters: Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays, Ryan Mountcastle, and Adley Rutschman. Those 4 in particular combined for seven hits and 4 RBIs in Thursday’s series finale. But it’s not just this game. Hitters 1-4 in the Orioles lineup had posted a .907 OPS in the month of June, entering Thursday, which is the 4th best in baseball. Even better, they’ve done it lately without Trey Mancini and Anthony Santander for varying reasons. Brandon Hyde said it all after Thursday’s win:
"“Two middle-of-the-order bats [were gone] all series and we come out with a split. Last night was a tough night. And the way we bounced back this afternoon short rest and come back out here, I was just really impressed with how competitive we were today.”"
The hitting game got it started early, too. Entering the 3rd inning with a 1-0 lead thanks to a fielder’s choice from Rutschman, the Orioles really broke it open. Mountcastle started it with a two-run single, followed by a sac fly from Rougned Odor. Tyler Nevin and Ryan McKenna each added RBI doubles, and Jorge Mateo hit an RBI single, and it was 7-0 Orioles after just three innings.
After the Blue Jays got a run back in the 4th inning, the Orioles got more runs in the 7th inning. Odor started it with a triple to left-center field, scoring Rutschman to make it an 8-1 lead. Odor then scored on a sac fly off the bat of Nevin to make it a 9-1 game. In the 8th, both teams got one run apiece, with Hays providing a solo home run for the Orioles, putting the icing on top of a dominant win.
The Orioles’ explosion at the plate is even more impressive considering who it was against. Former Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman was the starter for the Blue Jays, and the Orioles beat him good this time, tagging him for seven runs in just 2 1/3 innings. The other three runs came off Toronto relievers, Jeremy Beasley and Matt Gage. But the big kick for the Orioles was that 6-run 3rd inning, and McKenna said as much after the game:
"“Seeing guys ahead of us have success and talking to each other in the dugout… and we had a good approach that inning. So, just executed.”"
Tyler Wells, who got the start for the Orioles in the series finale, did far better than his counterpart Gausman. Wells pitched six brilliant innings, allowing just one run on five hits and one walk, striking out three hitters. After that, Nick Vespi handled 1 1/3 innings, followed by scoreless appearances from Austin Voth and Rico Garcia.
The Orioles’ next challenge is back at the friendly confines of Camden Yards, taking on the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend. Dean Kremer is lined up to start the series opener on Friday, with Kyle Bradish going on Saturday and Jordan Lyles wrapping up the series on Sunday.