Orioles Avoid the Sweep with Father's Day Win Against the Cubs

Baltimore Orioles v Chicago Cubs
Baltimore Orioles v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

The Orioles traveled to Chicago to face the red-hot Cubs after a very successful 5-1 homestand at Camden Yards. They were welcomed to Wrigley field with a blowout 10-3 loss in Game 1 of the series, followed by a much closer (yet still disappointing) 3-2 loss in Game 2. But they were able to salvage the series thanks to a well-rounded 6-3 win on Sunday. Lets take a closer look at each game.

Baltimore Orioles lose Father's Day weekend series to Chicago Cubs

Game 1: Orioles 3, Cubs 10

There weren't too many positive highlights for the Orioles in this one. The game was scoreless going into the bottom of the 3rd inning. This quickly changed thanks to three Cubs solo homeruns by promising young catcher Miguel Amaya, star shortstop Dansby Swanson, and the scorching hot Christopher Morel. But even after the three homeruns, it was still just a 3-0 Cubs lead. The O's quickly got on the board in the top of the 4th thanks to an RBI single by all-star hopeful Austin Hays. They would add another run in the top of the 5th via a Jorge Mateo double down the third-base line.

The game got out of hand for the O's in the bottom of the 6th inning. The Cubs would go on to tally 6 additional runs, putting the game out of reach for the O's. Each team added one more run later on to bring the final score to 10-3. Overall, this was a game that simply got away from the Orioles. With Cole Irvin only completing 4 innings of work, the Orioles middle relievers were asked to pick up a big chunk of innings to keep this game close. But the combination of Michael Baumann, Cionel Perez, and Reed Garrett struggled immensely, allowing 7 runs between them.

Game 2: Orioles 2, Cubs 3

Game 2 of the series was a much cleaner, yet still unsuccessful game for the O's. The scoring started with a two-run double by Cubs second baseman Nico Hoerner in the bottom of the 3rd inning. The O's would match this with an Adley Rutschman two-run homerun in the top of the 5th. It was Rutschman's 10th homerun of the year, but was also the only offense the O's could manage against the Cubs pitching. The Cubs would get the eventual winning run in the bottom of the 5th thanks to a Mike Tauchman sacrifice fly that scored Yan Gomes. This was all the offense that the Cubs needed in order to secure the victory.

Unlike game 1 of the series, the O's pitching was fantastic in game 2. Kyle Gibson allowed 3 runs on just 3 hits while striking out 7 Cubs hitters in 6 innings of work. Bryan Baker and Danny Coulombe delivered scoreless innings to finish the game, but the Orioles offense couldn't generate any more offense against the Cubs bullpen.

Game 3: Orioles 6, Cubs 3

Game 3 of the series started in a similarly frustrating fashion as game 1 and 2. After a leadoff double by Austin Hays, the O's left the first inning with nothing to show for it. Hays was thrown out at home by Michael Tauchman on a Anthony Santander fly-ball to center-field. Then in the bottom-half of the inning, Tauchman hit a leadoff homerun over the opposite field wall. The O's would remain scoreless until the 4th inning, when Anthony Santander delivered his 10th homerun of the year just over the center field wall. They would add another run in the inning thanks to a Ramon Urias RBI single that deflected off of Cubs third baseman Nick Madrigal, giving the O's a 2-1 lead.

The Cubs would take the lead right back after a two-run homerun by Christopher Morel in the bottom-half of the 4th inning. This came after a couple of defensive miscues by Josh Lester and Ryan O'Hearn, allowing Cody Bellinger to reach base and extend the inning. The Orioles would later retake the lead in the 6th inning thanks to three-run top-half of the inning. Urias added an RBI with a sacrifice fly, Frazier tacked on another run with an RBI single, and Mateo ended the scoring with an RBI single, but was thrown out at second base trying to stretch it to a double. The O's would eventually add another insurance run in the top of the ninth via an Adley Rutschman double.

Dean Kremer
Baltimore Orioles v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

The pitching held the Cubs offense to 3 runs for a second consecutive day. Dean Kremer got his 8th win of the year with 5 innings of 3 run baseball. He allowed just 3 hits and struck out 7 batters. The bullpen was fantastic, finishing the game with 4 scoreless innings of work. Felix Bautista came on in the ninth and had a 1-2-3 inning to record his 19th save of the year.

This has become a common occurrence for the 2023 Orioles. When the O's find themselves with their backs against the wall, they find ways to get important wins when they need it most. We saw this same thing happen last week against the Brewers. After dropping the first two games of the series, they came back in game 3 to get a gutsy win. That win sparked some serious momentum for the O's before their homestand. Let's hope their Father's Day win against the Cubs can serve as a similar momentum shift.