After nine years, the Oriole Park at Camden Yards finally had a playoff game. A beautiful ballpark, Joan Jett singing the national anthem, Adam Jones threw the first pitch, everything was good. Except the final score.
Orioles lose ALDS opener against Rangers in hard fought game
Texas won the first game on ALDS against Baltimore, 3-2. The best AL offense take advantage in the fourth inning with hot rookie, Evan Carter, and minor league Oriole Legend, Jonah Heim. Before Texas scored first, Kyle Bradish was dealing.
The righty, on his playoff debut, put his name in Orioles history: one of the five pitchers with a 9+ strikeout game in playoffs. After three innings, only Robbie Grossman and Carter reached base. In the fourth, Bradish loaded the bases and escaped the jam with a 2-0 hole.
Meanwhile, Andrew Heaney, who struggled against Baltimore, mostly kept the Orioles bats quiet. Anthony Santander, with a hit and a walk, was the only Oriole on base and scored a run after a Ryan Mountcastle double.
The offense woke up, but with the same problems. Bruce Bochy called the bullpen in the first opportunity to bring Dane Dunning. Brandon Hyde pulled the trigger, and the lefty vs righty matchups begin.
Bradish continued and didn't finish the fifth. Danny Coulombe was the first Orioles reliever in the game. The lefty stepped up and allowed no runs. In the sixth, Jacob Webb entered to face Josh Jung. Webb didn't allow a Home Run for Baltimore until the ALDS. A solo shot to extended Texas lead, 3-1. The Orioles needed a spark, and Santander delivered. A solo blast to right-center field to cut the deficit, 3-2.
After that, Texas didn't have a baserunner except a ninth-inning walk to Corey Seager. The Orioles had a leadoff man on base in the last three innings. Aaron Hicks walked on seventh and stranded on first. Austin Hays walked in the eighth, Adley Rutschman walked too and unfortunately, a Santander double play plus a Mounty strikeout against Aroldis Chapman.
In the ninth, Gunnar Henderson, hitless in three at-bats, all against lefties, came up. Against a righty, Gunnar hit a single. But a 'miscommunication', per Hyde, leads to a unsuccessful steal attempt by Gunnar. Hicks struck out and Adam Frazier grounded out to seal the deal. Only James McCann and Heston Kjerstad didn't play for position players. The offense finished with five hits (0-4 in RISP), five walks and seven strikeouts. The pitching had 16 strikeouts, but allowed eight hits (four extra-base hits).
The Orioles, in five ALDS apperances, when they lose the first game, they lost the series (2012 - Yankees). Per Baseball-Reference, the Orioles had only two series they won after lose Game 1. Both of them was in 1983.
This team is resilient. This series is far from over. Game 2 on Sunday with Grayson Rodriguez on the mound against Jordan Montgomery.
First pitch, 4:07 PM (ET).