Orioles win final two games to split series with Guardians

Baltimore rode into these four games with the hopes of putting in a dominant performance, instead the O's were forced to fight for a contentious 2-2 split.
Baltimore Orioles v Cleveland Guardians
Baltimore Orioles v Cleveland Guardians / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

Entering their final road series of the regular season against the Cleveland Guardians, the Orioles were looking to take advantage against a team eliminated from contention. They didn't take full advantage, losing the first two before winning the final two to split the four game series.

Brandon Hyde and the Birds win two and lose two during four-game contest.

It was not what the Birdland faithful was hoping for, but thanks to the Blue Jays winning their series against Tampa Bay, there was no damage against Baltimore's playoff chase. Two losses were quickly followed by two wins. Pitchers played a pivotal role in this series, either putting in dominating performances or costing the O's a win.

Game 1: A bad start

Grayson Rodriguez faced Hunter Gaddis in Thursday night's outing. Gaddis lasted a mere three innings but allowed no runs. Rodriguez was lucky to only have given up two runs in his five innings. Run support was scarce in this 5-2 defeat, which saw Ryan O'Hearn and Aaron Hicks combine for five of the seven Orioles' hits, but Cionel Perez giving up three runs truly cost the game.

Game 2: A blown opportunity

Dean Kremer squared off with Shane Bieber for what proved to be the most exciting game of the series. Friday night saw big hits but for the Guardians. Kremer lasted three-and-a-third innings and gave up three earned runs out of six total. Yennier Cano blew a save opportunity in the bottom of the 9th by allowing two runs. The shame of it is, Orioles batters combined for eight runs on ten hits.

Game 3: John Means shines bright

John Means returned to his full strength on Saturday. Cal Quantrill pitched well for Cleveland, but he was allowed no run support. Means took a no-hitter into the 7th inning before surrendering a solo home run, which proved to be the only hit the Birds' pitching staff surrendered. Anthony Santander went 3-5 and got both of the team's RBIs to raise his batting average back up to .260. The final score was 2-1 for Baltimore.

Game 4: Sunday series split

The final game of the Cleveland series not only brought relief in the form of a two-game comeback, but Toronto won the final game of their series against Tampa Bay to cut the O's magic number down to three. Kyle Gibson pitched seven innings of one-run baseball. Five different players recorded a hit and/or an RBI. 5-1 was the final score as the Birds got their magic number down to three.

A blessed off-day

Assuming Brandon Hyde got everyone on the plane or bus back from Cleveland to Baltimore on Sunday night, Monday will be the first day without travel or a game for the Orioles in weeks. With the AL East almost wrapped up, and October the main focus of most fans or players, this exhausted squad can get some well-earned rest and relaxation before their final two series at home.