The good news for the Baltimore Orioles is that power bats are starting to come alive, and that began this past week with Manny Machado. Needless to say, he had quite a series in Boston, and one that I suspect the Fenway Faithful will begrudgingly never forget. That aside, we also saw Davis’ bat get hot on Friday, which again is a positive sign for this team.
Last night the only drawback to the Birds’ 6-5 win was that it became a close game late. But sometimes that’s going to happen, which illustrates why a strong bullpen is such a big deal. And the Orioles’ bullpen unfortunately suffered another casualty yesterday as Britton returned to the DL with left forearm soreness.
The O’s and ChiSox had to wait an additional 45 minutes to play due to storms in the area, but once the game started the Orioles jumped out of the gate. Dylan Bundy pitched another strong effort as a starter, which put the Birds on the right track from the beginning. Bundy’s line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 K.
The Orioles loaded the bases in the last of the first, and then took a 1-0 lead on a balk by Chicago’s starter Covey. Mark Trumbo would add an RBI-single, and the Birds led 2-0. Later in the inning Trey Mancini‘s RBI-double gave the O’s a 3-0 lead, and they were off to the races. Just keep loading the bases and good things will continue to happen.
Machado’s eighth homer of the season came in the last of the second, and it appeared that the Birds were starting to pile it on. However Chicago found a way to get back into the swing of things. Cabrera’s sac fly-RBI got them on the board in the fifth, and they netted a second run on Garcia’s RBI-single. But the Orioles weren’t done either. Mancini’s decided to lay into one in the bottom of the inning, which ended up being a two-run homer and the O’s led 6-2.
Chicago would add a solo homer in the sixth, and then in the eighth Abreu smacked a two-run line-drive home run off the left field foul pole. The ball was almost foul. In saying that, I mean that if it had been even six inches to the left it would have hit in foul territory. But them’s the bounces I suppose.
O’Day closed in Britton’s absence, and the Orioles had themselves another one-run victory. If not for the late Chicago surge, this shouldn’t have even been a save situation. However part of what makes this Orioles team so great is their next man up philosophy. Britton goes down, and O’Day steps right in. That’s how it should work.
Today’s game is one to watch for the Orioles, as Chris Tillman will finally make his 2017 debut. It’s unclear if Tillman will be on a pitch count or how far they want him to go into the game, however keep in mind that the O’s don’t have an off day for awhile. If Tillman can perform at his normal level, the Orioles’ rotation will be in very good shape moving forward.
The series concludes with Chicago this afternoon at Camden Yards. The aforementioned Tillman will be on the mound for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Chicago’s Jose Quintana. Game time is set for just after 1:30 PM.