Behind Mountcastle’s home run, the Orioles beat Cleveland 3-1 in the series opener
A frustrating season had led to a frustrating night for Ryan Mountcastle, and the Orioles outfielder needed a break.
At the right time for Mountcastle and his team, he got one.
Mountcastle hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the O’s lead, and the relieving box picked it up to end a 3-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night in Game 1 of a three-game together.
That’s three straight wins for the Orioles, after 14 straight losses. A famous manager from the same team as Baltimore played on Friday night had something to say about this kind of circumstance.
Starting pitcher Keegan Akin did his part to get the Orioles there, but it looked like offense wasn’t going to hold the deal’s end – until the seventh. It was then that Mountcastle, with a runner in the front row and one out, came home. He’s had some exasperating times during a hectic season, and with two strikeouts in his first two at-bat appearances, Friday didn’t get off to a good start either.
That was until Bryan Shaw, who arrived with a 1.25 ERA and a hell of a beard, gave him a slap pitch, and Mountcastle pushed him deep to the left. Left fielder Eddie Rosario turned back against the wall, measured his jump and looked like he had a good chance of catching him – only for his glove to hit a fan in the face, and the ball deflected the mass of humanity and back in the field.
Home Run. Orioles up to 2-1. The way this year has sometimes gone for Mountcastle, it would have made sense for a breeze to pick up, or the humidity from Maryland to steal the ball a few feet more, or Rosario to make a good hold to keep the ball rolling. advance. This time, however, Mountcastle got the break – or, perhaps more appropriately, he was spared the bad.
Baltimore extended the lead in the eighth, when Pedro Severino started with a single in the middle, Cedric Mullins followed with a single to the left, and Mancini continued with a single in the third and short. With the bases loaded and no takedowns, the stage was set for a groundbreaking round, but the O’s were content with just one when Anthony Santander flew left, Severino came home and Rosario’s throw came well past the plate.
Director Brandon Hyde left it up to Paul Fry to finish the job this time around, and although Fry let things get exciting, he pulled it off. Rosario (this guy was busy) started with one and a nip Yu Chang had a two-strikeout to get the plate green, but Bradley Zimmer failed short to end it. Never a doubt.
The offense stole the show late, but it’s been a good day for a rotation of the Orioles and a bullpen who’ve had to face some tough games lately. Akin was excellent, allowing just three hits and one walk in five innings while striking out four. He threw 64 of 86 pitches for strikes and probably could have thrown deeper if needed.
After three tough consecutive outings that boosted his ERA to 6.10, Akin posted solid starts in a row and saw his ERA drop to 3.60. Good things from the 26-year-old.
The Baltimore relievers pen, which welcomed a familiar face, also passed. Hunter Harvey made his comeback and replaced Akin, and immediately struggled after giving up a single with a putout to Jose Ramirez, then a triple to Harold Ramirez when his liner in the center-right gap took a Mullins’ awkward kick.
This gave the Indians their first lead, but Harvey limited the damage when he managed to put Rosario to the ground first and Owen Miller to take out. Rosario’s Grounder went straight to Mancini with the infield shot, and Rosario tried to shoot the Javier Baez has been playing in the Pirates / Cubs match since last week. Mancini didn’t take the cheese, but instead threw Stevie Wilkerson first for the easy exit. Trey does not fall for such games.
The bullpen continued to keep Cleveland where it was. Cole Sulser gave up a single with two strikeouts in the seventh, but got a strikeout to avoid injury, Tanner Scott impressed by taking the side out in a 1-2-3 eighth, and Fry dealt with the ninth. .
Timely strike and good pitching. We don’t see them together too often, but it’s always nice when we do.
Who was the most Birdland player on Friday, June 4?
Ryan Mountcastle (HR green light)
Keegan Akin (5 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 Ks)
Tanner Scott (PI, 0 M, 3 Ks)
DJ Stewart (2 for 3)
14 votes in total