The Orioles scored eight early runs to lead Boston by five. In his major league debut, outfielder Cedric Mullins had two hits and two RBIs by the third inning. But as the game went on, Boston kept scoring. The Red Sox produced 14 runs from the sixth through the eighth in a 19-12 win over the Orioles Friday night.
It was ugly and it took four hours and a minute to play. The O’s bullpen allowed 11 runs. Dylan Bundy gave up eight to tie his career high. Bundy’s ERA is 7.71 his past six starts.
It was the highest scoring game in Baltimore since the Orioles lost 30-3 to Texas on Aug. 22, 2007. This was the most runs the Orioles have allowed since they gave up 19 at Minnesota on July 16, 2012. It was the most Boston had scored since they got 22 on Aug. 15, 2015 at Seattle.
Then there is this unusual note, and it comes by virtue of the Orioles scoring 15, 11, 11 and 12 runs in their past four home games: The Orioles have scored at least 10 runs and recorded 15 hits in four consecutive home games. It’s the third time in the modern era (since 1900) that a team has scored 10 or more with 15 or more hits in four straight home games. The Colorado Rockies are the only other team to accomplish the feat, done twice (May 3-14, 2000 - four games and June 27-30, 1996 - four games).
Mullins had quite the night, starting in center field and batting ninth. It began when Adam Jones insisted that Mullins lead the team onto the field for the first pitch.
“In all honesty, I thought he was messing with me,” Mullins said after the game. “I was looking around, ‘So is the pitcher good? All right?’ And all the players were saying, ‘Hey, go. You’re leading it.’ So I took their word for it. And went out on the field. And then I took the scenic route. The long way around.”
That gesture right before first pitch was pretty meaningful to the kid.
“It’s hard to explain. It kind of felt like a pass-the-torch situation. Just being able to feel like you’re taking charge of your debut. That’s the only way I can describe it,” Mullins said.
Mullins went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs, three runs and a walk. He became the first Oriole to ever record three hits in his major league debut.
The Hall of Famers have their say: Tonight the Orioles will induct two new members into their Hall of Fame with the additon of longtime second baseman Brian Roberts and broadcaster Fred Manfra, this year’s Herb Armstrong award winner. They’ll be inducted at 6:30 p.m. during a pregame ceremony before the evening portion of today’s day-night doubleheader at Oriole Park.
During a press conference on Friday at Camden Yards, both spoke about this honor, which obviously is very special for both. Here are some of their comments from that:
Roberts on what being in the O’s Hall of Fame means to him: “To think of the journey from (being drafted in) 1999 until now. It went by really fast and is surreal when you look back on it all. Just feel truly blessed to have been here as long as I had the opportunity to be here. Have the opportunity to play on so many teams and play with great guys and great teammates. And be impacted by so many people in this community, as well.
“It is surreal. You don’t set out with that sort of goal. Honestly, you set out with the goal of ‘How do I stay here tomorrow? How do I do that?’ first and foremost. Then as you get more established, your goals and things you are looking at do change. Then it becomes, ‘How do I help this team accomplish what we want to accomplish?’ I didn’t do that necessarily to the full extent. When I hear my name in that capacity, you think about all of those who have come before you as well, and the names beside you. That kind of blows your mind.”
Roberts said he never saw himself as the face of the franchise: “To me, I never looked at it that way. It is very different than now. We never said we would rebuild, not that I remember. So every year we went to spring training we thought we had a chance to win, or that is what we were trying to do. You certainly don’t sit in the locker room and be like, ‘Hey, man, are you the face of the franchise or is it me?’ That kind of stuff. We didn’t think that way.
“You are trying to be the best player you can and lead by example and, hopefully, by playing well. I did try to take that seriously, sure. Take it as serious off the field as on the field. I had guys before me that did that. Early in my career, the Jeff Conines, Mike Bordicks and Brady Andersons. Those guys showed me how to do it on the field. Jeff Conine really showed me how to do it off the field in a great way, along with some other guys. I did know there was a responsibility there.”
Roberts, any regrets about not playing in a postseason game in Baltimore?: “I played 13 years in the big leagues, I didn’t miss out on anything,” he said with a laugh. “There are a lot of games and millions of kids that would dream to play 13 years in the big leagues. If they said, ‘Hey, you’re not going to play in a playoff game,’ I bet they wouldn’t choose to do something else. I understand what you are saying, totally, but I don’t look at it that way. I did see, to an extent, the culmination. I got to walk on the field for a playoff game (in 2012). I didn’t get to play, unfortunately, but I got to see what it meant to this city. I had chills, I had goosebumps. I had never seen this place like that.”
Roberts on the current rebuilding Orioles: “I think it is hard for everybody to see us have to go in that direction again. That is never the goal or mindset of any team to have to do that. But if you think about where, when Dan (Duquette) and Buck (Showalter) came in, in 2010, where we were as an organization, and that four-year run of really turning this around and being in the playoffs, you want that to continue.
“But baseball is cyclical. Everyone has seen the way organizations are building franchises. At some point you have to either get on board and do it that way, or you are going to be left behind. It is just that time for the Orioles. I hope the fan base will continue to embrace it, because it could be great. Who knows. They could be on one of the Chicago Cubs-like runs and compete for 10 more years. I was hoping Jonathan Schoop was going to be here and break every number I had at second base. I was hoping we’d see Manny (Machado) play here for 15 or 20 years. But the business of the game makes it tough. Fans almost don’t like to get attached to players anymore, and that is the difficult part. That is why I was blessed to be here for so long. I made relationships, and I wish every player could do that.”
Roberts on the current group of Orioles fans: “This is a great sports town. But I don’t blame anyone for not spending their hard-earned money to come watch us lose. I don’t. I think the fan base and city of Baltimore is the same as always - they love Oriole baseball. The fan base is there. Watch in a few years when this team is in the playoffs again. It will be rocking with orange towels again. And that is how it should be.”
Manfra, what does this honor mean to you?: “I was speechless when I got that call. I couldn’t believe it. When I was a kid growing up in Baltimore, I wanted to play for the Orioles or broadcast for the Orioles. I had the opportunity to broadcast for 24 years. I never envisioned for one moment that I would be a Hall of Famer, winning the Herb Armstrong award. To join Chuck (Thompson) and Bill O’Donnell and all the great names that have won the Herb Armstrong award, it is truly humbling and just amazing. To think here I am a guy that grew up in east Baltimore cheering for the Orioles and working for the Orioles, where my name is even mentioned with iconic Orioles names. This is amazing.”
Manfra on one regret: “One of my big disappointments is that I did not broadcast a World Series game as an Orioles broadcaster. Went to the playoffs, but never the World Series. The Orioles promised me that when they get to the World Series, I’ll be able to do a World Series game. I hope that is before ... while I’m still around, lets put it that way.”
Manfra on career highlights: “I still remember vividly (Cal Ripken’s game) 2,131, but I also remember 2,130. To me, that was even more special in many ways because that was the team. That kind of represented what the family feeling was on that Oriole ballclub. Through most of the years there was that family feeling on the Orioles.
“I also think about watching Mike Mussina pitch in playoff games and how I always felt he should have been that 20-game winner and been in the (National) Hall of Fame. I also think about not only Cal with his 2,131 game and when Cal was winding down his career, watching fans line up in vistiting ballparks and even here, and they knew Cal would sign autographs after the game. A lot of players when they are autographing, they don’t even look up, but Cal would ask youngers ‘What position do you play?’ What a positive thing for baseball.”