How do the Orioles bounce back after such a brutal loss? I don’t have that answer, but what choice do they have? A good thing about baseball sometimes is that it's everyday nature. They have another game today and need to win it to win this series.
I’ve been in their clubhouse over the years a day after a tough, tough loss and am always surprised at how well the players can move on. They just know they have to. There isn’t much to learn from their loss on Saturday when Ryan McKenna’s dropped popup should have been the third out of a win. Instead, it gave Boston another swing. And a player having a huge day, Adam Duvall, hit a two-run homer off Félix Bautista for a 9-8 win.
The Orioles should be 2-0. They are 1-1.
How do they respond? We begin to find out this afternoon.
The start of the year has produced some record-setting performances. According to STATS, the Orioles are the first team with two players having five hits in the first two games of a season since 1901. Adley Rutschman did it on Opening Day, and yesterday, Austin Hays went 5-for-5 with two doubles and a solo homer.
The Orioles stole five more bases again yesterday, and are 10-for-10 on the season. Jorge Mateo has four steals and Cedric Mullins has three. They have to keep running until Boston stops them – if the Red Sox even can.
The Orioles bashed lefty Chris Sale yesterday. He allowed a two-run homer to Ryan Mountcastle and solo shot to Hays in the first. The O’s have produced three homers in the first inning in just two games. Mountcastle mashed a slider 422 feet, and Hays hit one that went 430. Mullins’ three-run homer in the third went 418. No cheap homers here.
Sale gave up seven runs in three innings and told Boston media after the game that he was “about as embarrassed as I’ve ever been….I was out there throwing batting practice,” he said.
The Orioles are batting .368/.473/.658/1.131 as a team through two games, and have scored 18 runs – tied for second-most in a season’s first two games, and topped only by their 25 runs in 2006 to start the year.
They are 28-for-76 with five homers and 10 steals. Now, they have to tighten some things up in the bullpen and defensively in the outfield, and right-hander Dean Kremer has to go deeper than the three innings he did Saturday. He took the mound for the last of the fourth leading 7-1 and gave up a four-spot. That got Boston back in it. McKenna’s blunder gave the Red Sox one last chance. And this time Bautista could not overcome a ninth-inning error.
A wild first two days, and now we see how the O’s bounce back today. They have to do it, with no other choice.
On the farm: Triple-A Norfolk improved to 2-0, beating Durham 13-4. Josh Lester, who hit a two-run homer Friday on opening night on the farm, hit three home runs in the Tides win yesterday. It’s the 10th time in Norfolk franchise history that a player has hit three in one game. Lester went 3-for-5 and drove in five. Through two games he is 4-for-8 with four homers and seven RBIs. Spenser Watkins pitches today as the Tides go for a series sweep.
Click here for Roch's writeup and the postgame quotes from yesterday in Boston. Click here for the break-camp minor league rosters released yesterday for Double-A Bowie, high Single-A Aberdeen and low-A Delmarva. As expected, Jackson Holliday starts at Delmarva and Heston Kjerstad in Bowie.