Coming into the series against the Kansas City Royals, the Orioles were looking to close out their home stand with another series win. They would definitely get more than what they were potentially asking for.
Game One: Orioles: 4, Royals: 1
Mike Wright was called upon to make the start in the series opener just a few days after being optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. Due to Darren O’Day being put on the disabled list, Wright was able to come back up before normal rules would allow for.
Wright took this opportunity and did not take it for granted. The O’s starter on the night went seven innings allowing one unearned run on five hits while striking out four and walking only two.
The one run for the Royals came on one of the most odd plays I have ever seen in a baseball game. Jarrod Dyson hit a ground ball to Manny Machado who flipped the ball to Jonathan Schoop for the force out. Schoop looked like he hesitated on his throw to first due to Dyson’s speed and accidentally threw the ball directly at Cheslor Cuthbert‘s elbow. Since the ball was still live, Paulo Orlando was able to score from second base.
The Orioles would answer right back in the bottom of the inning, however. Mark Trumbo would leadoff the inning with a home run and two batters later, Matt Wieters would send out a home run as well, making it a 2-1 game. Later in the inning, Adam Jones would get an RBI double to make it a 3-1 game.
In the bottom of the eighth, Manny Machado would connect for a home run of his own, making it a 4-1 game and solidifying the final score of the game.
Game Two: Orioles: 9, Royals: 1
The second game of this series packed some serious punch if you asked me. Okay, I see you reading that line with disgust; do not act like it was not funny.
In non-brawling events, the Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez did pretty much all he could to keep the Royals at one run in his five innings of work. Lucky for Jimenez, the O’s offense was rolling from the start.
In the bottom of the first inning alone, the Orioles put up four runs on the board thanks to RBI doubles by both Manny Machado and Mark Trumbo, followed by an RBI single from Jonathan Schoop.
In the second inning, Ryan Flaherty would mash a home run onto Eutaw Street that would one-hop to the B&O Warehouse. Flaherty’s home run was estimated to have went 446 feet.
Things would settle down until the bottom of the fifth, that is. After initially getting the first batter in the inning out, Yordano Ventura was facing off against Manny Machado and hit him with a 99 MPH fastball and Machado would end up charging the mound, resulting in a benches clearing brawl.
Punches were thrown, both Machado and Ventura were ejected and the game would continue with a new level of excitement than before. Mark Trumbo would follow all of that commotion with a two run home run to center field to make it a 7-1 game. That was followed right away by a Chris Davis home run to center field as well, making it 8-1.
The Orioles would tack on another run in the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run by Adam Jones, making it a 9-1 score which would go on to be the final.
Game Three: Orioles: 4, Royals: 0
Going for the sweep, the Orioles sent out Chris Tillman, who is easily their best starter. Tillman had a very impressive night on the mound going 7 1/3 innings allowing no runs on eight hits while striking out nine, tying his season high, and walked nobody. He would be relieved by Brad Brach, who needs to be an All-Star, and he would go 1 2/3 innings, saving the rest of the bullpen and being dominant as usual.
On the side of the offense, it took until the bottom of the fifth inning to break the 0-0 tie. Ryan Flaherty would get things started with an RBI double, making it a 2-0 game. Adam Jones would later get a sacrifice fly, making it 3-0. The next batter, Hyun Soo Kim, would get an RBI single to make it a 4-0 game, which would go on to be the final.
This is the third shutout the Orioles have won this season and the second one that Chris Tillman had started.
I am very happy with how the series went, for obvious reasons. It was good to see Manny Machado stand up for himself against Yordano Ventura and then have the entire team back him up, something that might not be mutual with the Royals and how they feel about Ventura right about now.
Also, sweeps are always fun; no matter what team you are playing. One thing I like a lot particularly is that the Orioles’ pitchers held the Royals to two runs for the entire series. The more surprising thing with that is two of those games were started by Mike Wright and Ubaldo Jimenez. This also gives the Orioles their fourth win in a row, send them on their upcoming seven game road trip very positively.
Speaking of that upcoming road trip, the Orioles will head to Toronto first to play the Blue Jays followed by a three game series against the Boston Red Sox. As for the projected pitching match ups against Toronto, Tyler Wilson is slotted to go in game one against Marcus Stroman with Kevin Gausman and Marco Estrada going in game two, Mike Wright and J.A. Happ in game three and Aaron Sanchez closing out the series for the Jays with the Orioles starter still to be announced.