The Baltimore Orioles made a rough reception for Cole Hamels at Major League Baseball tonight. They scored three runs against him as they eventually came up with a comfortable 5-1 win over our Atlanta Braves tonight.
It turned out that the Baltimore starter will eventually be the main story of the match tonight. During his start tonight, Keegan Akin wanted to prove that what happened in his previous start against the Yankees was really just a stroke of bad luck. Akin proved himself in his tune by hitting nine Braves tests for five innings of work, giving up just three hits and one run. Simply put, the Braves really couldn̵
While Braves was mystified by Akin, Cole Hamels was busy working on his first start of the season. We already knew that coming in, Hammels would only throw 50-60 pitches tonight, so it’s just a matter of whether Hammels can prevent the Orioles from doing a ton of damage while he’s there. There was also hope that Hammels could get through this start without any health problems or nagging injuries once again.
The good news is that Hamels has managed to get his innings and it seems good to go to speed things up and go a little further during his next start. The bad news is that the Orioles managed to reach him for 3.1 passes that Hamels threw while he was there. After Hamels went through the first two innings with little to no accident, the third inning was when Baltimore realized it and started stringing a few tracks against him. Austin Hayes took the third inning with a double, and then, after Hamels delivered his first (and only) walk of the night, Hanser Alberto rolled one into the left field to put Baltimore in the lead with the game’s first run.
Cole Hamels withdrew the next three tests in a row, but those first two outs came at the cost of two more runs for the Orioles – Jose Iglesias took RBI to the ground and then Ryan Mountcastle followed suit. It was 3-0 in favor of the Orioles after the third inning and the result was the same after Hamels left the game after receiving the first of the fourth inning. This trip was more or less what one would expect from a pitcher who makes his first start in an almost full calendar year. Hamels was not impressive, but he came out unscathed (in terms of health) and we hope that he will be able to continue to return to the form of the game when the Brave are approaching October.
After the sixth inning spun, Baltimore chose to go with Dylan Tate as their first pen reliever, and that’s when the Braves finally showed some life on the plate. Freddie Freeman maintained his series at base, leading sixth with a single, then came in second with a pass and then third base on the ground. He eventually made it home when Dylan Tate gave up – and it was one of those rare times when even the pitcher himself knew he had probably done something illegal. It was the only run that Braves made in the sixth, and in the end it was the only run that Braves would score for the entire game. Yes, it was one of those nights, the second such night in Baltimore.
The Orioles responded to Atlanta’s lone run in the sixth by placing two more on the board to make it 5-1 in favor of Baltimore. Josh Tomlin came into the game to relieve Cole Hamels and was basically burdened with a long debt of relief after a purposefully short take-off from the starter. Tomlin withdrew the first five tests he saw, and then continued to dig a little as soon as the sixth inning began. Jose Iglesias continued to punish the Brave as he led this inning with a single, which Pedro Severino eventually followed with his single. This ended with Renato Nunes smashing one in the corner in the left field for a double, which was clear enough that night to put the Orioles out of the Braves’ reach.
The game eventually ended 5-1 in favor of the Orioles and now the Braves will head to New York after being eliminated from the series in Baltimore. Fortunately, the Braves are still over .500 on this trip as they have avoided the clean-up and are on their way to enjoying their last scheduled off-season before entering the final stretch of consecutive games to end the season.
To end things with a bit of a positive note so that it doesn’t end in a full blow, here’s Marcel Ozuna robbing a home during the fourth inning of this game. I can honestly say that I didn’t expect this to happen at any point this season, but that’s why I’m just a blogger and I don’t get paid for making decisions about Atlanta Braves.