Orioles break out offensively; Sisco has five RBIs; Means on the mark - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles break out offensively; Sisco has five RBIs; Means on the mark

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—It had been so long since the Orioles performed this well, it was almost hard to believe.

Entering Friday night’s game with the Cleveland Indians, the Orioles had lost 13 of 14 and watched their ERA swell to 5.93.

With pitcher John Means returning from the 10-day injured list, they had their most dependable starter back in the rotation, and he pitched as well as he had all season.

Means, who hadn’t pitched since June 16, allowed a two-out single to Carlos Santana in the first inning, a walk to the next hitter, Jordan Luplow, and nothing else in five innings as the Orioles routed the Indians, 13-0.

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“We have not had many of these,” manager Brandon Hyde said about the blowout. “We were definitely due for one.”

Cleveland designated hitter Bobby Bradley reached on an error by shortstop Jonathan Villar in the second. Means  then retired 11 straight hitters but was removed after five innings and 84 pitches because he was coming back from a shoulder strain.

Hyde said that he was going to carefully monitor Means after he missed his previous start. Fortunately for Hyde and the Orioles, Means had an 8-0 lead to work with in the second inning.

In Mike Clevinger’s first six starts against the Orioles, he had a 4-0 record and a 1.80 ERA. Clevinger was also coming off the IL, because of a sprained ankle. He had missed much of the season’s first half because of a back injury.

Clevinger walked three of his first six batters, and they each scored. Chance Sisco’s two-run home run, his third of the season, gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead. It was the first homer this season by the Orioles to land on Eutaw Street, and the 99th in the history of the ballpark. It actually landed in a trash can, where fans retrieved it.

Hanser Alberto’s two-run double gave the Orioles a 4-0 lead after one.

Dwight Smith Jr.’s sacrifice fly, Sisco’s RBI single and Anthony Santander’s two-run home run, his third, padded the lead to 8-0.

“You’ve got to remind yourself, but I stay pretty locked in the whole game,” Means said. “I don’t really watch what’s going on. I’m kind of in the zone the whole time, so I didn’t really try to stray away from what I was going out there to do.”

Clevinger was gone after 1 2/3 innings, and Santander hit his home run against Tyler Olson.

Rio Ruiz’s RBI single in the seventh, Sisco’s two-run double followed by Santander’s two-run double in the eighth upped the lead to 13-0.

When Sisco and Santander were called up from Norfolk earlier this month, Hyde said they’d get extended looks. Sisco’s five RBIs and Santander’s four helped their case for more extensive playing time. Sisco also had a home run taken away by a leaping catch at the fence by Cleveland’s Oscar Mercado to end the fourth.

“Both had huge nights, just really good at-bats,” Hyde said. “I think Chance just juiced that first ball. I like the way Chance takes pitches, I like the way Chance works an at-bat. He doesn’t chase. He gives you a real good at-bat. He’s getting a chance to hit because of that. He doesn’t expand the strike zone. He’s obviously got some full power.

“Tony uses the whole field. That was a beautiful swing on the curveball or slider that he hit out to left-center. Another guy that’s developing at the big league level now and taking good at-bats. It’s nice to see both those guys swing the bat so well.”

Sisco and Santander have similar stats. Santander has played 20 games, hitting .286 with three home runs and 12 RBIs. Sisco is at .289 in 13 games with three homers and 12 RBIs.

Sisco’s catching was seemingly made easier with the big lead.

“Whenever you’re throwing up zeroes, you’re doing something right and credit to those pitchers,” Sisco said. “John Means started us off really good with those five innings, and then after that, the guys kind of cleaned it up. They made it easy, to be honest.”

The win gave the Orioles a 23-58 record at the mathematical halfway point, equaling last year’s mark. A year ago the Orioles went 24-57 in the second half to finish 47-115.

The shutout was the Orioles’ second of the season, their first since May 4, and they set season highs for runs scored and margin of victory.

It was their largest shutout win since they blased Toronto, 15-0, on August 19, 2006, and the first time they scored four runs or more runs in each of the first two innings since August 26, 1979.

On Saturday, they’ll try to win consecutive games for the first since May 4-6, and win their first series since April 22-24.

Reliever Branden Kline allowed three hits in two scoreless innings, Paul Fry a hit in the eighth, and Miguel Castro worked the ninth.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Camden Brooks

    June 29, 2019 at 7:09 am

    Amazing win!

  2. CalsPals

    June 29, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Outstanding overall effort, still errors & base running gaffes need cut down, super teaching moment for Santander (base running), Villar is Villar, he shouldn’t be making the errors he does, don’t think he would have thrown out the runner, but you need to stop the ball first to even have a chance…

  3. cedar

    June 29, 2019 at 8:04 am

    It’s still a bit early but offensively it looks like Sisco and Santander May have turned the corner. There has never been much question about Santander’s defense. How is Sisco doing behind the plate? I find the catching position the most difficult to judge.

  4. Orial

    June 29, 2019 at 8:10 am

    Lost in all the offensive accolades,especially Sisco,is Sisco’s guiding 4 pitchers to a shutout a SHUTOUT. Unheard of. When I see SantanDARE make that running blunder I put it under the “learning” category(I hope). I too thought Mancini was heading to third.

  5. Bhoffman1

    June 29, 2019 at 8:21 am

    I remember when I was championing for Sisco to be called up you said he was a streak hitter in a unflattering way. Well he creamed a 99 MPH fastball last night I like that streak. Seriously with him and Severino behind the plate and Adley our future and Mountcastle who hit another home run last night and Mancini at first how do we fit them all in. Also McCoy leads the double A in hitting after tearing it up at Frederick what’s keeping him from Norfolk now.

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 29, 2019 at 9:31 am

      Bruce, I’m going to anoint you as the site’s official Mason McCoy booster. How often have you seen him play? What stands out about his play from what you’ve seen in person?

    • Bhoffman1

      June 29, 2019 at 10:16 am

      I’ve never seen him play I live in Miami and I hardly see the O’s play. What stands out he’s leading the league in hitting , i read he has good hands and plays well on defense, hustles and has a great attitude. What more do you want.

      • Rich Dubroff

        June 29, 2019 at 10:36 am

        Thank you, Bruce. Hopefully, I’ll be able to catch up with Bowie next month.

        • ButchBird59

          June 29, 2019 at 11:37 am

          Bring plenty of sunscreen! 🙂

    • Bhoffman1

      June 29, 2019 at 10:57 am

      Great but I hope he is in Norfolk by then

  6. Boog Robinson Robinson

    June 29, 2019 at 8:26 am

    Who needs Rutschman? Chance is my boy!

    • CalsPals

      June 29, 2019 at 5:45 pm

      We do….they need to work Sisco kid in at an infield position other than 1st, when he was drafted he’d never played catcher, was a SS, try him at 2nd, good move for Biggio, although he was an all star at catcher before the move…go O’s…

  7. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    June 29, 2019 at 8:38 am

    Very enjoyable win. Means was solid and the bullpen pitched well too. Sisco was really locked in hitting Eutaw st on a long home run and was robbed of a 2nd homer.Alberto and Santander continue to hit. Nice team effort.

  8. OrioleBaaebal

    June 29, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Article is cutoff

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 29, 2019 at 10:35 am

      Thank you, was missing the last line. Now it’s back.

  9. willmiranda

    June 29, 2019 at 10:22 am

    A Night to Remember. And Savor.

  10. JK in EC

    June 29, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Once again the game was over before I even had a chance to turn it on. Definitely more fun to watch the rest of the game when it is 8-0 in favor of the good guys!

  11. OriolesNumber1Fan

    June 29, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    In your article on June 28 “Draft signings nearly complete…” you wrote “With Henderson signed, the highest remaining UNSIGNED player in LSU outfielder Zach Watson chosen in the third round. He’s the only player among the top 11 choices WHO HAS YET TO SIGN. Overall, the Orioles have signed 31 of their 41 draft choices.” I’m reporting that they did sign him and it’s now 32 of 41 per my previous entry!!!

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