They’re So Extra! (Mariners at Orioles; 05.17.24)

Clifford Ray Williams/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

BALTIMORE — It took the first at-bat of the ball game on Friday night for Baltimore Orioles starter John Means to no longer be perfect against his opponent. However, it also took the first at-bat for the Orioles to get off to the perfect start in what became a runaway victory.

Gunnar Henderson’s lead-off home run was the start of a five-run first inning for the Orioles, who cruised to a 9-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners inside Oriole Park at Camden Yards to begin the three-game weekend set. Henderson also ignited a four-run rally in the seventh inning with an RBI triple, as six of Baltimore’s 10 hits on the night went for extra bases.

Henderson also led off Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Blue Jays with a homer, and tonight’s jack marked the first time the Orioles have started back-to-back games with a lead-off home run since June 28-29 of 2002. It was also the fourth lead-off homer for Henderson on the season, who tied the Houston Astros’ Kyle Tucker for the Major League lead with his 13th homer of the campaign.

The next five batters after Henderson’s homer also reached base, with Adley Rutschman scoring after a throwing error from shortstop Dylan Moore to give the Orioles the lead at 2-1. With the bases loaded, Colton Cowser doubled to right to score two before Jordan Westburg’s sac fly capped off the scoring outburst off Mariners starter Bryce Miller.

“It was great to jump on them right away and get a bunch of runs in the first inning,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “It was nice to be able to pitch with a little bit of a lead.”

Means’ last start against the Mariners was the perfect game that he threw in Seattle on May 5, 2021, but he allowed a double to Moore on the first pitch of the game in this outing. Moore scored on a single by Mitch Garver to give Seattle a 1-0 lead before the Orioles came to bat. Moore also hit a solo shot in the fifth for the only other run of the game for the Mariners, as Means ended up working six innings and allowing those two runs and six hits while striking out four and not walking a batter.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Friday evening’s game, with photos taken by DC-area photographer Clifford Ray Williams. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 30 pictures in total.

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