Pitcher John Means doubles and dominates Orioles 2-0 win over Phillies
PHILADELPHIA — Orioles pitcher John Means criticized his recent starts, but had little to say on Monday night.
Means allowed just four hits in 6 2/3 scoreless innings as the Orioles beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-0 in front of an announced crowd of 21,140 at Citizens Bank Park. He also scored a 400-foot double, to the delight of his teammates.
It was only Means’ second victory (6-7) since his May 5e without a batter, and probably his best start to the season other than this masterpiece.
He took out six and walked one. It was his first victory since July 31.
“It sounded more like me,” Means said. “The change was good today, finally. The fastball was working, the curveball wasn’t as good, but I got it right. It was more like my pitching style.
The Orioles (48-102) had lost eight of nine and won’t play against American League Eastern teams for a week.
“He was our best starter with a huge effort,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “He threw an exceptional ball game… Meansy had the change tonight. It was the big difference. It’s something he’s struggled with the few starts in the past, finding the change again, and he’s done tonight… a great job against a team fighting for a playoff berth.
Philadelphia (76-74) started the night two games behind Atlanta, leader of the National League of the East.
The Orioles, who hadn’t won a game scoring two points or less this season, started quickly in the first with singles from four of the top five hitters – Austin Hays, Anthony Santander, Pedro Severino and Ryan McKenna. Severino and McKenna had RBIs to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead and end the scoring overnight.
“I was happy with the way we swung the bat in that first inning,” said Hyde.
Means walked Bryce Harper with two outs in the first and Andrew McCutchen shot a single to lead the second. Means has retired 13 times in a row until Odúbel Herrera’s base hit with a sixth out.
Phillies starter Ranger Suarez (6-4) calmed down after the first. No other runner has reached second place in his six heats.
Means doubled up with a seventh putout and tried to take third place when a Sam Coonrod pitch slipped out of JT Realmuto but was sent off.
It is likely that in the new collective agreement, the designated hitter will come to the National League.
“If it’s my last at bat,” Means said. “I’m happy.”
Hyde had fun talking about Means at bat and tried to reach third place.
“It was the last thing I wanted to see,” Hyde said. “Either a homer where you can jog, or a punchout, but he hits a double, we’ll hear [about] for the next 13 days and into spring training, then he decides to advance onto wild ground from the league’s top pitching receiver. But he’s happy with his pop-up slide, and I didn’t want to see any of it.
It was the first hit from an Orioles pitcher since Means played Arizona on July 24., 2019.
At the end of the seventh, Realmuto started with a single. With one out, Pat Vierling chose. After Didi Gregorius hit in a forced play, Cole Sulser replaced Means, who threw 105 pitches, more than in any game except the hitter.
“He was very good, especially when he used the fastball a lot,” Severino said. “He just tried to work on the change like he did in 2020. When he locates the fastball, the other courts have to work for sure. This is what we did tonight.
Freddy Galvis lined up right to finish in seventh, and Sulser pulled the team out in order in eighth.
Harper started the ninth with a long volley down the center against Tyler Wells. Realmuto struck to the right which Santander grabbed, and Andrew McCutchen jumped to Severino as Phillies fans booed. It was Wells’ third save of the season, and the Orioles completed their fourth shutout, their first since July 18.e.
With the win, the Orioles surpassed their 2018 winning tally when they recorded their lowest winning streak in team history and went 47-115.
“They’re a really good team with a really big payroll, a ton of veteran players,” said Hyde. “I think we play like we have nothing to lose, as we should, but we play playoff-type lineups. We are very, very inexperienced. We struggled on the mound. Tonight we had a good pitching performance and scored a few points ahead. “
Remarks: Hyde said Chris Ellis is suffering from arm fatigue and will not start Tuesday night. The Orioles will throw a paddock game and announce the starter during the day. Philadelphia will also pitch a reliever game.