The Baltimore Orioles acquired starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson on July 28 and Wednesday night was his first start for them.
BALTIMORE, Md. — Orioles shortstop Tim Beckham drew the first blood on Wednesday night. He was able to double against Royals pitcher Jason Vargas, driving in Trey Mancini in the second inning. Caleb Joseph would follow that up with a home run (6), to drive in Beckham, putting Baltimore up 3-0.
Baltimore would add three more runs in the eighth inning. The first two runs came on a double from the bat of Chris Davis. Davis drove a double into right field line to plate both Jonathan Schoop and Mancini. Then, Beckham hit a triple that went into right field. He was able to hustle to third, driving in Davis. Baltimore would bring their lead to six, where it would stay for the rest of the game.
“I know I can run,” Beckham said. “I know that I can bring energy to the club and if it hits that right-center gap and touches the wall, I expect to be on third. Anything to bring some energy and get my club going… just doing what I can.”
While hustling for the triple, Beckham’s helmet came off. It is the third time in two games with Baltimore where his helmet flew off.
“Bro, I don’t know man,” Beckham said laughing, when answering why his helmet comes off often. “I’ve added some extra padding in there man and it’s still flying off. Bro like, I’m about to get a chinstrap or something. I don’t even know what to tell you. I’ve tried, the same thing happened in Tampa… just flying off. I’ve tried it all. It won’t stay on man.”
A rain delay would come at 7:46, putting the game on hold for 35 minutes. Despite going that long in-between pitching, Hellickson pitched well. The 30-year old came back out and dealt a decisive blow to the Royals lineup. He went seven innings, allowing five hits, no runs, striking out three, and allowing one walk.
“Last night, I had some nerves,” Hellickson said. “But once I got out there I felt fine. I’ve been traded before, just not in-season to a team that’s playing as well as we are and has a chance to make the playoffs.”
Hellickson got into a pickle a few times, allowing two runners to get on second and third bases in the sixth inning. However, he was able to get Kansas City’s Salvador Perez to pop out to himself. Then, he struck out third baseman Mike Moustakas and got Jorge Bonifacio to ground out.
“The biggest thing was the curveball tonight,” Hellickson said. “I don’t think I’ve thrown that many this year. It’s good to get that over when I needed to and I think that I had a good two-strike night.”
In the ensuing innings, relievers Mychal Givens and Darren O’Day pitched two scoreless innings. Givens had a three up, three down inning in the eighth and O’Day allowed one walk and struck out one.
Baltimore has begun to heat up once again. They are now just one game away from being .500 (53-54) after sweeping the Royals and taking two from the Texas Rangers. They will begin a four-game series with the Detroit Tigers starting on Thursday night at 7:05 PM.