BALTIMORE—The Baltimore Orioles finally won a series last weekend.
Baltimore took two of three games from the Cleveland Indians. The Orioles scored a pair of 13-0 victories over Cleveland in the first two games of the series before falling 2-0 on the series finale June 30.
It was the first time the Orioles captured a series since taking two of three from the Chicago White Sox in Baltimore from April 22-24.
Baltimore received more good news – although somewhat surprising – about an hour after the game when it found out that rookie pitcher John Means was picked for the All-Star Game on July 9 in Cleveland. However, the Orioles’ star Trey Mancini was not selected for the summer classic.
Means pitched in one big league game before this season and worked hard on strengthening his arm while sharpening his change-up, which has become almost unhittable at times this season. The left-hander posted a 7-4 record with a sparkling 2.50 ERA in the first half.
In their series in Cleveland, Means got the win in the June 28 victory over the Indians, the first 13-0 game while Andrew Cashner took the win the next day by the same score.
“It was an unbelievable moment to be able to tell him, and we’re really happy for him,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “It’s well-deserved. He’s had an All-Star first half, and [we’re] really happy for him. He’s going to really enjoy it. That’s an incredible few days.”
Mancini not being picked was a surprise. He is among the league leaders in several offensive categories and has been the most consistent Oriole this season. Mancini had a .302 average with 17 home runs and 40 RBI after the June 30 loss.
Nationals players named to All-Star Team
The Washington Nationals stars pitcher Max Scherzer and third baseman Anthony Rendon were named National League All-Star team on June 30.
This will be the seventh time All-Star selection for Scherzer, who was named the starter the past two years.
“For this to be seven, it’s amazing,” Scherzer said. “It’s crazy that this is happening. I know it’s a party. I’ll be going to Cleveland ready to party.”
This is the first time Rendon has been picked, which is a bit of a surprise since he’s been one of the team’s most reliable players for the past few seasons. But the low-key third baseman told the assembled media that he was happy at the news.
“[I’m] definitely very appreciative of being selected,” Rendon said.
The Nationals went to Scherzer’s old home of Detroit last weekend and took two of three games from the Tigers. Scherzer ended the series on June 30 with a 2-1 victory over his former team.
The right-hander gave up one run on four hits and struck out 14 batters in eight innings and improved to 8-5 this season.
Rooney leads D.C. United to positive home results
Wayne Rooney’s penalty kick in stoppage time helped D.C. United escape with a 1-1 tie versus Toronto FC on June 29 in a home game in Audi Field.
Unlike previous penalty kicks taken by the Englishman, Rooney sent his shot right up the middle as Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westberg dove to the right. The last-minute goal was enough to help the Black-and-Red earn the draw.
“I’ve done it once before actually,” Rooney said. “It was for Everton against Liverpool. In the last couple of weeks against our keepers with the penalties we’ve practiced…a few have been down the middle so I knew where I was going on the penalty.”
Earlier in the week, Rooney scored a bigger goal as on June 26, he shot a wild 70-yard blast that sailed into the net to lead D.C. United to a 1-0 victory over Orlando City SC.
Rooney saw that Orlando goalkeeper Brian Rowe ventured too far out of the penalty area when collecting the ball in D.C. United’s end. The striker decided to release a long shot that Rowe could not make it back to his net in time to make the save.
“He just hits such a clean ball,” D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen said. “He got good wood on it right away.”