After a celebration as raucous as Sunday’s, how a lot power a staff must play 9 aggressive innings the next day is a query.
It wasn’t for the playoff-bound Orioles, who’re just too good, too scrappy and too clutch to go away once they’re speculated to.
Gunnar Henderson, Ryan O’Hearn, Cedric Mullins and the remainder of Baltimore’s lineup partied onerous Sunday and performed simply as onerous — OK, possibly not that onerous — Monday in opposition to the Houston Astros.
Henderson twice sprinted 270 ft across the bases. O’Hearn recorded the primary five-hit sport of his six-year profession. And Mullins, whose walk-off sacrifice fly Sunday despatched the Orioles into celebration mode, did it once more with a go-ahead three-run residence run within the ninth inning en path to a hold-your-breath 8-7 victory.
“We’re going to play every out until the game’s over,” O’Hearn stated. “Tonight was a really good example of that.”
Mullins was in place to play hero once more after Baltimore’s bullpen blew a two-run lead within the sixth and allowed six runs in three innings after 5 strong frames from John Means in his second begin again from the injured listing. Down two within the ninth and dealing with Astros nearer Ryan Pressly, O’Hearn smacked his fifth hit of the evening and Austin Hays put Mullins in his favourite spot — batting with runners in scoring place.
The middle fielder stayed again on a 2-1 slider and deposited it over the suitable subject fence to present the Orioles an 8-7 lead that relievers Cionel Pérez and Yennier Cano mixed to carry within the ninth to ship the membership’s forty eighth comeback win of the season. Cano got here on with two outs and a runner on third base and wanted solely three pitches to strike out Chas McCormick to seal it.
The Orioles now have three wins this season when trailing after eight innings, and two have been previously two days.
“That was incredible,” Means stated of the victory. “That’s what this team’s been doing all year. It’s been picking each other up, over and over again. Cedric — Steady Ceddy — at the end of the game there. Just absolutely crushed that ball, and it was so fun.”
Baltimore is 94-56 and will increase its lead over the Tampa Bay Rays because the American League’s greatest staff to 2 1/2 video games. The Orioles’ magic quantity to win the AL East is 9.
“I’m extremely impressed by the grit of our team, how tough they are, how we continue to battle,” supervisor Brandon Hyde stated. “They’re celebrating proper now — not as a lot as final evening — however they’re celebrating. And they need to, as a result of that’s a heck of a win.
Means struggled to start his begin at Minute Maid Park, permitting onerous contact to the defending-champion Astros.
Kyle Tucker doubled to attain José Altuve within the first inning. Two innings later, Means acquired into bother once more however was bailed out by an impressive working catch and throw by Mullins to nab Yordan Alvarez on the plate. After a leadoff stroll within the fourth, Means retired the following six batters to finish his evening at 86 pitches.
Means described the outing as a “grind,” scattering 4 hits and three walks whereas putting out only one. He’s allowed 4 runs in 10 innings throughout his first two begins again from Tommy John elbow reconstruction, however he’s additionally tallied simply two punchouts in 10 frames. His 14.3% whiff charge is nearly 10 share factors worse than his profession common.
Means stated his signature changeup is “doing what I want it do to,” however his breaking balls aren’t. He threw much more of them Monday than in his first begin, however they mixed to generate only one swing and miss.
“To only have one [off-speed] pitch and being able to do [pitch well], I’m happy with that,” Means stated. “Obviously I want to go deeper in games and save the bullpen, and I think getting the breaking ball will help with that.”
Means was in line for his first win since September 2021 due to a two-run single from O’Hearn within the fifth. But relievers Shintaro Fujinami and Jacob Webb mixed to permit 4 runs within the sixth to blow a 3-1 lead.
Fujinami, the risky right-hander they acquired from the Oakland Athletics, displayed his unhealthy facet Monday, permitting RBI singles to McCormick and Jeremy Peña. Webb then surrendered a go-ahead two-run double to Altuve to present Houston (84-67) a two-run benefit.
Adley Rutschman, who hit a sacrifice fly to attain Henderson (3-for-5, triple, three runs) within the first, drove in his fellow 2019 draft classmate once more within the seventh with a double to chop the Orioles’ deficit in half. Mullins then doubled residence Rutschman to tie the sport.
In 113 plate appearances with runners in scoring place this season, Mullins is hitting .340 with a .681 slugging share. He has a career-high 73 RBIs in simply 104 video games.
“I can’t say enough about what he does on both sides,” O’Hearn stated. “Ceddy’s an incredible player, a huge part of us having success.”
The bullpen put the offense in comeback mode once more, although, when left-hander Danny Coulombe, one of many Orioles’ most dependable bullpen arms this season, gave up a solo homer to Abreu within the seventh. Mike Baumann then made it 4 straight Baltimore relievers to surrender a run by permitting a solo shot to catcher Martín Maldonado.
The poor efficiency from a aid corps that has largely picked up the slack with out nearer Félix Bautista follows Sunday’s exhilarating extra-inning win through which supervisor Hyde used six relievers to pitch six frames.
“It’s pretty banged up,” Hyde stated of his bullpen within the midst of a 17-day stretch and not using a time off. “I just threw everybody today, except for a couple guys that I didn’t want to pitch.”
When O’Hearn began the rally within the ninth, he went from having his first four-hit sport to his first with 5 hits.
“Just one of those nights,” stated O’Hearn, the staff’s batting common chief at .309. “Seemed to have a magic wand tonight, putting together good at-bats, balls were finding holes. Yeah, it was awesome.”
Third baseman Ramón Urías’ throwing error to start the inning gave the Astros an opportunity, however Jake Meyers determined to carry at third on a one-out chopping grounder to second baseman Adam Frazier.
The sport then delved into chaos with two outs within the ninth inning with Hyde making a number of untraditional strikes due to unexpected circumstances. Aaron Hicks had a cramp (Hyde didn’t know which muscle) within the high of the ninth, forcing Hyde to place his designated hitter, Heston Kjerstad, in left subject to start out the inning. That determination, often called a double-switch, meant the Orioles’ pitcher was due as much as hit seventh within the tenth had the Astros tied the sport. With two outs, Hyde moved O’Hearn to left subject and put catcher James McCann at first base so the pitcher can be the ninth batter of the next inning, not the seventh.
The strikes didn’t matter, although, as a result of Cano slammed the door for his seventh save.
“I’m still a little bit confused,” O’Hearn stated with fun.
Around the horn
- Hyde maintained that first baseman Ryan Mountcastle isn’t a candidate for the injured listing regardless of lacking his fifth straight sport with left shoulder discomfort. “He’s doing better,” Hyde stated. “I think he’s going to be back soon.”
- Kyle Gibson will begin Tuesday however the staff didn’t announce the starter for Wednesday’s collection finale. If they keep on flip, Kyle Bradish would take the ball.
- Mullins received the Chevrolet Electric Play of the Week together with his diving catch in Thursday’s sport in opposition to the Rays.
Orioles at Astros
Tuesday, 8:10 p.m.
Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM