At home plate on Monday night, Luke Riley’s right leg caught Adley Ritchman, and for a moment, the Orioles’ hopes for a bright future with their young catcher died.
But moments later, as he rolled to the ground, Ritchman scrambled back to his feet. Such is the resilience of the Orioles, who made the contest a footnote in a 5-1 victory to open a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays at Camden Yards.
The victory moved Baltimore back to .500, guaranteed their second consecutive winning month after nearly five years between them and marked their 48th victory of the season, snapping the organization’s rebuilding streak to 66 fewer games. surpassed the 2018 team’s total for pacing.
That 115-loss campaign gave the Orioles the first overall pick in the following summer’s draft, which Rutschman spent on a player who quickly became the face of the scheme. Since Rutschman arrived in the majors two months ago, the Orioles have been a more successful team, going 32-24.
A comebacker from Tampa Bay’s Brett Phillips briefly looked like it would derail, a bases-loaded grounder forced into a play at the plate. Although Orioles starter Austin Voth’s throw beat Riley to the plate, it wasn’t in time for Rittschman to get out of the way of his slide, Riley clipping Rittschman and sending him to the ground. He got up after 9,606 without a problem Fans in attendance and many at home collectively held their breath.
Not much else happened about the incident the rest of the night, except that Raley, the Rays’ designated hitter, was booed in every subsequent at-bat. Half an inning later, the Orioles loaded the bases with no outs and got on the board with Rougned Odor’s sacrifice fly. Maryland product Brandon Lowe answered Voth with a home run in the top of the third.
It was Voth’s final inning, giving way to a bullpen that went hitless over the final six innings. That allowed Baltimore to take advantage of another scoring opportunity in the fifth.
After Rutschman stole a pitch to load the bases, Ryan Mountcastle singled to center, Cedric Mullins lofted home to give Mountcastle his second RBI hit. Anthony Santander followed with a grounder to first, but Jimin Choi’s throw to second hit Mountcastle, sending the ball into left field as Ritchman scored and both runners advanced. . Austin Hayes plated Mountcastle with a line drive to left that served as a sacrifice fly.
Hyde ‘proud’ of vaccinated team
The Orioles announced Sunday that their The entire 40-man roster was vaccinated against COVID-19.. The team had to do it first Place outfielder Anthony Santander and relief pitcher Keegan Akin on the restricted list When it went to Canada to play the Toronto Blue Jays, which does not allow unvaccinated players to enter. Players on the restricted list do not receive pay or service time for missing games.
Hyde said he’s not sure if the Orioles’ increase in competition since the last trip to Toronto has caused a change of heart for unvaccinated players. The club next visits the Blue Jays on August 15-17.
“It’s his personal choice,” Hyde said before the game. “I haven’t talked to them about where we’re at in terms of location or anything like that. It’s something we’ve talked about in the past, but I’m glad to hear that, And like I said, it’s the choice of these two guys. I’m proud of my club for being fully vaccinated.
Around the horn
>> The Orioles recalled left-hander Nick Vespi from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned right-hander Rico Garcia. Vespi worked 1 2/3 of six shutout innings out of the bullpen on Monday, striking out four.
>> First baseman/designated hitter Trey Mancini was out of Monday’s lineup because Hyde felt “he’s been straining a little bit lately.” Mancini is hitless in 20 at-bats over his last five games.
>> Shortstop Jonathan Arauze, playing for the first time since July 8, exited the game in the eighth inning while trying to extend a hit over the right-field wall at second base into a double.
This story will be updated.
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