With his team trailing 3-1, Mark Hendrickson took the mound today in the top of the fourth inning looking to put up some zeroes and give his team a chance to come back.
“We still had a lot of game left, just wanted to give our offense a chance. Sometimes the role I’m in usually doesn’t come with a lot of attention but I just wanted to execute pitches,” Hendrickson said, after picking up his first major league win since last May 13 against Seattle as the Orioles beat Cleveland 8-3.
Hendrickson pitched three shutout innings on just one hit, throwing 40 pitches in his third appearance since being recalled from the minors eight days ago. He said spending the year at Triple-A can remind a player how special it is to be in the big leagues.
“Without a doubt,” he said. “There is no hiding the fact that at the end of spring training I was very disappointed (to not make the team). To have to go down there and deal with some of the things I had to deal with was tough.
“But I wouldn’t say it’s been a difficult year. It’s an opportunity I embraced and I learned a lot about myself as a person and pitcher. Hopefully, that might be the best two months of my career. Coming back here is really meaningful for me. This feels good.”
Hendrickson went 2-4 with an ERA of 2.87 in 19 Triple-A games. Apparently Hendrickson could have opted out of his assignment to Triple-A during this year but he didn’t and stayed with the O’s organization.
“There is a lot of talent in this clubhouse. We just didn’t play well on that road trip, but we need to get some momentum back and confidence going.
“I believe in this organization and the guys that are here. I tried to help some of the kids down there and work on my game as well and come here and contribute. The talent is here,” Hendrickson said.
Meanwhile, Robert Andino gave the O’s the lead with his three-run homer in the fifth. It was his second of the year and the first came back on April 30 versus the White Sox.
“Anything to help the team win,” Andino said, after a career-high four-RBI day. “Our pitching gave us a chance to come back.”
Andino, who had struggled at times this year on bunting attempts, dropped a squeeze bunt that scored a run in the seventh inning. He finally got the bunt down.
“Well, yeah. I said to myself, it’s about time. It worked out,” he said.
Now the Orioles, after their first back-to-back wins since June 19 and 20, will host Boston for a three-game series starting Monday night.