The Orioles certainly seemed to have several players worthy of All-Star consideration. It had to be a bit disappointing in Birdland when catcher Adley Rutschman did not win the fan vote to start for the American League on July 11 in Seattle.
But now it has to be some validation for the Orioles’ strong first half play and recognition that those around the league have noticed when the Orioles got four players on the All-Star team last night.
Rutschman will be joined by outfielder Austin Hays and relief pitchers Félix Bautista and Yennier Cano.
This is quite the haul for the Orioles, who had just one selection every year since 2017 (there was no game in 2020). In 2016 the O’s had five selections.
“So cool. We had a team meeting this morning and it was my pleasure to let those guys know. All four great stories and super proud of all those guys,” manager Brandon Hyde said Sunday.
“Not surprised with the first halves those guys had. And to be recognized by their peers, says everything about the league recognizing how good they have been this first half.
“We’re 16 games over .500 and to do that in the American League East with our schedule, there have to be a lot of people doing things well."
Hyde enjoyed the team celebrating getting so many All-Stars.
“Those of us in that room, to see the team reaction, that was the best part," he said.
Cano had to be the most surprising of the four when you consider he was not even on the Orioles Opening Day roster. Last year, after he was acquired in the deal that sent Jorge López to Minnesota, he allowed nine runs in 4 1/3 innings for the Orioles. Then when he got his chance this year, he began his season by throwing 17 straight scoreless appearances allowing just four hits over 21 2/3 innings. For the year he has a 1.12 ERA and 0.84 WHIP.
Bautista, his partner at the back-end of the O’s bullpen has 22 saves, an ERA of 1.16, a .147 batting average against and 18.39 strikeout rate.
Hays has been among the AL leaders in batting average and ranks among the tops in the league with an .843 OPS, that was 10th on Sunday. Rutschman ranks second in the AL in walks and has an OPS of .789 in 79 games.
The Orioles have 29 All-Stars since the 2012 season.
Texas led all AL clubs with six representatives while the Orioles and Toronto come next with four players each on the roster and Tampa Bay is next with three players.
There have been six O’s to win the All-Star game MVP award. Cal Ripken Jr. did it twice in 1991 and 2001. It also happened with Brooks Robinson in 1964, Frank Robinson in 1971, Roberto Alomar in 1998 and Miguel Tejada in 2005.
No sweep, again: Four times since late May the Orioles have lost the first two games of a series, only to win Game 3 and avoid a sweep. They did it against Texas, Milwaukee and the Chicago Cubs and yesterday again, with a 2-1 win over Minnesota.
Shut out on two hits through seven innings by the Twins – and with just one run scored all weekend to that point – the Orioles scored twice in the eighth to win. Rutschman worked an infield single, and Anthony Santander singled during a nine-pitch at-bat against Twins closer Jhoan Duran. That led to an Aaron Hicks RBI single to tie the game at 1 and later Jordan Westburg was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force home the go-ahead run.
Bautista pumped big-time fastballs to strike out the side in the ninth for the save. He averaged 100.5 mph on his heater and topped at 102.9.
The Orioles are still looking for more runs after getting just three on 12 hits in the Twins series. They have scored two runs or less seven times the past 13 games.
On to New York: The Orioles will make their second trip of the season to Yankee Stadium tonight to begin a four-game series. From May 23-25, the Orioles played three games in the Bronx, losing 6-5 in 10 innings and then winning 9-6 and 3-1. The Birds and Yankees are 3-3 against each other for the year.
The Orioles lost their first two AL East series of the 2023 season but are 5-0-1 in the last six. They had won five straight AL East series for the first time since 2014 before splitting two games against Tampa Bay in their most recent division series.
They are 14-9 (.609) on the season in AL East games and are 12-5 (.706) in those last six series going 2-1 against Boston and Tampa Bay, 3-0 against Toronto, 2-1 against New York and Toronto and 1-1 versus the Rays.
This tweet from the Orioles shows that moment Hyde referred to, when he told the players they were going to the All-Star game.