An O's first: Mountcastle is first Oriole to drive in nine runs in a home game

It was a first in Orioles history. Never had a player driven in nine runs in one home game until Ryan Mountcastle did it last night at Camden Yards as the Orioles beat Oakland 12-8.

What a night for Mountcastle who joins Eddie Murray and Jim Gentile as the only Orioles in team history – which dates to 1954 of course – to have a nine-RBI game. Gentile hit two grand slams when he drove in nine on May 9, 1961 at Minnesota. Murray hit one slam when he did it Aug. 26, 1985 at the California Angels.

Mountcastle’s night began with a sac fly in the first inning. He added an RBI single in the third, three-run homer in the fifth and grand slam in the seventh. He went 3-for-4 and his slam went 456 feet. He produced his seventh career multi-homer game and second career grand slam.

The first three batters in the Baltimore order – Austin Hays, Adley Rutschman and Mountcastle – went a combined 9-for-12 with two doubles, three homers, eight runs and 11 RBIs.

Through 11 games, Mountcastle is batting .289/.320/.711/1.031 with four doubles, five homers and 18 RBIs. No other player on the team has more than three homers and no one has more than eight RBIs except for him.

Now we can say that three players in team history have eight RBI games and they are Cal Ripken Jr., Chris Hoiles and Frank Robinson and three have nine-RBI games.

Mountcastle is now the MLB leader in RBIs for this year.

"He swung the bat really well in spring training and looked like, for me, a much more mature hitter this spring, and he's carried it into the season," Orioles' manager Brandon Hyde said. "The power he has is incredible and he's got great bat-to-ball skills on balls in the strike zone or just off. You make a mistake and he's ready to hit. He's off to a great start this year. Love the confidence that he's playing with right now, and what a special night for him."

Rutschman is raking too: It seems almost hard to believe now, seeing him off to such a good start in the 2023 season. But Rutschman’s MLB career got off to a slow start last year. He made his MLB debut on May 21, 2022 against the Tampa Bay Rays. He went 1-for-3 his first game and 1-for-5 in his second.

But after his first 15 big league games, he was just 8-for-56 and Rutschman was batting .143/.226/.196/.427. After his first 20 O’s games, Rutschman had no homers and no RBIs. After 20 games.

But there has been no slow start for Rutschman this year.

He took care of that on Opening Day at Boston, going 5-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs. And then Sunday against the Yankees he went 4-for-4 with a homer. Then he homered in the series opener with Oakland on Monday. That was the first time in his career he had homered in back-to-back games. 

He began last night’s game ranked among the American League leaders in hits (T-4th, 15), average (5th, .375), on-base percentage (8th, .457), OPS (9th, 1.057), and total bases (T-9th, 24). Plus he ranked ninth in MLB in batting average.

On Sunday, Rutschman became the first Oriole ever with two games of four or more hits within the team's first nine games and the first MLB player to do so since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2015.

He was asked earlier this homestand if he can tell early on in a game that he might have a big night at the plate?

"For me honestly, whatever I did in my last AB I try to just focus on the next one and keep my same process, regardless of what happened in previous ABs. So, for me it’s always going to be the same, whether I am 0-for-3 or 3-for-3. The next AB is the most important one and I’ll treat it as such,” he said.

Rutschman had two hits last night and is 3-for-7 with a double and homer in this series. He is batting .563/.682/1.000 (9-for-16) during a five-game batting streak with two homers, three RBIs and six walks in that span. For the year he is batting .395 with an OPS of 1.118.

He said that maintaining a good swing and/or a good feeling at the plate can be fleeting.

“Hitting is one of those things, you wake up and the next day it feels different than the day before. So, you have to find a way to do it on any given day. There will be days you feel good and you don’t get a hit and days you feel bad yet go 4-for-4 or whatever it is and for me, that is one of those things you try to block out. Do the same process, find what works for you that day and go about it,” said Rutschman.



Santander absent from Orioles lineup
Lineup shuffling in the cards for the Orioles

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