Bautista on bouncing back from blown save

The same whistle played and the same video appeared with the flashing ballpark lights. The crowd roared as usual, quick to forgive the previous day’s blown save.

Félix Bautista wanted the ball again Sunday afternoon. He understands the life of a reliever, and how failings are magnified in the ninth.

The memory of the two-out, game-tying home run that he surrendered to Mike Ford disappeared like his first-pitch four-seamer. Bautista recorded back-to-back strikeouts, allowed a single and blew away another hitter to preserve a 3-2 lead.

The tying run stood on second base after a steal. Bautista’s first pitch to Teoscar Hernández was clocked at 103.4 mph, the fastest by an Oriole in the Statcast era that began in 2015.

How did we live without it?

Bautista took a little bit off his final pitch, striking out Hernández at 102.5 mph for his 21st save. Catcher Anthony Bemboom squeezed the foul tip, and the Orioles won their 16th series.

Nine of Bautista’s 17 pitches hit triple digits.

"I saw a lot of 102s up there," manager Brandon Hyde said afterward. "I know he was irritated how yesterday went and he wanted to be back out there today."

The final decision rests with Hyde, but Bautista expected the phone to ring and for Tim Cossins, the club’s major league field coordinator who’s in the bullpen, to call out his name.

“My mentality was, if the opportunity arose I would go in there with the same mindset, ready to attack, ready to attack the corners, ready to attack the zone,” he said yesterday via interpreter Brandon Quinones.

“A lot stronger than I did the day prior.”

Bautista was in muscle mode. Rear back and dare them to hit it. Save the nibbling for the post-game spread.

Amped up?

“Yeah, of course,” he said with a smile.

“I didn’t want to give up the same mistake as I did the day before, so definitely wanted to give my 110 percent, and sure enough, I think I did just that.”

Or at least 103.4.

Throwing on back-to-back days made Bautista unavailable last night, but the Orioles built a 7-1 lead and never let it get below four runs in a 10-3 victory over the Reds. When he pitches again, the blown save and the 21st success will be forgotten. Stashed away to collect dust.

Bautista understands how a short memory is needed to enjoy a long career.

Wait for the phone to ring, stand up, get warm and bring the heat.

“If I have a really bad outing, I think it’s important to leave that in the past, leave it behind, and come back the next day with a fresh new mindset and ready to go for whatever is ahead that day,” he said. “Not think about what happened the day prior.”

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