Borgschulte on Orioles offense, Hays, Mateo and Henderson

Constant fluctuations in run production are expected over the course of a 162-game regular season. The dam bursts and is rebuilt.

The Orioles were shut out against the Yankees on May 1 and scored seven runs the following day. They beat the Reds 2-1 in Cincinnati, erupted for 11 runs in the next game and lost 3-0 in D.C. They totaled seven runs in a three-game stretch, opened the weekend Mariners series with a 9-2 win and were no-hit last night through five innings before Gunnar Henderson's three-run homer off Sonny Gray.

The club ranked 21st in the majors in runs scored this month with 64 heading into last night’s game in St. Louis after ranking fourth in the majors and first in the American League with 132 in April.

“We’re just continuing to work through it,” said co-hitting coach Matt Borgschulte. “We just want to continue to take good at-bats and put pressure on the pitcher and hopefully continue to grind out some more good at-bats like we did (Saturday) night and first game of the series.”

Austin Hays was putting together better at-bats right before his left calf strain in Kansas City. He had hits in five of six games heading into last night.

“I love to see him in there working hard, stretching out a double the other day, scoring on a short passed ball,” Borgschulte said. “The way he plays the game is great and it brings a lot of energy to our team.”

One of the most surprising developments of the season is Jorge Mateo’s emergence as the everyday second baseman. Maybe he’s just keeping the position warm for Jackson Holliday, but he collected hits in seven of his last eight games before last night and was 8-for-28.

“He’s done a great job,” Borgschulte said. “Another guy who brings a lot of energy. Get him on the basepaths, a lot of cool things can happen. He’s using the whole field. He’s coming into some of the potential that everyone knows he has. And he’s an exciting player, especially when he’s producing like that.”

Ryan Mountcastle was out of the lineup for the second time in three games. He slashed .293/.351/.485 in March/April but was 12-for-60 (.200) with a .600 OPS, no walks and 15 strikeouts this month before last night.

Manager Brandon Hyde explained Saturday’s absence as a day off, and he told the assembled media in St. Louis that Mountcastle was receiving “a little bit of a break.”

Sounds similar to what happened with Cedric Mullins when he sat for back-to-back games.

“He’s fine,” Hyde said of Mountcastle. “He’s going to be back in there the next couple of days. Just little bit of a break today."

Henderson seems immune to the ebbs and flows. He’s playing at a consistently high level, beginning yesterday leading the team in triples, homers, RBIs, slugging percentage, OPS and runs scored, tying for first in stolen bases, and ranking second in hits, walks and on-base percentage. He's homered in four consecutive games.

Henderson also is playing Gold Glove defense at shortstop, including that ridiculous backhand stop and throw last night to end the fifth. Jordan Westburg can't make the diving grab and Henderson, backing him up, did the impossible again.

The ninth inning home run Saturday night was only the third from a left-handed batter to clear the left field wall at Camden Yards since it was moved back prior to the 2022 season. Henderson joined teammate Adley Rutschman and the Dodgers’ Josh Outman.

“He’s a special player and he’s fun to watch,” Borgschulte said. “I think there’s only like three guys who have gone over that wall and that might have been the most impressive one, especially off a 100-mph fastball. He just continues to get better, which is an exciting thing for this team.”

"I'm running out of adjectives, honestly,” Hyde said yesterday. “I need to start bringing a thesaurus when I'm getting interviewed about Gunnar. It's unbelievable what he's doing and how good he is, in every single way."

Henderson briefly led the majors with 15 home runs before Houston’s Kyle Tucker tied him Sunday by hitting two. Henderson fired back again last night.

Alex Rodriguez (2002 and 2003), Ernie Banks (1958 and 1960) and Herman Long (1900) are the only shortstops to finish first.

Victories matter more, of course, but Henderson won’t pretend that it isn’t meaningful to join that list.

“Who wouldn’t say they want to be at the top in home runs in the major leagues?” he said. “Just going out there and trying to help the team win, and if homers come with it, then so be it.”

Every day Gunnar: He homers for fourth straight ga...
Kremer struggles, Henderson homers again, but O's ...

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to