MILWAUKEE – Josh Lester hadn’t heard from the Orioles on Tuesday and took it as a positive sign.
They needed to make a corresponding move while reinstating left-hander Danny Coulombe from the bereavement list. Lester’s contract was selected over the weekend with Coulombe leaving the club, giving the Orioles 14 position players.
Sending Lester back down seemed like the predictable move. That’s often how it works. However, the club decided to option another left-handed hitter, Terrin Vavra, and keep Lester on the bench for the Milwaukee series.
“Obviously, I knew who I came up for and kind of the situation, the timetable of that,” Lester said, “but I didn’t know what would happen.”
So, how did Lester find out that he was staying in the majors after collecting his first hit and RBIs on Sunday?
“My fiancé (Maddie) called me. I didn’t even know,” he said.
“She was like, ‘Did you see on Twitter the move they made?’ And then she told me what happened and everything. It was like 2 o’clock or something, I was getting ready to get on the bus. I was changing, getting ready to leave, and she told me.
“You just kind of find out, unless they call you and let you know.”
Lester pinch-hit for Ryan McKenna with two outs in the 10th inning and struck out to strand two runners. Earlier in the at-bat, he lined a ball to deep right that hooked foul.
* The Orioles’ 20 road wins in their first 30 games were tied for second-most in club history with the 1997 and 1966 teams. The 1969 team won 23.
Most fans can figure out what these clubs have in common – the playoffs.
The 1966 Orioles won the franchise’s first championship. The ’69 team lost to the Mets in the World Series.
The 1997 Orioles lost to the Indians in the American League Championship Series.
The 1960, 1970 and 2005 Orioles had 18 road wins in 30 games. The ’70 club beat the Reds in the World Series.
* Also from STATS, Kyle Gibson’s seven wins before June tied with Rick Sutcliffe in 1992 for second-most in club history behind Jimmy Key’s nine in 1997. Jason Hammel (2012), Kris Benson (2006), Dave Schmidt (1987) and Mike Cuellar (1969) had six.
Digging a little deeper on Gibson, those seven wins were the most by a pitcher through his first 12 games with the Orioles since Brian Matusz in 2009-10. Key is the last pitcher with eight wins in his first 13 games with the Orioles.
* Adley Rutschman began last night ranked fourth in the American League with a .402 on-base percentage and was tied for third in the majors with 43 walks, trailing Juan Soto (56) and Kyle Schwarber (44).
After going hitless in three at-bats, Rutschman reached on an infield single in the eighth – beating out a ground ball to second baseman Luis Urías, who thought he had more time – and drew an intentional walk in the 10th.
Rutschman is attempting to become the first catcher to post a .400 on-base percentage since Buster Posey (.400) in 2017, and the first American League catcher since Joe Mauer (.404) in 2013.
* Ryan Mountcastle went 0-for-4 last night, robbed of a single on a diving stop and throw by third baseman Abraham Toro. He had a hit in each of his last two games in San Francisco.
File this one under oddities, unless you can come up with a logical reason for it:
Mountcastle began last night with a career .612 slugging percentage in June that ranked second among all-time Orioles behind Albert Belle’s .651.
The weather starts to heat up, but not too much? The May flowers from April showers put him in a better mood in June?
I have no idea.
Hall of Famer Frank Robinson is third with a .575 June slugging percentage, followed by Cedric Mullins at .573 and Randy Milligan at .560.