Hays gives back through scholarship program and Voth has another good one

CINCINNATI - Orioles outfielder Austin Hays said he is humbled by O’s fans support of him in his time with the team and now he wants to give back.

He has started “The Austin Hays Scholarship” and some youngsters currently in high school and college can get a $20,000 boost for their education.

It is for kids from low-income families and only for Maryland students. An essay is needed, and applicants can apply for the scholarship through August 28 at go.bold.org/AustinHays.

“I was talking to my agent and we just thought it was a really good time to try and give back to the Baltimore community that has given a lot to me and my family over the years,” Hays told me Sunday before the game in Cincinnati.

“Been around here now since 2016 so it feels like I have gotten so much out of the community and the organization, so I was able to talk to the team and get them to partner with me in donating to the scholarship and they would match it. We can help out an underprivileged kid in the community that is in high school or college and needs a little help trying to pay for school. Not everyone has the same opportunity. Just want to do my part to help the community.”

Hays is excited for the project and eager to give back to fans who he said have given him so much.

“I am humbled by the blessings I’ve received from this team, this organization and the community here. And the support that I have had from the fans," Hays said. "These last few years were really tough but they stuck with us and we are really starting to see how great a fanbase this is now that we are starting to win some games again.

“You look here, we’re in Cincinnati and there is probably half Orioles fans. They have stuck behind us and just want to give something back to them."

The players have been impressed with the O's fans' turnout on the road in recent weeks.

“Just shows they are seeing that we are turning the corner and they want to be a part of it," said Hays. "They want to support us and help us continue to win games. They are showing out and they are making it loud in these visiting ballparks. It’s just adding to the fire that we have each and every night and adding to the energy this that this team brings."

Another good one for Voth: The Orioles didn’t win the series finale in Cincinnati Sunday, but it was through no fault of Austin Voth. The right-hander has been pitching well for the Orioles since they added him, and that continued at Great American Ball Park.

He threw five scoreless on four hits with no walks and six strikeouts. Voth threw 77 pitches and lowered his ERA as an Oriole to 2.84 in 11 games and seven starts.

“He was outstanding,” said manager Brandon Hyde, who has said he has always liked Voth’s stuff. “At the max there, him going three innings the last time and goes five innings for us. Quite tired there in the fifth. Was really, really good. Left in a 0-0 game. We just didn’t score.

“I think he is excited to start. We like his starter stuff. He’s got a really good curveball and had a really good cutter today. I love that he’s really competitive. And pitched extremely well. I think he is enjoying this opportunity and trying to run with it.”

Nationals fans saw Voth pitch to an ERA of 10.13 in 19 games this year for their club, and his career ERA with Washington was 5.70. Now he seems to have turned it around with the Orioles. He said analytics have played a part in that.

“Just executing my best pitches to certain locations," he said. "In the past it’s always been execution of my pitches to the middle part of the plate. Now I am trying to focus on more to the four corners of the strike zone and that’s really helping me a lot.”

Sunday he threw 36 percent fastballs and 34 percent curveballs.

“It (the curve) was a weapon for me to use for sure. Good to be able to throw that pitch for strikes and out of the strike zone as well today. And then I was mixing in some changeups as well and that’s a key pitch that I’m going to need to continue to use," said Voth.

Sunday's game was the first time in Voth's career in which he threw at least five innings and allowed zero earned runs.

On to Texas: The Orioles head to Texas to continue their road trip tonight, and are looking for some offense. In a hitters ballpark the last two days, they scored just four runs on 12 hits and had just one extra-base hit in back-to-back losses to the Cincinnati Reds. They went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

So the O's begin play tonight at 51-51 for the year and at 14-14-4 in series this season.

They scored just 10 runs in three games at Great American Ball Park, and four of those came in the ninth inning Friday. That rally and victory looked like it might give the O's momentum to roll through the series, but that did not happen.

They have gotten some good starting pitching recently, as Jordan Lyles, Kyle Bradish and Voth allowed two earned runs or less in three of the past four games.

But overall, O's starting pitchers have now gone 14 straight games without a quality start since Lyles allowed two runs in seven innings July 12 at Wrigley Field. 




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