Hays starting for AL in All-Star Game (plus tonight's lineups and notes)

Austin Hays vowed to play again before the All-Star break, a bruised left hip keeping him out of the lineup since Sunday.

The day he learned that he’d been selected to his first All-Star team.

Hays is on the bench again tonight, marked absent hours after he found out that he’s starting for the American League.

Baseball life is full of surprises for Hays, who said yesterday that the good news about his selection was “kind of short-lived” following his collision with Twins first baseman Donovan Solano. A knee to the hip bringing pain after his euphoria. The roller coaster that he didn’t want to ride.

He’s taking batting practice and working out, as he did yesterday in New York, and starting Tuesday night at T-Mobile Park due to injuries to Aaron Judge and Mike Trout.

The announcement came earlier today that Hays, the Rays’ Randy Arozarena and the Rangers’ Adolis García would comprise the AL’s outfield.

Cedric Mullins started in center field in 2021 at Trout’s injury replacement. Now, it’s Hays’ turn to experience it.

Hays is batting .312/.352/.491 with 22 doubles, two triples, eight home runs and 34 RBIs in 76 games.  His average is tied for second highest in the league.

Catcher Adley Rutschman and relievers Félix Bautista and Yennier Cano also are representing the Orioles. Rutschman will be busy Monday competing as the eighth seed in the Home Run Derby.

Gunnar Henderson stays atop the order tonight after collecting four hits in four innings last night, including a pair of home runs. Mullins is the only other player to accomplish the feat in club history. Henderson is the fifth rookie in team history to hit a leadoff home run, joining Mullins (twice in 2018), Joey Rickard (2016), Ryan Flaherty (2012) and Matt Angle (2011).

Henderson and Chris Richard (2000) are the only Orioles rookies with four hits and at least five RBIs in a game.

According to STATS, Henderson joined Don Wheeler in 1949 and Maikel Franco in 2015 as the only rookies to record four-plus hits and five-plus RBIs on the Yankees’ home field.

Following his own act may be impossible.

Adley Rutschman and Aaron Hicks are on the bench. Hicks was scratched yesterday with a sore left Achilles tendon.

Mullins is in center field. He’s also batting cleanup for the first time in his career.

Jordan Westburg is playing second base, and Colton Cowser is in left field. Ramón Urías is the first baseman.

Another unique lineup for the Orioles.

Cole Irvin’s last start came against the Twins and he held them to one run in five innings. He allowed six hits, walked three batters and struck out one.

The Rays have lost five games in a row, leaving the Orioles four behind them for first place in the division. They’re four ahead of the Yankees and Blue Jays.

The Orioles snapped a 12-game road losing streak to the Twins with a 3-1 victory on July 3, 2022.

They’re slugging .441 when batting with two outs, second best in the majors behind the Dodgers’ .446. But they’re slugging only .265 this month in those situations.

Right-hander Bailey Ober shut out the Orioles on two hits over seven innings on July 1, walking none and striking out eight in a 1-0 win. He’s registered a quality start in his last four outings and five of six.

Ober is receiving 2.23 runs of support, the lowest in the majors and the lowest by any starter since Chris Bassitt (2.15) in 2015 for a pitcher with a minimum of 75 innings, according to STATS.

The Twins (45-43) won two of three games at Camden Yards.

They’ve won their last three games and are the only team in the American League Central with a winning record.

For the Orioles
Gunnar Henderson 3B
Anthony Santander RF
Ryan O’Hearn DH
Cedric Mullins CF
Jordan Westburg 2B
Colton Cowser LF
Ramón Urías 1B
James McCann C
Jorge Mateo SS

Cole Irvin LHP

Baseball America’s mock draft 4.0 has the Orioles selecting TCU third baseman Brayden Taylor at No. 17. Taylor has 48 career home runs, including 23 this season.

For the Twins
Carlos Correa SS
Donavan Solano 1B
Byron Buxton DH
Kyle Farmer 2B
Willi Castro LF
José Miranda 3B
Christian Vázquez C
Max Kepler RF
Michael A. Taylor CF

Bailey Ober RHP

Steve Melewski is handling game coverage in Minnesota.

The game airs exclusively on Apple TV+.

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