Jackson Holliday's first MLB hit keys winning rally, O's top the Brewers

He had to wait until his third at-bat today and the 14th of his major league career, but Jackson Holliday’s first hit came in the last of the seventh today. And it helped fuel a game-winning, two-run rally for the Orioles.

With the O's trailing 4-3 after Milwaukee's Blake Perkins homered off Yennier Cano in the top of the seventh, Jordan Westburg led off the home seventh and punched a single into left.

Then Holliday had his big moment.

Off reliever Abner Uribe, he hit a 1-0 two-seamer at 99.3 mph into right field for a groundball single at 101.4 mph off the bat. Westburg scampered to third and a rally was brewing in Birdland. That hit made Holliday now 1-for-14.

Gunnar Henderson followed with a line single to right to score a run and tie it 4-4, and Holliday made a dash for third and beat the throw. That was important as the next batter, Adley Rutschman, grounded into a 6-3 double play. But because he was on third, Holliday scored the go-ahead run for the 5-4 lead.  

The O’s bullpen held the late lead and the Orioles improved to 9-6 overall, winning it 6-4 in front of 35,085 in Baltimore.

The Orioles have now gone 96 straight regular-season series of at least two decisions without being swept.

This fact still holds true: The last sweep they suffered in the regular season was at Detroit, where they went 0-3 May 13-15, 2022. Their last time being swept at home was an 0-3 series versus Tampa Bay Aug. 27-29, 2021.

It had to be a relief for Holliday to get that first hit out of the way. 

"Saw a first-pitch slider and was able to take it, and then I knew a heater was coming. Glad to be able to square it up and get a hit," Holliday said after the game on MASN. He went 1-for-4 and is now 1-for-15. 

"Very excited to get it out of the way, I'm looking forward to tomorrow," he said. 

Holliday was asked about running first to third in that inning.

"They preach in the minor leagues to try and go first to third as much as possible. Got a good opportunity to do it and went for it," he said.

Holliday said he will likely keep the ball from his first hit somewhere in his house.

Hot-hitting Colton Cowser provided an insurance run with a solo homer in the eighth, his fourth of the 2024 season. He's batting .441 with a 1.445 OPS

After starter Corbin Burnes went five innings today the O's bullpen allowed one run over four innings as Cano, Danny Coulombe and Craig Kimbrel combined for the last six outs. Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his third O's save and the 420th of his career. Kimbrel stranded two runners and fanned three batters in the ninth. 

After scoring 22 runs in taking the first two games of this series, Milwaukee took a 1-0 lead today two pitches into the game versus their former ace.

The designated hitter, Williams Contreras, blasted a 1-0 Burnes cutter 420 feet just to the right of center field for the 1-0 lead. It was his fourth homer of the year and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. It was the Brewers’ first leadoff homer of 2024 and the first ever for Contreras, who had an OPS of 1.058 at game time.

It was the third homer Burnes has allowed in four starts in the first inning. In fact, of the four runs he had yielded over his first three Baltimore starts, three came on first-inning solo home runs. So, his ERA is 9.00 in the opening inning. He had allowed one run in all other innings of those three outings.

Henderson led off the O’s first against right-hander Colin Rea, was hit by a pitch and scored on Ryan O’Hearn’s one-out single for a 1-1 tie. After Henderson reached, he went to third on Adley Rutschman’s single ahead of O’Hearn’s base hit.

An inning later, Cedric Mullins led off the frame and homered to right-center, a 396-foot shot to give the O’s a 2-1 lead. It was No. 3 for Mullins, who has six-game hitting streak.

The Brewers, though, quickly tied with an attempted double steal in the top of the third with Sal Frelick at first and Blake Perkins on third and two outs. Frelick broke from first and Rutschman threw through to second baseman Jackson Holliday near the bag. Perkins broke home and made it while the O’s got the third out in a rundown, but the game was tied at two.

The Orioles quickly got the lead back on O’Hearn’s solo homer with two outs in the third. He hit No. 2 and they led 3-2 on his 408-foot blast.

But it got tied again at 3-3 on Burnes’ throwing error in the top of the fourth. With runners on first and second and no outs, Brice Turang dropped a bunt along the third-base line, Burnes fielded it, but threw wildly past first base as the third run scored. However, he would get a popout and two strikeouts with runners on second and third to keep it at 3-3.

But his pitch count grew to 74 and would end at 98 after five innings. In that fifth frame he pitched out of another small threat, getting out of a jam with a man on third and one out. The O’s cut down a run at home on a grounder to short, and Burnes' fifth strikeout would be his last today.

In his shortest of four O’s outings, Burnes allowed six hits and three runs (two earned) over five innings with two walks, five strikeouts, a homer allowed and a balk. He left without a decision and a 2.28 ERA for the season.

The Brewers broke that tie with Perkins' homer but that only served to set the stage for another Baltimore comeback win, fueled by Holliday's first big league hit.

Milwaukee began today leading the majors batting .395 with runners in scoring position and today went just 2-for-17. 

Milwaukee falls to 10-4 and 7-2 on the road as its four-game win streak ends.

Here are the pitching matchups for the Orioles and Minnesota:

Monday – Cole Irvin (0-1, 8.10 ERA) vs. Louie Varland (0-2, 9.00 ERA).

* Tuesday – Grayson Rodriguez (2-0, 2.50 ERA) vs. Chris Paddack (0-0, 4.15 ERA).

* Wednesday – Tyler Wells (0-2, 5.87 ERA) vs. Pablo López (1-2, 4.86 ERA).

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