ATLANTA – Cedric Mullins was lowered in the order again last night against a left-hander, batting seventh while also being one of the first players credited with a 9-4 win over the Braves.
Anthony Santander homered twice, including a grand slam, but Mullins led off the seventh with a homer against Max Fried.
Mullins is 12-for-43 (.279) against southpaws, with six extra-base hits and 13 RBIs. He slashed .209/.265/.313 last season and drove in only 15 runs.
“Just continue to work,” he said. “I’ve said many times, just how I prepare against lefties going forward. I’ve had a lot of success, so just sticking with it.”
Mullins added a run-scoring single off right-hander Joe Jiménez in the seventh and he leads the team with 28 RBIs.
* The Orioles were 0-5 when Santander homered from both sides of the plate. Mullins mentioned how big it was for Santander that they finally won last night.
Just one of those quirky, inexplicable stats.
Santander has homered in back-to-back games 12 times in his career. His five RBIs last night are a career high.
* Ryan Mountcastle’s last eight hits are for extra bases dating back to April 30.
Mountcastle has six doubles and two home runs during that stretch.
Of course, this is going to lead to a search for the club record.
Chris Davis and Brady Anderson share it with 10 consecutive hits going for extra bases, according to STATS. Miguel Tejada (2006 and 2005), Cal Ripken Jr. (1987) and Frank Robinson (1966) are next with nine.
Mountcastle also has an extra-base hit in five straight games, the second-longest streak of his career. He had six in a row in 2021.
Mountcastle extended his on-base streak to 14 games. He reached in 17 straight from July 28-Aug. 26, 2021.
* I wrote a few days ago that Ramón Urías was the first Orioles player on Wednesday with four RBIs off the bench in a nine-inning game since Steve Clevenger on Sept. 11, 2015 against the Royals.
What about games that move past regulation?
Let’s give some love to Pedro Álvarez, who drove in four runs in a reserve role on April 6, 2018 at Yankee Stadium. The Orioles won 7-3, with Álvarez hitting a grand slam off Jonathan Holder in the 14th inning.
So, Álvarez did it in one swing after pinch-hitting for Danny Valencia in the 10th. Also impressive.
What I remember about that game beyond the slam, the first for Álvarez since 2012 with the Pirates, Manny Machado’s two home runs and Rule 5 pick Pedro Araújo’s first major league win was how the Yankees became depleted. Starter CC Sabathia left the game with hip soreness, catcher Gary Sánchez limped off the field with leg cramping right before Álvarez’s at-bat, third baseman Brandon Drury was removed with migraines and second baseman Tyler Wade came down with flu-like symptoms.
The game lasted five hours and 20 minutes. Yeah, I remember that, too.
* Veteran catcher Robinson Chirinos retired this week, making the Orioles his final team among the six over 11 seasons.
Chirinos was one of manager Brandon Hyde’s favorites, and his impact on the clubhouse is still felt.
“There’s no doubt about it,” Hyde said.
“He is a huge part of changing the culture last year, a huge part of getting these guys in there believing that they’re good enough to win in this league. Just the way he stood up in meetings, his presence, his dugout talk. I miss that. I miss having him around. He brought a lot to us and for our players. And for me personally, too. Coaches appreciate guys that speak up and pull guys aside and help direct them in the right way, and Robby did all of those things.
“It was great to see him in Texas, great to him and his son, and I wish him nothing but the best in retirement.”
Chirinos and Aldrey Rincones run the 7AR baseball training facility in Texas. Chirinos is widely viewed in the industry as coaching material if he chooses to stay in baseball. He could skip the minors and land on a major league staff.
“I’m sure he will. He definitely should. There’s no doubt,” Hyde said.
“He is a huge asset to anybody that hires him.”