Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (0-0, 3.60 ERA) tonight makes his Oriole Park debut and his second career start as the Orioles' four-game series with the Oakland Athletics continues.
The Orioles (5-5) beat Oakland (2-8) by 5-1 on Monday to start this series as Ryan Mountcastle hit a two-run homer in the first inning before Adley Rutschman and Austin Hays added solo shots. It was Rutschman's first time in the majors homering in back-to-back games.
The Orioles have been at .500 five times at 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4 and now 5-5. Oakland has lost five in a row and been outscored 42-10 in those games. In the last three games, opponents have outscored the A’s 27-1.
The Orioles offense has scored 50 runs through the first 10 games and posted a team batting line of .236/.325/.432/.757. They have produced six multi-home run games thus far, and scored five runs or more six times.
Rodriguez made his anticipated big league debut last Wednesday afternoon at Texas at Globe Life Field. He allowed two runs in the first inning, but nothing the rest of his outing. He went five innings and gave up four hits and two runs with one walk and five strikeouts, throwing 83 pitches, 53 for strikes.
Texas batters went 2-for-5 against him in the first, and then just 2-for-14 from the second through the fifth innings. Lefty batters were 1-for-9 that day, and right-handers went 3-for-10 with a double.
Tonight the first 10,000 fans ages 15 and older will receive a "Grayson Rodriguez, Welcome to the Show" T-shirt. The right-hander became the first Oriole to make his debut this season. Thirteen players, including seven pitchers, made their debuts for the O's in 2022. Rodriguez also became the first O's pitcher to start his major league debut since DL Hall on Aug. 13, 2022, and the youngest O's pitcher (23 years, 140 days) to start his debut since Kevin Gausman (22 years, 137 days) on May 23, 2013.
The 23-year-old right-hander is ranked as the No. 7 prospect currently in the Baseball America top 100, and is the second-highest-rated pitcher after the Phillies' Andrew Painter at No. 6 on their list. The MLBPipeline.com top 100 puts him at No. 5, one spot behind Painter at No. 4. With Gunnar Henderson now having graduated from prospects lists, Rodriguez is the current No. 1-rated prospect on the Orioles top 30 lists.
Lefty Kyle Muller (0-0, 2.53 ERA) makes his third start for Oakland. In two games he has thrown 10 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits and three runs and recording four walks to eight strikeouts. In his first start he allowed one run over five innings on 72 pitches versus the Los Angeles Angels. Then on Wednesday against Cleveland, he gave up four hits and two runs over 5 2/3 innings, throwing 95 pitches.
Atlanta drafted Muller in round two in the 2016 draft. The Braves traded him to Oakland on Dec. 12, 2022 in part of a nine-player, three-team deal.
In his two games this year, lefty batters are 2-for-6 (.333) against Muller, while right-handed batters are just 6-for-34 (.177). When pitching with runners in scoring position, he holds batters to a .083 (1-for-12) average.
Muller, who was Oakland’s Opening Day starter, pitched to a 6.50 ERA in five spring games. He has never faced the Orioles, and today is making his 14th career big league start.
Rutschman's homer off JP Sears in the third inning of last night's game marked his first longball from the right side of the plate this season. Entering today's games, Rutschman ranks among American League leaders in hits (T-4th, 15), average (5th, .375), on-base percentage (8th, .457), OPS (9th, 1.057), and total bases (T-9th, 24), and he ranks ninth in the majors in batting average.