Odor home run in eighth inning gives Orioles 6-5 win over Blue Jays (updated)

The Orioles lost their lead tonight in the top of the sixth inning, then watched the tarp pulled onto the field before the rain arrived. Hurt by their own mistakes and what they couldn’t control.

They handled it with the same confidence and composure that’s guided them through the season. Always finding rays of light after a heavy downpour of disappointment.

This one almost got away from them. But it’s a different team in 2022.

Rougned Odor hit a two-run homer off Yimi García in the bottom of the eighth inning to rally the Orioles past the Blue Jays 6-5 at Camden Yards following a 1 hour, 18 minute rain delay.

Bo Bichette slugged his second home run of the night in the sixth inning, a go-ahead three-run shot on a two-strike pitch from reliever Bryan Baker. Ryan Mountcastle drew the Orioles within a run in the seventh on a double that scored Adley Rutschman, and Odor followed Austin Hays’ leadoff single in the eighth by driving a changeup 415 feet to right-center field.

Deep into the seats. Sending what remained of an announced crowd of 11,080 into a frenzy.

"Lots to digest here," said manager Brandon Hyde.

Odor "really takes his best at-bats when the game is on the, I feel like, a lot of times," Hyde said. "He understands the situation and we've seen him get huge hits for us in big moments. And he loves being in that spot. Great to see him come through."

Baker replaced starter Kyle Bradish with one out in the sixth after Alejandro Kirk singled to score Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who singled to extend his hitting streak to 20 games and advanced on a wild pitch. Kirk moved to second after Odor hesitated on the relay and made a wide throw to the plate, Matt Chapman walked against Baker, and Bichette reached the front of the flag count in right field on a 99 mph fastball.

Bichette also caught the edge of the court with his solo homer off Bradish in the second, but the Orioles fought back and improved to 58-52, putting them six games above .500 for the first time since May 23, 2017.

They headed indoors just a half-game back for the final playoff spot and a half-game behind the Rays for third place.

When do the doubters begin to believe?

"That's what we've been doing all year," Bradish said. "Coming back late in games, putting together good ABs, and our bullpen's picked us up. If I can leave the game with a chance to win, then we're in good hands."

The Orioles led 2-0 in the first, 3-1 in the third and, most important, 6-5 at the end, after Félix Bautista notched his sixth save and second in two nights.

There was some tension after Odor's second error of the game, another errant throw on Santiago Espinal's infield hit with one out that brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate. Bautista responded by striking out Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and retiring Guerrero on a two-strike liner to Odor.

"I didn't like the 0-2 hittable fastball, even though it's whatever it was, 100, 101," Hyde said, smiling. "That wasn't what the plan was going in for me. I would have loved to see the pitches he threw to Gurriel to Guerrero, but he got it done. It's a great feeling for him."

"It's unbelievable," Bradish said. "The guy throws 100, really devastating splitter, good slider. From starting in high A last year and finishing in Triple-A, and breaking camp this year, it's a great story."

Bautista entered to a light show, a hype video shot earlier today, and the sound of late actor Michael K. Williams' character, Omar, from the Baltimore-based series "The Wire" whistling "The Farmer in the Dell," which the team debuted last night in a quieter version.

"I missed the beginning of it, to be 100 percent honest," Hyde said. "I did catch the end, and if it pumps up Bautista and our team and the crowd, I love it. I remember the Trevor Hoffman days (with San Diego). There were some cool moments with some closers I've seen. It brings energy to the ballpark."

"I love that," Odor said. "He deserves it. He's been pitching so good, and with that, I think that pushes him a little bit more to pitch better."

Mountcastle’s second double, this one to the right field fence off Adam Cimber with two outs in the seventh, tightened the margin and made it possible for Odor to spin the advantage with one swing. His 11th home run of the season.

Odor was 1-for-18 this month before tonight, but he's stayed in the lineup.

"One, the way he turns the double play, and the defense," Hyde said. "For me, the reason why our record is what it is is because we're staying in the game on the mound, our bullpen's been really good and we've been playing outstanding defense. It's not because we're outscoring people, it's because of what we've done in a team defense situation, and Roogie's been a big part of that. For me, that's why we've won a lot of games. And Roogie's come up with some big hits for us.

"I love the attitude that he brings. I feel like he brings some toughness to us, I think that he brings some edge, I love what he's like in the dugout, attitude-wise, and he comes ready to play. I think it's rubbed off on others this year, so I appreciate that."

Odor has 10 career go-ahead home runs in the eighth inning or later, including two this season.

"It's kind of unbelievable," Bradish said. "I feel like he's always up in a big start and he's been delivering."

"I'm just trying to help my team to win," Odor said. "When those situations come, I just focus more and try to do my best to help my team win.

"I think we just believe in each other. We believe in everybody in the lineup, we believe in every pitcher. And when you believe, when we play together like that and we believe in each other, good things happen, and I think that's what we've been doing. That's what we're going to keep doing.

"You look around, there's a lot of good players on this team. A lot of young guys that not many people know, but it's a lot of good talent on this team. We play together like that and we have fun, and when we have fun, a lot of good things happen."

It was a party in the dugout after he returned to it.

"Oh my God, it was amazing," he said. "When all your team is waiting for you like that, it's the best feeling ever."

The storm arrived after the Jays batted in the sixth, with head groundskeeper Nicole Sherry staying ahead of it and her crew getting the infield covered before the first drops appeared.

There were a bunch of them, accompanied by high winds and fans who didn’t heed the warning running for shelter.

The same replay system that infuriated the Orioles on Sunday, overturning an out at the plate and opening the door to a four-run inning, rewarded them tonight in the first.

A triple play left the Orioles with nothing except questions about its validity. A reversed call loaded the bases with no outs, and they scored twice against Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah.

Cedric Mullins, back in the leadoff spot, drew a walk in the first inning and Rutschman singled. Center fielder Whit Merrifield was ruled to have made a sliding catch on Anthony Santander’s shallow fly ball, leaving the Orioles confused and frozen on the bases.

They were doubled off second and first and the Jays tried to leave the field, but the stadium replay showed Merrifield trapping the ball, and the guys in New York actually agreed.

"Was that yesterday?" Hyde quipped. "It was a big play. I was hoping we'd get that one, and we did. And they got it right. I liked it."

Mountcastle, the Toronto tormentor, swung at the first pitch and bounced into a 4-3 double play to score Mullins, and Terrin Vavra lined a run-scoring single into right field for a 2-0 lead.

The Jays got a run back in the top of the second on Bichette’s full-count homer off Bradish, who was charged with three runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings. Baker replaced him after 80 pitches.

Santander appeared to score in the third on a wild pitch, but that call also was overturned. The ball hit Vavra’s foot and he swung, sending the runners back to second and third base with one out. He flied to deep center field to bring home Santander, who was hit by a pitch and moved up on Mountcastle’s automatic double.

The ball hopped the center field fence and denied Mountcastle another RBI against the Jays. He’d get one later.

The defense supported Bradish early. Odor made a nice pick to start a flashy 4-6-3 double play in the third, Mullins raced back in the fourth and reached above his head to grab Matt Chapman’s fly ball – it had an expected batting average of .710 – and the Orioles turned a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Manoah, who shut out the Orioles on one hit over six innings in June, allowed three runs and eight hits in five innings. He walked one, struck out five and was gone after 77 pitches.

The Orioles littered the bases against him but didn’t take full advantage. Three singles in the fourth inning produced nothing after Odor got caught in a rundown between second and third base. Santander was stranded in the fifth after a leadoff single.

Former Orioles minor leaguer Zach Pop was announced into the game before it rained, so he’s credited with an appearance but didn’t pitch. Louis Head made his Orioles debut in the seventh, became their 53rd player this season and didn’t allow a run in 1 1/3 innings. Nick Vespi stranded two of his runners with two strikeouts.

Can’t ignore what Vespi did. It was critical to the outcome.

"Head in his first appearance did a great job, and Vespi with two huge outs there to keep the score there," Hyde said.

Rutschman has 10 walks in his last six games, the most by an Oriole in that span in the same season since Nick Markakis in June 2008.

The Orioles have claimed three consecutive series for the second time this season. It also happened in June during a 10-game winning streak.

These teams have 13 games remaining against each other, with a return trip to Canada next week.

Down on the farm, left-hander Alexander Wells tossed a scoreless and hitless inning with the Florida Complex League team in his first rehab start. He struck out two batters.

Triple-A Norfolk’s Kyle Stowers hit his 19th home run, a grand slam, and drove in five runs. Jordan Westburg’s eighth home run was a three-run shot, and he finished with four RBIs.

Matt Harvey allowed four runs and three hits in six innings, the damage including three home runs.

Double-A Bowie’s César Prieto hit a three-run homer. Colton Cowser had two hits and is batting .357 with a 1.118 OPS. Coby Mayo returned to the Baysox from his injury rehab assignment and went 1-for-3 with a walk.

Drew Rom allowed three runs and seven hits with seven strikeouts in five innings.

High Single-A Aberdeen’s Trendon Craig had three hits and two RBIs. Heston Kjerstad went 0-for-4 and is batting .194 with a 587 OPS with the IronBirds.

Single-A Delmarva’s Isaac De Leon hit his eighth home run.

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