The idea of platooning Orioles second baseman Rougned Odor doesn’t seem to carry the same logic as it did earlier in the season.
Manager Brandon Hyde kept Odor in the lineup tonight against Mariners left-hander Robbie Ray. One pitch validated his decision.
Odor jumped on a slider from Ray in the second inning and drove it to the back of the flag court for a three-run homer. And the Orioles were just getting started.
Didn’t matter who was on the mound. Didn’t matter where the ball was hit.
Ryan Mountcastle, Ramón Urías and Trey Mancini homered in the sixth inning after Sergio Romo entered the game, and the Orioles cruised to a 9-2 win at steamy Camden Yards.
Mountcastle and Urías went back-to-back before Romo recorded an out. Mancini, frustrated the previous inning when his fly ball hit the very top of the left field wall, delivered a two-run shot into the bullpen for a 9-2 lead.
If at first you don’t succeed, try someplace else.
"He smoked that ball into left-center," Hyde said of Mancini, who's slashing .358/.445/.505 since May 8. "He's not hitting with the kind of power that he would like to right now, but it's a matter of time, because he's obviously got huge power, and good to see him hit one over the wall there. Love the way he's swinging the bat right now. He's hitting the ball hard most nights."
Rookie Kyle Bradish fell an out short of completing the fifth as he attempted to execute a bounce back from his rough treatment in Boston. He allowed two runs and six hits, with two walks and six strikeouts. He threw 80 pitches. Cionel Pérez stranded two runners.
Pérez, Félix Bautista and Keegan Akin combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings with only two hits allowed, and the Orioles improved to 22-30. Akin retired all six batters.
The streak of 10-run margins ends at three games.
Bradish lasted only 1 2/3 innings Friday night against the Red Sox, his shortest start in the majors, and allowed six runs and six hits. The Orioles rallied for a 12-8 win.
The Mariners put a runner on base with two outs in each of the first three innings – two walks and Ty France’s infield hit - and didn’t score. J.P. Crawford led off the fourth with a home run to center field.
Taylor Trammell led off the fifth with a double, Bradish struck out the next two batters, France singled, pitching coach Chris Holt visited the mound as Pérez began to warm, and Julio Rodríguez reached on an infield hit to cut the lead to 3-2.
Bradish was removed and unable to factor into the decision. The game was in the balance and Hyde wanted his lefty against Crawford.
"Really impressed," Hyde said. "He was throwing 98 mph the first inning. There's some intent there with every pitch. His command was much better than it was his last start. I thought his stuff was really good. Kyle's going to be a really good starting pitcher in this league."
"What we kind of worked on was my mentality on the mound," Bradish said. "Last week it was a little off. This week, just wanted to go out and challenge hitters with every pitch.
"Definitely improving from the last one but there's always work to be done. I've got to find a way to get into the sixth inning, seventh inning, to save our bullpen."
Odor fielded Rodríguez’s bouncer behind the bag and flipped late to Jorge Mateo rather than get the out himself or throw to first. He was so confident that the challenge would bring a reversal that he headed to the dugout.
His bat was more on the mark.
"Roogie, huge three-run homer there to get us on the board there early against a really tough starter," Hyde said. "Great to see us tack on runs, which is something we talk quite a bit about, something we need to get better at. But did that tonight with some big homers."
Odor built an 11-game hitting streak that ended in the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader. He hit a three-run homer in Game 2.
His homer off the Yankees’ Michael King on May 24 also was a three-run shot.
The Orioles ran into two outs tonight on a pickoff/caught stealing. Mancini drove a ball 411 feet that ran into the top of the left field fence, another home run denied by the new dimensions, but he settled for the double and scored on Hays’ single for a 4-2 lead.
Mancini vented a bit as he rounded first base. He’d get the last laugh in the sixth.
Asked what went through his mind as he rounded first base on the disappointing double, Mancini smiled and said, "I think I've said enough about the wall. I've made it pretty clear what I think. And I was maybe planning to say more and then Mounty and Ramón go over it immediately after I hit it off the wall, so yeah, just got to hit it a little higher. But that should have been a homer.
"I hit it pretty well, but it kind of hit that Bermuda Triangle, the top of the wall out there."
Hays extended his hitting streak to 12 games with his RBI single.
Mountcastle and Urías hit balls over the wall that traveled a combined 835 feet. Odor walked and scored on Cedric Mullins’ double.
Mancini got into the act, and the Orioles had their first three-homer inning since a Sept. 14, 2020 game against the Braves. Mountcastle, DJ Stewart and José Iglesias muscled up in the third.
"It felt good," Mancini said, "but at the end of the day I'm just more proud of this team the way we bounce back. I think one of the biggest differences with this team is we lose 10-0 last night, really tough game, and then we come back today and washed it. I think in years prior we let days like that bleed into the next few days too many times, and that hasn't been the case at all this year, and I'm really proud of this team the way we respond the next day after those tough days."
Mountcastle and Urías did some playful teasing of Mancini before he batted in the sixth. They got the first laugh.
"Yeah, a little bit," Mancini said. "It was pretty funny right after they go back-to-back over the wall. Just got to hit it a little higher. Or to the right, as I learned."
"Him hitting the wall like that, it's 411 feet, for it to be a double is pretty absurd," Mountcastle said. "It was funny."
Teammates ignored Mancini when he first reached the bench, staring straight ahead as he walked past. Then, they leaped up and mobbed him.
"I didn't even realize it at first and then everybody was just sitting and looking straight ahead, and then I realized, yeah, I was getting the silent treatment," Mancini said. "It's been a while."