The timing of Spenser Watkins’ start for the Orioles was bound to shift the attention away from him at various points in the night.
Grayson Rodriguez was pitching for Triple-A Norfolk in Charlotte. The internet is still a thing. You get the idea.
The No. 1 pitching prospect in baseball struck out a season-high 11 batters in 5 1/3 scoreless innings, his fastball registering at 98-99 mph per Statcast. Screens on laptops in the press box were flipped like hotcakes.
Rodriguez exited the game in the sixth after an error and walk disturbed his evening. The out came when he covered third base on a fly ball force play – you had to be there - and Mike Baumann stranded the runners.
Watkins, meanwhile, was facing the team with the best record in baseball, and with Aaron Judge returning to its lineup. Judge had an RBI double and home run through the third, Watkins was removed after the fourth with the Orioles leading, and Judge greeted Joey Krehbiel with a game-tying 422-foot home run.