It’s fun to win and so it was fun around Birdland last night, as the Orioles and their four minor league teams combined for another perfect 5-0 night.
The Orioles beat the Mets 10-3 and again got contributions throughout the lineup, which was great to see. As the O’s have gotten their core hitters in the middle of the order back healthy and hitting in Trey Mancini, Ryan Mountcastle and Anthony Santander, with a big push at the top, of course, from center fielder Cedric Mullins, it takes some pressure of the bottom of the lineup.
Hitters know those big four can carry a load each night, and they just want to do their part.
Through the third inning last night, it was hitters five through nine that put the Orioles ahead. Batting eighth, second baseman Pat Valaika had a big two-run double in the second and an RBI double an inning later.
Freddy Galvis, Pedro Severino, Maikel Franco, Valaika and Ryan McKenna went a combined 6-for-10 in the first three innings, batting 5-9 with four doubles, four runs and three RBIs. It was the bottom half that got another big night of O’s offense going.
“I thought tonight we took really good at-bats,” manager Brandon Hyde said on his Zoom call. “Once again, up and down the order, a lot of production from the bottom half of the order. ... Just a balanced offensive attack tonight, just a lot of deep counts. We weren’t chasing much, putting the pressure on them, ran the bases well. Just a good ballgame.”
The bottom half added to their output when Franco became the sixth player to hit a ball into the second deck at Oriole Park and third Oriole, following Mark Reynolds in 2011 and Manny Machado in 2017. His three-run blast made it an 8-2 O’s lead in the fifth.
The Orioles are 22-38 games at the 60-game mark, three fewer wins than the 2020 team posted in that shortened 60-game season, when they went 25-35.
An oddity from last night’s game was that the Orioles batted 16 times with a runner or runners in scoring position and had seven hits. New York went 0-for-0 with RISP on the night.
Over back-to-back games in which they scored a total of 28 runs, the Orioles have gone 37-for-82 (.451) at bat with 10 doubles and four home runs. They went 11-for-18 with RISP Sunday and 7-for-16 last night for a combined total of 18-for-34 (.529).
After ending May with some brutally tough losses, scoring one, one and two runs, the Orioles have scored 48 runs in going 5-1 in June. In order, they’ve scored seven, six, three, four, 18 and 10.
They produced season highs in doubles (seven) and extra-base hits (nine) and scored 10 or more in two straight games for the first time since June 28-29, 2019, when they beat Cleveland 13-0 two nights in a row. They lost that series finale 2-0 the next day. Let’s see what tonight holds after 28 runs in two games.
The O’s farm went 4-0 last night.
Norfolk 4, Jacksonville 3: Austin Hays began a rehab assignment and hit a solo homer. Jahmai Jones returned off the injured list and went 1-for-3 with a bases-loaded walk for the Triple-A Norfolk Tides. Starter Dean Kremer went 4 2/3 innings, allowing one hit and three runs with three walks and seven strikeouts.
Bowie 12, Binghamton 0: Double-A Bowie started a six-game road series improving the best record in the minors to 22-7. This was the Baysox’s fourth shutout. Grayson Rodriguez went the first five innings on two hits with two walks and six strikeouts. He is now 2-0 with an 0.90 ERA in two Double-A starts. In seven games for the year, he is 5-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 0.78 WHIP with 54 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings. Not hard to see why he moved up to No. 11 this week in the updated Baseball America top 100 and is now the highest-rated pitching prospect in baseball.
Lefty Cameron Bishop completed the shutout for Bowie with four scoreless innings on one hit, lowering his ERA to 3.70. Outfielder Johnny Rizer went 4-for-5 with three runs and three RBIs, and is batting .485 (16-for-33) in seven games since joining Bowie, with three doubles, a triple, a homer and nine RBIs. Cadyn Grenier had three more hits and three RBIs and is batting .293.
Aberdeen 10, Bowling Green 1: The high Single-A IronBirds are now 20-9. Jordan Westburg had a two-run triple while Toby Welk went 2-for-4 with three runs and is batting .311. Lefty Drew Rom improved to 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA, allowing four hits and one run over six innings,
Delmarva 3, Lynchburg 2: The low Single-A Shorebirds are now 21-9. Christopher Cespedes hit a two-run homer and Gunnar Henderson went 1-for-4 with his 36th RBI. Righty Noah Denoyer allowed one hit over five scoreless innings and is 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA.
The four starting pitchers from last night - Kremer, Rodriguez, Rom and Denoyer - pitched a combined 20 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits and four runs with eight walks to 25 strikeouts. That is an ERA of 1.74.
Grayson Rodriguez struck out six more batters tonight and didn’t allow a run. He’s 2-0 with Bowie.-- Bowie Baysox (@BowieBaysox) June 9, 2021
Gas. Him. Up. pic.twitter.com/pT2CU2m7Xe
MAIKY MOONSHOT TO THE SECOND DECK! pic.twitter.com/RfDBHoluba-- Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) June 9, 2021