Based on his accomplished amateur and minor league careers, it seemed that when Adley Ratschmann started hitting, he would do so in bunches. The evidence seems to be building up.
Baseball’s top prospect slapped a game-winning single into center field to snap a scoreless tie in the seventh inning of a 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night. Rutschmann’s first go-forward hit provided his first RBI at Camden Yards, and he also caught right-hander Dean Kramer and a combined shutout from three relievers.
After playing 20 games in his major league career without an RBI, Rutschmann has now scored in three straight games. He has also reached base in eight consecutive appearances with a 10-for-29 (.345). in that period.
His looping single in the center was the Orioles’ first hit in six at-bats with a runner in the scoring position, coming against reliever Calvin Foucher, when Ray’s right-hander Shane Baz, a fellow top prospect, hit Baltimore ( 29-37) without a score. Six innings. But Kramer equaled them, putting together his first scoreless outing between his 20 major league starts.
Kramer reduced his ERA to 2.35 through three starts after coming off the injured list after suffering a left oblique strain during warm-up to face the Rays during the first series of the season. Kramer allowed a pair of hits in his final frame, but both were wiped out at base, with Ratschmann trying to catch a base-stealer in second, before right-fielder Anthony Santander hit G-Man Choi. in second place in an attempt to extend his single.
After Felix Bautista dropped out of the team in seventh place, Ryan Mountcastle, who was tied for the American League lead in extra-base hits for the month, entered the game in the right-angled corner of Camden Yards’ new left-field wall. I doubled. He considered top for third, but he managed to score from second on Reutsman’s single.
Bautista returned to record his first of eighth before being handed to Cionel Pérez, who allowed consecutive singles before the strikeout. Manager Brandon Hyde then brought closer Jorge López, who recorded his final four outs via strikeout, for his fifth multi-inning save. Lopez, who struggled in Baltimore’s rotation for most of 2021, is now tied for the major leagues in saves of four or more outsiders. In the past 15 years, only Mychal Givens has recorded more in a season among the Orioles, with six in 2019.
Akin, Santander rejoin the team
With the team returning from Toronto – where players who are not vaccinated against the coronavirus are barred from playing – the Orioles activated Santander and left-arm reliever Keegan Akin from the banned list and substitutes Kyle Stowers and Rico Garcia were returned to Triple-A.
Santander was back in third place in the Orioles lineup, while Akin was available out of the bullpen, where he posted a 2.61 ERA in 16 multi-inning outings on Friday. before the game, Hyde was asked whether, given his important roles on the team, he had spoken to him about his vaccine statuses.
“I’ve talked to them, and it’s their choice,” Hyde said. “And I leave it to them. They’re the big guys. They’re going to make their own decisions, and I can give them their opinion, but people can make their own decisions. I can’t convince them or them about it.” I can try to give my views, but it ultimately depends on them.”
9 prospect of the Orioles according to Baseball America, Stowers, in his first major league tenure, went 1-for-7 with an RBI double.
“Just a good experience for them,” Hyde said. “They got two starts, and they faced [Alek] Manoh and [José] Welcome to the big leagues, Berios. But it’s good for him to experience that and then go back down and understand what early pitching looks like here because it’s totally different from Triple-A, it’s totally different from minor leagues. The starter you face is different, then you can’t replicate the bullpen arms that hit you.
“For him to be able to experience this, I think it’s an invaluable part of development.”
around the horn
>> Outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz, on the Triple-A injured list since early May after a recurrence of a right hamstring strain in mid-April, began a rehab assignment in the Florida Complex League.
>> Reliever Joy Krehbiel (swelling of the right shoulder) must be “healthy” from the 15-day injured list to be active when first eligible on Saturday, Hyde said.
>> Triple-A Norfolk pitching coach Justin Ramsey has temporarily joined the Orioles, allowing him to get a taste of the major league environment and work with a number of pitchers since joining the organization in 2019. “It is really rewarding for them to see this. It’s what it looks like here before,” Hyde said. “Just a personal big league perspective different from being on TV. I think it’s really beneficial for her, also beneficial for the people who’ve done it.”
>> The Orioles, currently with 14 pitchers on their 26-man roster, will have to reduce them to 13 and add a position player before the first match of Tuesday’s series against the Washington Nationals. Hyde said the Orioles have started talks about that move, but will wait for anything to be official until closer to that point.
This story will be updated.
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