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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Ryan Mountcastle’s homer, Orioles bullpen beat Jordan Lyles 6-5 to win over Blue Jays

It all could have been very different if the ball had been a few feet to the right. It was quite the distance – landing on the highest deck at Rogers Center – but Teoscar Hernandez turned to home plate instead of starting the trot of a Grand Slam.

And a pitch later, Jordan Lyles knocked out Hernandez, trapping loaded bases in a gritty display that was missing from the Orioles’ right hand of late. In the midst of a skid that involved at least four runs against him in six of his last eight, perhaps the collective cheer of Blue Jays fans when the ball came off Hernandez’s bat was not premature. This is the kind of hit that Liles has gone against recently.

This made a strikeout to end the third innings more satisfying, as Lyles allowed just one run instead of a deluge. It still wasn’t a typical effort from Lyle, who hasn’t completed six innings in almost a month. But it was an improvement, a stage Baltimore needed en route to a 6-5 victory in Toronto that required a five-out save from right-hander Jorge Lopez.

The third inning was a grind, requiring 25 pitches for Lyles to escape with just one run against them, but it’s like grinding to the Orioles (27-36). In his last three starts, Lyles had given up a combined 13 runs he earned, failing to push deeper than the fifth inning. His outing in Kansas City on Thursday was the lowest point in that stretch, as he conceded six runs off eight hits.

Lyle crossed five innings on Tuesday, though hardly. He recorded a sixth and dropped a double before manager Brandon Hyde turned to Felix Bautista, who immediately allowed the runner in that legacy to score. Lyles allowed four off five hits with seven strikes – an improvement, yet well below the standards he had set for himself.

For most of Lyles’ career, this has been his top line. But he sees himself as an innings eater for Baltimore, stepping up as a veteran with not a lot of experience, and he has three more than 100 pitches this season. bar is thrown. He finished on 96 pitches on Tuesday, needing a bullpen to advance the final 3 2/3 innings. A run crossed at Cionel Pérez and a jump snag from Ryan Mountcastle at first base prevented a run on the mound with Lopez, but it was enough.

Lyles’ pitch pace was better than his previous start, as he recorded 14 strikes – half of which came from his slider. At times he had to resort to that pitch, but he missed a strike or swing and miss on a third of his four-seam fastballs on Tuesday, and his sinker showed more life than Kansas City’s.

This is all promising, a sign that Lyles may be breaking out of a rut that has left him and the Orioles in a funk. Still, if the ball had been a few feet to the right of Hernandez’s bat, it could all be for naught.

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There’s something about the Blue Jays, or maybe it’s a passport requirement. But when Mountcastle faces Toronto, the ball starts to jump off his bat. He entered Tuesday’s contest against the Blue Jays with an ops of 1.001, and he skyrocketed that number during the night.

First it was hit on a two-run home run in the third, Mountcastle’s 10th career-long ball against the Blue Jays exploded in the opposite way – more than any other team. Then came a double in the fifth, which took right-hander Trevor Richards out of the bullpen. Adley Ratschman injured the scoring when Mountcastle moved to third and Tyler Nevin sent a sacrificial fly into right field.

A batter first, Austin Hayes’ bomb chased left-hander Yusi Kikuchi out of the game in straight center field, tagging him for the third run. Hyde had hoped that the Orioles could pick up Kikuchi’s ball, a tactic that worked last year when he faced Baltimore as a member of the Seattle Mariners. It worked again, with Mountcastle’s homer the prelude to a better offensive than the 11-1 loss to the Blue Jays on Monday night.

For a week-long stretch in late May, Mountcastle found himself with five hits – all singles – and 11 strikes. But since May 30, Mountcastle has found its stride, with five homers and six doubles in 14 games playing a major role in Baltimore’s offense.

around the horn

>> Trey Mancini will miss two to three games on Monday after hitting the pitch with the knuckles of his right hand, which caused acute swelling. X-rays on the arm showed no fractures, and Mancini said he thought he would survive an injured list term. “I’ve hit the arm like this many times, and up to this point — the knock on the wood — I haven’t had any fractures or anything,” Mancini said. “I drank a lot of milk as a child.”

>> With Kikuchi on the mound for Toronto, Hyde opted to sit outfielder Kyle Stowers to avoid a left-handed matchup. Stowers made his debut on Monday and registered a double RBI record. As a substitute on road trips, he only has that much time with the club before rejoining Triple-A Norfolk. Hyde said Stowers would return to the lineup on Tuesday.

This story will be updated.

Orioles @ Blue Jays

Wednesday, 7:07 pm


radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM


World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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