Rougned Odor delivered in the clutch yet again, blasting a go-ahead home run in the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday night to lead the Orioles to a 6-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
The victory pushed Baltimore (58-52) within a half-game of a playoff spot and two games behind the Blue Jays (60-50) for the top American League wild-card position.
A four-run top of the sixth inning for the Blue Jays meant the Orioles trailed 5-3 when the Camden Yards grounds crew stopped the game and put the tarp on the field about seven minutes before rain fell. After a delay of an hour and 18 minutes, Baltimore went quietly in the bottom of the sixth but got a run back in the bottom of the seventh when Adley Rutschman walked and Ryan Mountcastle continued terrorizing Toronto pitching with a double.
After Austin Hays singled in the eighth, Odor homered to right field. He had struggled immensely of late, entering the at-bat hitting .146 since the All-Star break with no home runs, but he’s shown a knack for coming through in big spots. With Tuesday’s blast, more than half of his home runs have come in situations Baseball-Reference deems “high leverage.”
After a flashing light show featuring the Omar whistle from “The Wire” welcomed closer Félix Bautista to the mound, Odor put the tying run on second with a throwing error on an infield single, but he then caught a line drive from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to finish the game.
When it rains, it pours
Rookie right-hander Kyle Bradish, making a third straight solid start since returning from an injured list stint, took the mound in the sixth having allowed one run on 72 pitches. But after a lineout to open the frame, two singles bookended a wild pitch, bringing home a run and putting the potential tying one at second base.
Manager Brandon Hyde then called on right-hander Bryan Baker, who closed for Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate in 2021 before joining Baltimore on waivers this offseason. Baker had given up three runs over his past 17 outings, holding a 1.59 ERA in the span, but gave up two of his own and one of Bradish’s on one swing when Bo Bichette barely cleared the right field wall with his second home run of the night. It was only the second home run Baker has surrendered as an Oriole and the first since April 23.
The tarp came on shortly after.
Game of inches
A replay review in the first inning determined whether the Orioles suffered a triple play or had a triple threat.
With runners on first and second and no outs, Anthony Santander lined an Alek Manoah offering toward left-center, with Toronto center fielder Whit Merrifield securing the ball with a slide. With both runners moving up a base as umpires signaled Merrifield caught the ball, the Blue Jays threw around the bases to force out both runners. But a replay review showed the ball narrowly skipped across the grass before entering Merrifield’s glove, meaning instead of hitting into a triple play, Santander loaded the bases.
Mountcastle followed by hitting into a double play to bring home a run, and Terrin Vavra drove in another with a single. Vavra added a sacrifice fly in the third, pushing Baltimore’s lead back to two after Bichette homered off Bradish in the second.
Around the horn
>> Left-hander Alexander Wells, on the 60-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, began a rehab assignment in the Florida Complex League on Tuesday.
This story will be updated.
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