Baltimore Orioles: Adley Rutschman slugs Birds to victory

The Baltimore Orioles started Grayson Rodriguez this afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium against Boston. Or at least against a roster that had Boston across their chests. Boston sent their “B Team” to Sarasota today, as it was a split squad day. Rodriguez’s line: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 6 K.

Rodriguez retired all but one batter in order in the first three innings. He only began to struggle in the fourth, with the second turn through the lineup. The Birds took an early 1-0 lead on an RBI-single by Jorge Mateo. However Rodrigue loaded the bases in the fourth, and Boston tied the game at one on an RBI-single by Goodrum.

With the bases loaded and nobody out, Rodriguez departed the game. Obviously pitchers are on a pitch count in the spring, and one way or the other he has reached that limit. It wasn’t the way he wanted to end the outing, but again, he did pitch three outstanding innings.

Unfortunately for Rodriguez and the O’s however, those other three runners came around to score. Boston would get an RBI-single, a walk (once again with the bases loaded), and an RBI-groundout. After four the O’s trailed, 4-1.

But the game wasn’t over, despite the aggressive nature of that fourth inning. Jorge Mateo had a productive day at the plate, with the aforementioned RBI early on. However he also got the Birds back on the board in the last of the fourth with an RBI-single. The inning kind of snowballed from that point, this time in the Orioles’ favor.

The Birds promptly loaded the bases with two outs. Adley Rutschman strode to the plate, hoping to make an impact. And he most certainly did, sending a “no-doubter” out of Ed Smith Stadium for a grand slam.

This gave the O’s a 6-4 lead, and the bullpen took it the rest of the way. The Orioles can brag Jorge Mateo and Adley Rutschman as their offensive showmen in today’s game. But end of the day both wins and losses are team efforts. And today the O’s won as a team.

The Orioles will stay at home tomorrow and welcome Detroit into Ed Smith Stadium. Kyle Gibson gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Zach Logue. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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