Baltimore Orioles: Adley Rutschman with a career day as Birds hold on Opening Day

Opening Day dawned bright and cold in Boston for the Baltimore Orioles. Little did anyone know what fate had in store for the Birds, specifically for Adley Rutschman – who was behind the dish on Opening Day for the first time. Kyle Gibson got the start for the O’s, and set them up nicely for success. Gibson’s line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

Opening Day can at times humble you. But others have the ability to just hit the ground running without skipping a beat. Adley Rutschman is just such a character. I’m his first at-bat, in his first Opening Day as a major leaguer, Rutschman smacked a solo home run in the top of the first inning. The O’s, and Rutschman, set the tone for the day early.

However again perhaps in what set the tone for the day, Boston tied the score in the bottom of the first with an RBI-groundout by Devers. However the Birds regrouped and pounced again. Ramon Urias smacked a two-run homer, Adam Frazier would score on a Wild Pitch, and Ryan Mountcastle would draw a bases loaded walk, giving the Birds a 5-1 cushion. All of this in the top of the fourth.

Boston would bet an RBI-single in the bottom of that inning, but the O’s came back and scored again in the fifth. Jorge Mateo’s RBI-single ran it to 6-2, and the O’s went ahead 8-2 on Rutschman’s two-RBI single.

While Boston would crawl to within 8-4 after the sixth, the Birds kept adding to their lead. Cedric Mullins’ RBI-single in the seventh gave them a 9-4 lead, and Rutschman added one more later in the inning. And it’s a good thing he did. Because you can never have enough runs at Fenway Park.

Boston would push across two in the eighth and two in the ninth. They also had the winning run at first base in the last of the ninth (and the tying run in scoring position). But despite a few struggles, Felix Bautista struck out the final batter, giving the Orioles a 10-9 win at Fenway on Opening Day.

As I said earlier this week, we know nothing about the success or failure of the season as a result of this game. But what we do know is that Adley Rutschman announced his presence to the Boston fans, to the rest of the AL East, and to the entire league today. Rutschman was 5-for-5, with four RBI, and a home run. It’s tough to do that in any game, much less on Opening Day. At Fenway. Manager Brandon Hyde on Rutschman:

If you do anything historical for the Baltimore Orioles … there have been a lot of great players who wore this uniform. It’s not going to be the only time you’re going to say that about Adley. He’s going to be doing other things that are going to be firsts, as well, because he’s just a super-special player. And he hasn’t even played a full year yet. Good things coming.

Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

The hope of course is that today isn’t the highlight of 2023, such as Opening Day, 2018 was. (Adam Jones walked Minnesota off that day.) It’s hopefully just a start. An “opening.” But one way or the other, it equated to a win for the orange & black on Opening Day.

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