Any other member of the Baltimore Orioles was going to have to try really hard to eclipse Grayson Rodriguez tonight. He made his first ever start at Camden Yards on the same night the Orioles gave away his t-shirt. Rodriguez however may have been the reason the fans showed up, but he won’t be the reason they remember this game. Rodriguez’s line: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 6 K.
I would say that Rodriguez was right about where you would expect a guy to be making his second career start in the big leagues. He gave up an RBI-single in the first to Rooker to give Oakland a 1-0 lead. However the good news for Rodriguez there was that he limited the damage and got out of the inning.
However the Orioles didn’t trail for long. Ryan Mountcastle started what became a trend for this game, sending a solo homer over the fence in the last of the first. After Oakland took the lead back in the second, we next heard from Mountcastle in the third. He sent an RBI-single into centerfield, tying the game again – this time at two.
James McCann would give the Birds the lead in the fourth with an RBI-double, however Oakland would equal that in the fifth with Smith’s RBI-single. They would proceed to take the lead on an RBI-groundout. However later in the inning Langeliers would smack a three-run homer, giving Oakland a 7-3 lead.
That almost felt like a death blow. Needless to say, Oakland had broken the game wide open. Then the last of the fifth rolled around. Ryan z Mountcastle had already had a great game, with two RBI to that point (one on a solo shot). However he came up in the last of the fifth with two runners on, and launched a deep shot into the Baltimore night. That cut the Oakland lead to 7-6, and breathed new life back into the Birds’ sails.
One inning later the game was tied. This off a solo homer by Austin Hays, who had a great game in his own right – 4-for-4 with two RBI. Hays would also smack an RBI-single an inning later in the seventh to give the O’s the lead at 8-7. But they weren’t done.
Hays would still need to touch home plate. And he did later in that seventh inning, when Ryan Mountcastle came up again, Mountcastle came up with the bases loaded – because Oakland didn’t want to pitch to Adley Rutschman with first base open. So they walked him to get to Mountcastle…
…and history will show that was a mistake. Mountcastle sent a high fly ball deep into the left field grandstand, giving the Birds a 12-7 lead. Oakland would shove one across in the ninth, however the Orioles won their second consecutive game over Oakland, this one 13-8.
Ryan Mountcastle had one of the more historic night’s in franchise history. Nevermind that he hit in the clutch about as well as one could when his team needed him tonight, but he joined Jim Gentile and Eddie Murray as the only players in franchise history to have nine RBI in a game. Ironically, all three guys to do that were first basemen.
Keep in mind, Mountcastle broke Cal Ripken Jr’s mark for the most HR’s in franchise history for a rookie, this in 2021. Now he’s equaled a mark shared by Eddie Murray. His name is up there with two hall of famer’s. That’s about as select of company as you’re going to find.
The series continues tomorrow evening from Camden Yards. Dean Kremer gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Ken Waldichuck. Game time is set for just after 6:30 PM.