Phillip Peters/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

BALTIMORE — Facing their longest losing streak of the season, albeit a relatively short one, the Baltimore Orioles could certainly use some veterans to rally the squad and lead the team by example in trying to get back to winning ways. Well, the Orioles don’t possess that, but they do have Adley Rutschman, whose maturity and clutch performances belie his 353 days of Major League service, and he snapped out of his own funk to get Baltimore back on the right track.

Rutschman’s two-run home run in the third inning proved to be the game-winning hit, and, while behind the plate, he helped guide rookie starter Grayson Rodriguez through 5 2/3 innings of effective pitching in the Orioles’ 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays inside Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The win snapped Baltimore’s three-game losing streak, and it was the 13th come-from-behind win for the Orioles this season.

It took all of two batters for the Orioles, who lost their last two games of last weekend’s series in Atlanta before going down to defeat Monday, to find themselves trailing again, with Wander Franco hitting his seventh homer of the season for a 1-0 Rays lead. Later in the inning, and after walking Randy Arozarena immediately after Franco’s home run, Rodriguez got out of the inning by picking off Arozarena at first base, as Rodriguez pitched into and out of trouble in each of the five full innings he completed.

Baltimore rallied for three in the third, a frame that started with Gunnar Henderson’s triple. Jorge Mateo got him home on a ground out, and Rays starting pitcher Zach Eflin proceeded to strike out Kyle Stowers for the second out. Cedric Mullins then doubled to the opposite field in left before Rutschman, who walked to the plate hitless in his last 19 at-bats, smacked a two-run shot well over the right field wall and onto Eutaw Street.

Though Rodriguez allowed a home run to Taylor Walls to lead off the fifth inning, and allowed seven hits overall, he battled, with the guidance of Rutschman behind the plate, to keep the Orioles in front long enough before the lights-out stuff of Yenniel Cano and Félix Bautista could feature at the end of the game to close out the victory.

“Two really young, up-and-coming, really good players, and they’re going to be fun to watch going forward and in the future,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said about Rutschman and the 23-year-old Rodriguez.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Tuesday evening’s contest, with all photos taken by DC-area photographer Phillip Peters. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 32 pictures in total.

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Tags : Baltimore OriolesMajor League BaseballTampa Bay Rays

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