Rejoining the Party (Atlanta at Orioles; 06.11.24)

Tim Rice (Tag The Shooter)/ALOST

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

BALTIMORE — The last thing Jorge Mateo wanted to have happen was being absent for all of the fun (and the winning) the Baltimore Orioles were in the middle of, especially since he has played a key role to the amazing start for the team this season. It took him a couple of swings to get the rust off, with that second swing in particular doing a whole lot of damage.

Mateo clubbed a three-run home run in the second inning in his first at-bat off the seven-day concussion injured list, providing Baltimore all the offense it would need in a 4-0 victory over Atlanta inside Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Tuesday evening. Albert Suárez went 5 1/3 scoreless innings for the Orioles before handing the game off to the bullpen, who completed the game without giving up a run and allowing just one hit in 4 2/3 innings.

Baltimore has now won five straight games15 of its last 19 as it now has won twice as many games as it has lost this season (44-22).

Mateo, now the team’s regular starting second baseman, suffered a concussion in a freak accident on June 2 at home against Tampa Bay, when the backswing from Cedric Mullins while in the on-deck circle hit Mateo’s helmet as the latter waited near Mullins in the hole. Mateo left that game before being put on the injured list the following day.

As it turned out, Mateo’s first assignment back from injury was one of the toughest in Atlanta starter Max Fried, and Mateo fell behind 0-2 in that first at-bat back, one in which runners were on first and second after Anthony Santander walked and Austin Hays singled to begin the frame. Fried then threw a curveball, arguably his best pitch and one that few batters do damage on. But Mateo jumped on it and sent it over the wall and into the Orioles bullpen to get the scoring started in the second.

“Early in the count, I was sitting on certain pitches,” Mateo said through an interpreter. “But in that spot, with an 0-2 count, I was just trying to put the ball in play.”

Atlanta wasted an earlier chance to score, as Michael Harris II led off the game with a triple to right field. Suárez, who moved to 3-0 on the season, held the line afterward, getting Ozzie Albies to ground out to short before striking out Austin Riley and inducing a pop out from Matt Olson to end the threat.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Tuesday evening’s game, with photos taken by DC-area photographer Tim Rice. After clicking on a photo to enlarge the picture, press the left and right arrow buttons on either side of the caption to scroll through the rest of the pictures that appear on the first page, Also, click on the numbers and/or arrow appearing immediately below the picture grid to load the next set of photos. There are 22 pictures in total.

Facebook Comments Box
Tags : Atlanta BravesBaltimore OriolesMajor League Baseball

Leave a Response