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That’s More Like It! (Guardians at Orioles; 06.26.24)

Tim Rice (Tag The Shooter)/ALOST

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

BALTIMORE — Ding, dong! The streak is over! The Baltimore Orioles are back in the win column!

1988 and a 21-game losing streak to start the season this current rut was not, but the standard of Baltimore Orioles baseball has been raised so high over the past two seasons that the five-game losing skid they found themselves in going into tonight felt as ominous as the thunderstorms projected to roll in later on in the evening.

But, for at least one night, the weather forecast around the Orioles is sunny, with fair skies still projected for most of the rest of the season.

Grayson Rodriguez proved every bit of the stopper that the Orioles needed on the mound, allowing just two runs in seven strong innings of work, and the Baltimore bats once again hit a power surge with three solo home runs — including Cedric Mullins’ tie-breaking shot that landed on Eutaw Street in the seventh — during a 4-2 victory over the Cleveland Guardians.

While the standings show that the Orioles, who won their 50th game of the season tonight, are just 1 1/2 games back of first place in the American League East and just two games behind the Guardians for best record in the league, Baltimore came in desperate for a victory, even if it would would admit to that. Rodriguez shined in his biggest start of his career outside of Game 2 of the American League Division series last year, recovering from allowing solo homers to Jhonkensy Noel in the second and Gabriel Arias in the fifth to strike out each of the last four hitters he faced to close out his outing.

The next batter, Mullins, led off the bottom of the seventh with a deep home run to right off Guardians reliever Xzavion Curry to give Baltimore its first lead.

Before they took the lead, the Orioles immediately answered Cleveland’s runs in the second and fifth. Jorge Mateo doubled with two outs in the second inning before Henderson brought him home with a single up the middle to tie the score at 1-1. Henderson once again had a quick reply in the fifth, hitting his 26th home run of the season into the right-centerfield bleachers to tie the game at 2-2 after Gabriel Arias’ solo shot gave the Guardians a 2-1 lead in the top of the frame.

Noel’s shot, a 413-foot blast to center field in the second, came in his first Major League at-bat, the fourth player in franchise history to hit a home run in his first at-bat in the big leagues and the first since Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a grand slam in his first at-bat against Texas in 2006.

*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 30 pictures in total.

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Tags : Baltimore OriolesCleveland GuardiansMajor League Baseball

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