Rodney Pierce/ALOST

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

BALTIMORE — The expectation a 30-something starting pitcher with many years in professional baseball to throw a gem on Friday night came to fruition inside Camden Yards on Friday night. But if you thought future Hall-of-Famer Max Scherzer would be the one to answer that bell, think again.

Albert Suárez continued one of the best stories of the Major League Baseball season with his latest start, holding the Rangers scoreless in his six innings of work as the Orioles defeated Texas 2-1 to win their third consecutive game on Friday night. Colton Cowser slugged his 12th home run of the season in the fourth inning before Gunnar Henderson’s RBI single in the fifth brought home what would be the game-winning run.

Suárez, whose rookie season in the Majors came in 2016 and had not pitched in a Major League game since since 2017, allowed only three hits against the defending World Series champions. Not expected to be a key rotation piece after joining the club in the offseason after spending the last five seasons playing in Asia (2019-2021 in Japan, 2022-2023 in Korea), Suárez lowered his ERA on the season to 2.43 in 59 1/3 innings, looking more his eight-time All-Star opposing counterpart in his heyday.

“He’s a great pitcher, and you always learn,” Suárez said. “For me, it’s a learning process, and to see a pitcher like him executing, you always learn something from it.”

The Orioles’ lead was a tenuous one even more Suarez was lifted, and it was put in jeopardy even more after reliever Yennier Cano walked the first two batters in the seventh and gave up a single to Travis Jankowski to load the bases with only one out. Jacob Webb then came on to strike out Jonah Heim and, after walking Leody Tavares to push across a run and cut the lead to 2-1, induce a ground out from Marcus Semien to preserve Baltimore’s lead.

Scherzer, making just his second start of the season after offseason back surgery and a nerve issue earlier in the season, went 5 1/3 innings and gave up four hits while striking out four. His first strikeout of the night, against Ramón Urías, was No. 3,372 for his career, passing Greg Maddux for 11th place on the all-time list.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Friday evening’s game, with photos taken by DC-area photographer Rodney Pierce. 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 27 pictures in total.

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Tags : Albert SuárezBaltimore OriolesMajor League BaseballMLBTexas Rangers

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