BALTIMORE—The Orioles got their first experience in extra-inning baseball in 2020, and they liked what they saw.
Pat Valaika’s single to right scored Bryan Holaday from third base to lift the Orioles to a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in 11 innings Saturday night at Camden Yards.
The Orioles turned double plays in the 10th and 11th to prevent the Rays’ extra runner from scoring. In the bottom of the 10th, Hanser Alberto, who started the inning on second, was thrown out at home on an infield grounder by José Iglesias.
In the bottom of the 11th, Holaday, whose contract was selected earlier in the day, began the inning on second. Pedro Severino’s bunt moved him to third. After Rio Ruiz was walked intentionally, Chance Sisco struck out and Valaika’s bloop single won it.
Teams and fans are adjusting this season to the new rule, which places the batter who made the last out of the previous inning on second to begin the inning.
“Baseball purists don’t love it,” Valaika said, “But there’s something to quickening up some of these marathon extra-inning games. They’re not fun.”
Holaday, a catcher who had come into the game to play first for the 11th, snared Manuel Margot’s line drive and threw to Valaika at short for an inning-ending double play.
An inning earlier, Cedric Mullins, who was also a defensive replacement, caught Yoshi Tsutsugo’s fly ball in deep left and made a perfect one-hop throw to third to get Ji-Man Choi trying to advance. It was the first leadoff double play in baseball history.
It was manager Brandon Hyde’s first experience with the new rule, which won’t be used in the postseason.
“I’m glad to get that one under my belt,” Hyde said. “It’s definitely different. I did enjoy it. There’s a lot that goes into it. I’m glad we came out with the win. It makes it exciting, for sure. I’m sure it’s exciting for the fans. It’s pretty nerve-wracking in the dugout … I didn’t know what that was going to be like, but that was a lot of fun.”
Travis Lakins, the Orioles’ fifth reliever, got the win after pitching a scoreless 11th.
The Orioles are 4-3, and will try for their first series sweep since August 2018 on Sunday.
Wade LeBlanc started and held the Rays to a run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Mike Brosseau, who has seven career home runs, six of them against the Orioles in nine games, led off the sixth with a homer, and LeBlanc left after retiring Tsutsugo on a fly ball to left.
Renato Nuñez hit his first home run of the season, leading off the fourth, and Ruiz’s single scored Dwight Smith Jr. in the fourth for a 2-0 lead against Tyler Glasnow.
Pedro Severino’s run-scoring single and Ruiz’s sacrifice fly in the sixth gave the Orioles a 4-1 lead.
Evan Phillips retired the first five batters he faced but gave up a leadoff single to Joey Wendle in the eighth.
Yandy Diaz bounced to Shawn Armstrong, who relieved Phillips, but Armstrong’s throw to second was wide, and both runners were safe. With one out, Tsutsugo walked, and Jose Martinez blooped a single to center for a run.
Against Miguel Castro, Brandon Lowe bounced into a fielder’s choice to score Diaz, and Kevin Kiermaier singled to right, tying the score at 4.
Marlins coming here: The Miami Marlins, whose four scheduled games with the Orioles were postponed last week because of an outbreak of Covid-19 on the team, will play those four games at Camden Yards on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Miami has yet to play since July 26.
Major League Baseball said that a doubleheader will be played on one of those days the Marlins are in Baltimore. Miami will be the home team for two of the four games.
Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said he’s not concerned about the Marlins playing at Oriole Park, even though as many as 18 players have tested positive for the virus.
“We’re not worrying about the Marlins coming here,” Elias said in a video conference call on Saturday.
“Anyone who’s here is going to have gone through testing and protocols more than the general public does, way more than the general public does. Our intake and all the extra vetting that’s gone into settling out the Marlins’ situation, so by the time they get in here, we’re going to have a total understanding of that.
“On top of that, we’ve got our own protocols here that we’re hopeful that if ever someone is in the building, and is carrying the virus, those protocols will prevent any spread if we all adhere to them.”
Elias on Harvey: Hunter Harvey, who has yet to pitch this season because of right forearm tightness, is improving, according to Elias. Harvey did have an MRI.
“The results that we got this time were good with him,” Elias said. “He is cleared to throw. He’s going to be starting his throwing progression here in the next couple of days. It’s going to be a few weeks, not sure how long it takes to build back up and feature velocity and face hitters and do everything we do when we’re ramping somebody up from a no throw. I think he’s going to be back.”
Hyde’s challenges: Hyde has had a difficult two seasons as Orioles manager. He wasn’t hired until just before Christmas in 2018, and watched this team struggle to its second straight 100-plus loss season.
This year, he’s had to adjust to the pandemic.
“Honestly, I wake up in the morning, I see what’s happening around the world and around sports and around our sport, put on my fireman’s hat and try and put out fires until 7:35,” Hyde said.
“I don’t know that there’s a class you can take about what we’re going through every day. It’s not a pity-party situation, either. I’m happy to be here. I’m happy to be with our guys. I think that there’s a serious issue going around, and we’re very, very aware, and we’re going to do everything we can to do our part to try to keep this thing going. I hope it continues.”