Orioles return home for opener after Santander's throw home preserves win over Yankees - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles return home for opener after Santander’s throw home preserves win over Yankees

NEW YORK—Orioles manager Brandon Hyde can’t wait for today’s opener. The Orioles have already played six games in Boston and New York and will play before fans at Oriole Park at Camden Yards for the first time since September 22, 2019.

The team’s home opener comes after a thrilling 4-3, 11-inning victory over the Yankees that was preserved on the final play when rightfielder Anthony Santander threw out Gio Urshela at the plate after catching D.J. LeMahieu’s liner to right. It was the perfect ending to a six-game road trip to start the season.

“I think when you start the season on the road, it does feel like you haven’t been home in a long time,” Hyde said. “I’m just looking forward to Camden Yards and having fans there, to having people in the seats and having our players experience fans in the stands at home. It’s been a while, and I know everyone is looking forward to that.

“Probably the biggest thing in our clubhouse that everybody is looking forward to is Opening Day at home, and having people there, which we haven’t seen since ’19.”

Matt Harvey will start against Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez at 3:05 p.m.

Harvey is one of 19 members of the 26-man roster who haven’t played before fans on Opening Day as an Oriole. It’s his second start at Camden Yards; on May 11, 2019, while pitching for the Los Angeles Angels, Harvey allowed two runs in four innings of a 7-2 Angels win.

“You have to look at it as a normal start,” Harvey said. “I obviously know it’s the home opener, and it’s extremely exciting. I’ve been fortunate enough to pitch in a lot of ballparks, a lot of new ballparks. It’s an honor to wear the Baltimore jersey, pitch for the home opener. It’s a big league game. You have to go out there, no matter where you are, and get people out. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Harvey developed a good first impression of Oriole Park.

“I enjoyed playing there,” he said. “It’s an incredible ballpark. It was a good first experience. I’m looking forward to it and the next six months, or however long it is. I think being a veteran, you learn how to manage different mounds, different stadiums.”

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John Means, who started on Opening Day in Boston on April 2, will enjoy being a spectator.

“It’s always fun to run down that orange carpet,” Means said. “You don’t get to when you pitch. I love doing that. It’s such a cool day in Baltimore. It’s such a good time. I can’t wait for it. It’s going to be fun to come back home. I love that place.”

Orioles break through at Yankee Stadium: Chance Sisco’s opposite-field single to left scored Rio Ruiz in the 11th inning and lifted the Orioles to their 4-3 victory on Wednesday night before 10,254. The win broke the Orioles’ 12-game losing streak at Yankee Stadium and was saved by Santander’s perfect throw home in the bottom of the inning.

Freddy Galvis’ bunt moved Ruiz, who was the automatic runner at second, to third, and Sisco, who was 1-for-8 with six strikeouts, dropped an RBI single in front of Yankees leftfielder Brett Gardner.

In the bottom of the 11th, Santander threw out Urshela, who tried to score the tying run on LeMahieu’s liner to right, to end the game.

“They hit the ball to the right guy,” Hyde said. “He made a really strong throw.”

César Valdez pitched 2 1/3 innings for the win.

“You get four hits through 11 innings to the New York Yankees, you’re not usually going to get a win,” Hyde said.

Means, who started and pitched 4 2/3 innings, was in the clubhouse, watching the end on television.

“I was going nuts,” Means said. “I knew they were sending him, and I just had a feeling that [Santander] was going to throw on the money if he did. He’s such a good outfielder. There’s no rush in his movements. He’s just so calm and collected, and then just fired it home. It was fun to watch.”

Their last Orioles win at Yankee Stadium was on March 31, 2019, Means’ first major league win.

“It feels good to beat these guys,” Means said. “It’s been a while, beating them in their own place. I thought we showed some guts today, avoiding the sweep, just going out and playing. That was such a gritty game the whole way through. I’m really proud of our guys.”

Two of the Orioles’ four hits were home runs. Cedric Mullins and Santander homered in the fourth inning.

Shawn Armstrong retired the first two Yankees batters in the eighth. Ryan Mountcastle misplayed Gary Sanchez’s drive to left to extend the inning. Urshela’s double scored pinch-runner Mike Tauchman with the tying run.

Hyde said he hadn’t seen a replay of Mountcastle’s play.

“It came hot off the bat. It was hooking. It was windy,” Hyde said. “I don’t want to comment on that until I see it again. Ryan is going to make some mistakes in left field. He’s played there for a month. He did a nice job in left field last year. He’s continuing to grow. He’s continuing to learn ballparks and how to understand how to play the outfield. It’s not a finished product yet by any means.

“He’s going to make mistakes. That’s OK. We’re going to live with them. We believe in the player.”

Hyde sent Ryan McKenna to left as a defensive replacement in the 10th inning.

The Orioles took a 3-2 lead in the top of the 10th when Gleyber Torres’ throwing error allowed Santander to score. In the bottom of the 10th, Kyle Higashioka’s RBI single tied it at 3.

Means allowed a run on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. It was his sixth consecutive start in which he allowed one or fewer runs, tying the Orioles’ record set by Jim Palmer in 1978.

The Orioles are 4-2. They struck out 17 times. In their last four games, they’ve struck out at least 13 times, a franchise record.

Notes: Bruce Zimmermann will start Saturday night against Garrett Richards. Jorge López will start against Nick Pivetta on Sunday. … Hyde said that outfielder DJ Stewart, who’s on the 10-day injured list because a strained left hamstring, is nearing a return. He’s eligible to play on Sunday.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. Bhoffman1

    April 8, 2021 at 7:33 am

    Rich I hate to correct you on slugger Chances stats but unless they took the hit away he has two hits as he got a hit his first at bat against Boston then struck out 5 or 6 times in a row. Yesterday’s bloop was lucky too

    • Rich Dubroff

      April 8, 2021 at 7:44 am

      Thank you for the correction, Bruce.

  2. Bhoffman1

    April 8, 2021 at 7:34 am

    Why is Urias on this team? Give McCoy a shot as a utility guy.

    • BrooksPJs

      April 8, 2021 at 8:15 am

      Going to go with Urias’ 0.967 OPS last season and also that BHoffman is not the O’s general manager…

    • CalsPals

      April 8, 2021 at 11:24 am

      Bhoff is too smart to be the GM…go O’s…

    • Bhoffman1

      April 8, 2021 at 2:08 pm

      Brooks pj atleast I didn’t think Wynns caught the two first games when he was on the taxi squad. I have to admit your client Severino looked good on the tag out last night. Maybe the second best prospect in all of baseball doesn’t need to be called up so soon to replace a waiver claim

    • Bhoffman1

      April 8, 2021 at 2:09 pm

      Thanks calpals where is Boog these days

    • CalsPals

      April 8, 2021 at 2:40 pm

      Don’t know, miss his commentary though…go O’s…

  3. Hallbe62

    April 8, 2021 at 7:46 am

    We were fortunate to come away with the win last night. If not for the Yankees throwing error we probably don’t.

    Tighten the screws on Mountcastle and his lazy approach to playing LF. He’s got to catch those types of fly balls.

    Ditto with Maikel Franco and his running out ground balls to 1st base.

    These are examples of “effort” miscues, and will cost us games needlessly if not stamped out of existence by Hyde and his Coaching staff.

    • Beachdogs

      April 8, 2021 at 8:08 am

      True observation on all accounts. Coaching staff must hold players accountable.

    • BrooksPJs

      April 8, 2021 at 8:18 am

      Stamped out of existence, nice. Goes well with unacceptable and embarrassing posted by others.

      I agree hustle and effort are good qualities but wondering what is the best manner to inspire players to hustle and give full effort all of the time.

    • CalsPals

      April 8, 2021 at 8:26 am

      They’re major league players, they shouldn’t need any more motivation than that…go O’s…

      • Baltcf3

        April 8, 2021 at 12:09 pm

        Negative, that’s the issue, they’re not MLB players.

    • CalsPals

      April 8, 2021 at 3:03 pm

      Ok, if they’re not MLB players then they should be even MORE motivated…go O’s…

  4. Orial

    April 8, 2021 at 8:44 am

    Franco was advertised as a loafer when running out groundballs–well they’re right. As far as Mountcastle–I differ about him being lazy–I just think he’s a terrible OFer. He hustles(to a degree) he just can’t play the OF. Is it possible with all the influx of young OFers(Mullins,Hays,Diaz,Kjerstad,Santander) that he may just be the expendable one come 2022/2023? Ironic to see on the very next play after Franco’s loaf Severino flying down 1st base,guttng it out. Atta boy Pedro. Curious situation developing at 3B–is Rio sneaking back in there? Final thought—Means can be an ace starter BUT has to find a way to be more economical with his pitch count to meet that goal. 92 pitches in 4 2/3 .? Geesh.

    • Bhoffman1

      April 8, 2021 at 2:14 pm

      Mountcastle should alternate with Mancini at 1st base DH. Neither Mullins nor Mountcastle would have made the throw last night. Both have under average arms. Diaz has a cannon arm. Really miss Hayes the way he played in spring was amazing and he was just getting started . I’m actually impressed the way Muliins is hanging in there and swinging. He never should have batted RH

    • CalsPals

      April 8, 2021 at 3:05 pm

      Agree, on the one tag play I thought Diaz should have made the catch & throw, I think Mullins called him off…go O’s…

  5. Orioles fan 4weaver

    April 8, 2021 at 9:30 am

    Start Mountcastle at DH/1B rotating with Mancini DH/1B. Start Hays in left rotating with Mckenna/ Stewart. Start Ruiz at third rotating with Franco. Start Urias at second rotaing with Ruiz.

    • Hallbe62

      April 8, 2021 at 10:39 am

      I like those adjustments

    • Phil770

      April 8, 2021 at 12:45 pm

      To have this rotation of position players, you’d need to cut a pitcher

    • Bhoffman1

      April 8, 2021 at 2:16 pm

      Hays is a everyday player if he can ever play without getting injured. That’s the question mark

  6. willmiranda

    April 8, 2021 at 9:47 am

    To be fair to some players. Yes, Mountcastle misjudged a liner, but it resulted in only a single. On the next play, he ran to left-center, fielded the ball cleanly, and threw a good relay to the infield. No sign of laziness to me, and left field at any of the Yankee Stadiums has been a challenge for many fielders. Second, Pedro’s hustle got the run home, and his smash-mouth tag was a thing of beauty.

  7. Orioles20

    April 8, 2021 at 9:51 am

    I don’t get why Hyde pulled means. He’s your ace you let him work through that jam. Using Tate and Scott that early could’ve came back to haunt us. We need Scott to be the closer but for some reason Hyde doesn’t make him it. The runner on second base to start extra innings is just dumb and needs to be gone.

    • CalsPals

      April 8, 2021 at 10:04 am

      Hyde let’s Kremer load the bases (maybe twice, can’t remember) before thinking of pulling him, not sure he handles his pitchers the best, seems to want to protect some of them (see Harvey)…go O’s…

    • Baltcf3

      April 8, 2021 at 12:11 pm

      To me it was easy to see that Means was not effective, lots of baserunners. If Means is your ace then you’re in trouble.

    • CalsPals

      April 8, 2021 at 12:25 pm

      Unfortunately must agree…go O’s…

    • Icterus fan

      April 8, 2021 at 12:40 pm

      If Hyde doesn’t pull Means, then he gets blasted for leaving him in there too long…..

    • CalsPals

      April 8, 2021 at 3:07 pm

      What’s the saying, damned if you do, damned if you don’t…that’s why he gets paid the big bucks…go O’s…

  8. Baltcf3

    April 8, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    Even by winning this game it’s easy to see how bad this team is. They blew 2 save opportunities and Santanger rescues their ass by making a ML throw. Just plain luck otherwise. Look out for 120 or more losses.

  9. BobKominski

    April 8, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    A number of observations on the comments above:
    They are not as good as they looked vs the RedSockMonkeys, nor as weak as they looked vs the Skankees. Regardless, a win is a win.
    Mountcastle isnt lazy – he just isnt a very good outfielder. If Hays stays healthy look for Hays/Mullins/Santander until something better emerges. Ryan McKenna isnt ready and neither are most of the guys targeted for Norfolk/Bowie.
    The pitching isnt as bad as it looked in Sarasota. We need to hope guys like Zimmerman and Plutko can pitch 125-150 innings.
    If we get lucky we wont lose 100. If we get injuries it could get ugly.

  10. millboy

    April 8, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    I think you will all be surprised by the improvement to this team going forward

  11. BirdsCaps

    April 8, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    Good to see the birds above water coming into the home opener. I thought that mlb got rid of the Manfred’s extra innings game of calvinball. It adds nothing to the game except that it speeds it up. I was a sucker for long extra innings games. At least it’s plausible that hockey’s 3 on 3 followed by a shootout adds “excitement.” At this point I’d like prefer a point system (like the nhl) with a game of run down between 3rd and home to end the game. The loser would get 1 point in the standings. At least it would add entertainment value. Now that my rant is over, happy home opener everyone!!!

  12. CalsPals

    April 8, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Thought the bullpen was supposed to be a strength, can’t blame misuse on Hyde since he got tossed so early…awful…go O’s…

    • Orial

      April 8, 2021 at 5:48 pm

      And just when I thought we had one decent relief outing(Wells) HE goes and gives up a homer. Will this ever end?

    • CalsPals

      April 8, 2021 at 6:05 pm

      Was thinking the same exact thing, strikes out the side, but gives up an 0-2 HR…yikes…go O’s…

  13. dlgruber1

    April 8, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    When looking at a lineup that features 6 of the 9 hitters with a BA under .200, most well under, this winning record is gonna be very short lived.

    • CalsPals

      April 8, 2021 at 6:21 pm

      6 CD’s, fugly…go O’s…

    • WorldlyView

      April 8, 2021 at 6:37 pm

      The hitting is unlikely to get much better. The literal shortage of bench players means the starters will have very few days off. Ripkenesque endurance won’t be there to sustain peak performance. We are a couple of key injuries or sore arms away from a horrific season.

    • Bhoffman1

      April 8, 2021 at 7:28 pm

      Freddy Galvis looks terrible at the plate and that hair coming from someone who was suspended from HS because of long hair. I rather see Richie Martin or McCoy there

    • CalsPals

      April 8, 2021 at 7:42 pm

      Totally agree, he was a horrible signing…go O’s…

  14. Tony Paparella

    April 12, 2021 at 9:56 am

    Gal is getting on in years

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