Mountcastle's homer carries Orioles to 3rd straight win; Hunter Harvey's return; Minor league update -

Rich Dubroff

Mountcastle’s homer carries Orioles to 3rd straight win; Hunter Harvey’s return; Minor league update

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—The Orioles had been held to just one hit in six innings against three Cleveland Indians pitchers. Then, Ryan Mountcastle turned the game around with a two-run home run, and the Orioles had their third straight win.

Mountcastle’s home run, his seventh this season and third in the last four games, provided the difference in the Orioles’ 3-1 win over Cleveland before 12,009 at Oriole Park on Friday night.

Bryan Shaw (1-1), the fourth Cleveland pitcher, walked Anthony Santander to begin the seventh. Freddy Galvis hit into a force play, and Mountcastle hit a long fly ball to left that Indians leftfielder Eddie Rosario jumped at the wall to catch, but couldn’t.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona requested a crew chief review because he was convinced fans interfered with Rosario as he tried for the catch.

“I couldn’t really tell,” Mountcastle said. “I watched the replay, and I was pretty sure they were going to keep it a home run, but you never know.”

After a lengthy review, the call stood, and so did the lead.

Mountcastle had just one home run in the Orioles’ first 30 games, and this week, his stroke looks different.

“I’ve been working in the cage, working on some stuff,” Mountcastle said. “Trying not to do too much. It’s early, still. Just trying to get some confidence up there.”

Cole Sulser (2-0) pitched a scoreless seventh for the win. Tanner Scott struck out the side in the eighth, and Paul Fry pitched the ninth for his second save.


In the eighth, Pedro Severino, Cedric Mullins and Trey Mancini began the inning with singles against Nick Wittgren. Severino scored on Santander’s sacrifice fly to left.

The Orioles (20-37) have their third three-game winning streak of the season, the first since April 29-May 1, but they have a long way to go to erase the stretch in which they lost 14 straight and 21 of 23.

Manager Brandon Hyde wanted to get a quick look at Hunter Harvey, who made his season debut after being added to the roster on Friday. But first, Keegan Akin threw five shutout innings, allowing three hits and a walk, striking out five while throwing 86 pitches.

“Staying with the game plan of attacking with the fastball,” Akin said. “Usually I would say, changeup, but that was nonexistent tonight. The slider came up big tonight, and that seemed to be my offspeed pitch I had, and I could throw it in any count whenever I wanted it to.”

Akin began the spring hoping he’d be in the rotation to begin the season after pitching well in 2020. But a string of bad starts brought disappointment.

“Obviously, spring training was awful in my eyes, and I think everybody else’s eyes as well,” Akin said. “It’s a little bit extra motivation when I got sent down to go down there and work my butt off and get back up here. That was my goal, to be in the rotation, and here I am, take it day-by-day and outing-by-outing, and here I am.”

Harvey, who hadn’t pitched until Friday because of a strained left oblique, allowed a single up the middle by José Ramirez with one out in the sixth. Harold Ramirez drove him in with a triple. Harvey avoided further damage with a grounder by first by Eddie Rosario, and a strikeout of Owen Miller on a 98-mph fastball.

“It was fun to watch him,” Hyde said. “I know he gave up a run, but he showed really good stuff. Upper-90s fastball with hop. He threw a nice curveball in there, a nice slider … It was nice to get his feet wet tonight.”

The Orioles had just one hit against Cleveland (30-25) starter J. C. Mejia, who pitched three innings, a one-out double by DJ Stewart in the second. Phil Maton pitched two perfect innings, and Nick Sandlin a spotless sixth, and then came the decisive seventh.

Notes: The crowd was the largest of the season. … Harvey was the 39th player used by the Orioles in their 57th game.

Minor Matters: Infielder Jordan Westburg, who was promoted this week from Low-A Delmarva to High-A Aberdeen was named the organization’s Offensive Player of the Month for May. Westburg, who was the 30th overall pick in last June’s draft hit .366 with three home runs and 24 RBIs in May. … Right-handed pitcher Grayson Rodriguez, who moved from Aberdeen to Double-A Bowie, is the Orioles’ Minor League Pitcher of the Month. He was 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA in five starts for May. … Bowie won its eighth straight game, beating Hartford 6-2. The Baysox are 21-5 and their .806 winning percentage is the best in the minors. … Norfolk’s game against Durham was postponed a night after Bulls pitcher Tyler Zombro was hit in the head by a batted ball from the Tides’ Brett Cumberland. … Delmarva pitchers struck out a season-high 19 batters in a 5-2 loss to Fredericksburg. … Jahmai Jones was 2-for-2 in his first rehab game for Aberdeen as the IronBirds beat Hickory, 4-3. Jones, the second baseman the Orioles obtained from the Los Angeles Angels for pitcher Alex Cobb, has been out because of an oblique injury.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Blade Steve

    June 5, 2021 at 7:30 am

    How does the old saying go regarding buses ‘? You wait ages for one and three turn up at once’ !! Relate this to them O’s ? Think so. Another moral boosting victory especially when having to come from behind. Pity I couldn’t watch it live as channel BT Sport over here only screen a couple of games live per day, so for me the O’s have to wait their turn. The wonders of a record button !!! Plus competing with other American sports televised such as ice hockey, horse racing and NFL to name a few. The 5 hour Maryland time delay ‘aint’ good when checking results in the early hours of the morning……..wife moaning as my phone lights up a pitch black bedroom !!! Ah well !!! So as they say, go O’s.

    • Hallbe62

      June 5, 2021 at 2:13 pm

      Have you tried the DOFU Sports Streaming App ? They’re in Google Play Store. Links to all MLB games, including the O’s.

  2. Bhoffman1

    June 5, 2021 at 8:21 am

    This is about the last post. All our second baseman are below the Mendoza line. Did anyone really think Stevie would hit here. Why not give Mason McCoy a shot there instead of bring the Mexican MVP back. I know McCoys a SS but probably can play second base and he’s not getting any younger and it seems he hits consistently at Norfolk not great but consistent

    • CalsPals

      June 5, 2021 at 8:30 am

      Urias is a yr older & definitely has had his chances, I don’t believe McCoy has ever been up, why not…go O’s…

      • Unoptionable-Option

        June 5, 2021 at 8:59 am

        Sisco 598 career MLB plate appearances – never given a proper chance…
        Urias 86 career MLB plate appearances – definitely has had his chances…

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 5, 2021 at 8:41 am

      Bruce, the reason Urias was brought up was because Pat Valaika is on the bereavement list. That means he’ll be back in three-to-seven days, so it’s a short-term move. Urias is on the 40-man roster. McCoy isn’t, and as I’ve detailed, the team has a 40-man roster crunch because of all the injuries at the minor league level. McCoy has played mostly shortstop, but some second base in the minors. The player to watch is Jahmai Jones, who as I’m sure you read, began his rehab at Aberdeen last night. He’s on the 40-man, and had he not been injured, could have been called up.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        June 5, 2021 at 9:03 am

        I immediately thought of Jones & Martin when I read that Urias had been brought back up. Martin of course has another broken bone in his hand, and I thought I had read that J Jones had a injury earlier this year. So that’s not true? He’s healthy is he Rich?

        If that’s the case … once again I’m forced to ask, why is Urias still on this team? He’s just not an MLB quality player IMO. Borderline/AAA at best. You couldn’t possibly project him as having a future here in Baltimore could you?

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 5, 2021 at 9:33 am

      Ken, if you carefully read the above post, you’ll see that Jones has been out with an oblique injury.

    • CalsPals

      June 5, 2021 at 11:30 am

      Another oblique injury, maybe they don’t stretch extensively before games, lol….go O’s…

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 5, 2021 at 12:03 pm

      Ray, oblique injuries are often caused by hitters taking too much batting practice.

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        June 5, 2021 at 3:02 pm

        Hey Rich – As you can see, some posters just like to argue.

    • CalsPals

      June 5, 2021 at 12:07 pm

      Isn’t batting practice monitored by coaches/trainers?…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      June 5, 2021 at 6:32 pm

      Pot calling the kettle black there, LMAO…go O’s…

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        June 8, 2021 at 7:48 pm

        Wrong again, just look in the mirror. Quick glance as not to break though. LMAO

  3. Orioles20

    June 5, 2021 at 8:30 am

    Why do we continuously take pitchers out early. I saw a stat from Steve Melewski that akin in eight career starts has 3.08 era. I would just leave him alone. Another day of realizing how Important Chris Holt is. The pitchers have been much improved since he’s been back which I don’t think is a coincidence.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      June 5, 2021 at 9:07 am

      A few more of these … and I’m going to have to start giving ground on the Chris Holt / influence argument. 2 games is mere coinicidence … 3 could be conisidered a streak.

      Nice game by Akin and the others.

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 5, 2021 at 9:36 am

      20, because of the shortened 2020 season, the Orioles are being very cautious about starter’s innings. Akin threw 86 pitches, and while they could have tried for a sixth inning, they wanted to give Hunter Harvey a clean inning to enter the game.

    • willmiranda

      June 5, 2021 at 9:59 am

      We take pitchers out early, especially when they’re doing well, because management are control freaks and they don’t want the little people to get comfortable. So they manipulate them with random movements. This team will not be allowed to be good until management wants them to be good. Meanwhile we’ll blame everything on the virus and say we’re being extra cautious although multiple players are still getting injured.

    • CalsPals

      June 5, 2021 at 11:31 am

      :)….go O’s….

  4. Shamus

    June 5, 2021 at 9:52 am

    I hope that guy who caught Mountcastle’s homer with his face is ok

    • Hallbe62

      June 5, 2021 at 11:32 am

      Rough way to spectate

    • Icterus fan

      June 5, 2021 at 12:11 pm

      Speaking of that, did anyone see the clip of the Brett Cumberland line drive off the pitchers face? The poor man – the ball hit him directly in the face, and went straight to the ground and eventually left on a stretcher. An awful scene.
      I truly hope he recuperates but I haven’t heard anything else. Pray for him.

      • Hallbe62

        June 5, 2021 at 2:03 pm

        Leaving on a stretcher it had to be bad. Hope he’s ok. Haven’t seen him play, but many believe he has a bright future.

    • dlgruber1

      June 5, 2021 at 3:49 pm

      I just saw the replay of that incident. Very scary. They actually called off the game that night and declared Norfolk the winner and then cancelled last nights game as well. I’ve seen many pitchers get hit over the years, Mussina stands out right now, but I can’t recall any having to leave on a stretcher. As Ictetus said, keep this guy in your prayers.

  5. Balt mp

    June 5, 2021 at 11:11 am

    As I‘ve said in the past the starters have got to go at least 95 pitches you’ve got to get six or you’ll have no bullpen by August .

    Chris Holt must be doing something different or is able to relate to the younger pitchers he also has 2 years working with these guys . One of the worst parts of Peter Angelos ownership was a lack of stability in Managing and the associated pitching coaches . Sometimes in certain situations stability gets underrated .

    Bowie is now the tip of the Oriole A talent . One name to keep an eye on that could really affect the middle infield situation is Cadyen Grenier played at Oregon with Rutchman he has always been + glove but bat has been lacking he is at 272 if he can add 20-25 points and maintain it he could be a piece.

    Elias needs another good draft it looks like he might get 2 of them if so and if they don’t lose their minor league staff we may finally see light at the end of the tunnel . I think if you look at it honestly you have to say there is more talent now than during 2001-2009 time frame .

  6. OriolesNumber1Fan

    June 5, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    Man, Mike Elias must be so proud of the minor league systems! They collectively have a plus 700 winning percentage and Bowie in particular has the best record of ALL minor league teams with their win last night. Hopefully, due to not playing any minor league games last year, they all don’t tire out and fade. But, he is doing exactly what he said he would be doing and building the minor leagues, 5th best in all of baseball as the foundation for the Orioles future success!
    And how about them Orioles, three straight well pitched games all coming with Chris Holt being back! Is this a coincidence, I think not. He seems to have a real insight on his pitchers and when to go to the mound and calm them down or give them a rest when they struggle and throw a lot of pitches and just when they need it. Thought that was lacking in his time missed. Especially with Matt Harvey as I recall during one recent outing when he struggled and threw 30 plus pitches and no one came out to give him a rest. Hopefully, during Matt’s time before his next start next week, Chris can fix/tweak his delivery back in shape before he struggled.

    • Beachdogs

      June 5, 2021 at 4:05 pm

      Great insight on Holt and his handling of the pitching staff

  7. PC in OC

    June 5, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    Tomorrow, I will tell you, what I saw in my crystal ball, for next year. Stay tuned!!

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