Mullins' huge night helps Orioles end losing streak; Eshelman answers call; Relievers superb -

Rich Dubroff

Mullins’ huge night helps Orioles end losing streak; Eshelman answers call; Relievers superb

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—After a fruitless road trip, the Orioles came home and played a tight, disciplined game, ending their eight-game losing streak with a 7-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays before 13,284 at Oriole Park on Friday night.

On the night T-shirts with his name and number were handed out to fans, Cedric Mullins led off the first with his 10th home run of the season, his third leadoff homer, and the Orioles took a 1-0 lead.

Mullins closed out the scoring with a three-run home run in the Orioles’ five-run eighth, and fans demanded the first curtain call of the season.

“That was awesome. First curtain call ever,” Mullins said. “I was kind of nervous to go back out there, but it felt amazing.

“It was just a surreal moment. It was awesome to be able to walk back up.”

The evening didn’t start on a good note. Scheduled starter Bruze Zimmermann was scratched and placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Tuesday, because of left biceps tendinitis. Thomas Eshelman got the call, even though he was 0-3 with a 6.43 ERA in six games with Norfolk.

He then sailed through 4 1/3 innings against the heavy-hitting Blue Jays without allowing a hit.

“I was pretty frustrated myself with the way things were down there,” Eshelman said. “For me to get an opportunity to get back up here, I wanted to make sure I did everything I could to stay here, and this is a good one to build off of.”

Lourdes Gurriel’s home run with one out in the fifth was Toronto’s first hit, and it tied the score at 1. Joe Panik and Santiago Espina singled, and Riley Adams hit into a force play. Tyler Wells got a strikeout to end the threat after replacing Eshelman, who allowed one run on three hits in 4 2/3 innings.


The Orioles (23-46) made Toronto left-hander Robbie Ray (4-3) work for his outs. In 4 2/3 innings, he allowed two runs on six hits and threw 106 pitches.

Pat Valaika and Mullins started the fifth with singles, and both moved up a base on Trey Mancini’s long fly to center. Austin Hays singled to left to score Valaika and give the Orioles a 2-1 lead.

Wells (2-0) retired all four batters he faced, Tanner Scott pitched a scoreless seventh, and Hunter Harvey, who pitched in the eighth inning for the first time this season, retired all three Toronto (33-35) batters he faced. Paul Fry worked the ninth. Oriole relievers allowed one hit in 4 1/3 innings.

“Our pitchers really pitched well against a really good lineup, a really good ballclub,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “It was nice to tack on runs late.”

In the bottom of the eighth, the Orioles added two runs against Patrick Murphy. Ryan Mountcastle began the inning with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on Anthony Santander’s infield out. Mountcastle scored on Freddy Galvis’ double off the right-field scoreboard, and Maikel Franco’s single drove in Galvis for a 4-1 lead.

Then came Mullins’ second home run. It was his third multi-home run game this season.

“The dugout erupted, and what a great night for Cedric,” Hyde said. “The crowd was unbelievable tonight. It’s the most energy I’ve seen in the ballpark here in three years.”

Notes: Mullins, who is 10th in the voting for the American League All-Star team, said he’s aware of the chatter. “It’s kind of hard to ignore with people continuing to bring it up,” he said. “Once the ump say,s ‘play ball,’ you try to put it aside and figure a way to help to win that day and the All-Star Game, it is what it is.” … Dean Kremer (0-6, 6.65 ERA) will face Alek Manoah (1-0, 2.66) on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. … Mullins has been hit in three straight games, tying a club record. It’s been done seven times, the last by Jonathan Schoop from July 5-8, 2016.

Minor Matters: Zac Lowther pitched five scoreless innings, allowing three hits, walking one and striking out six in Triple-A Norfolk’s 4-3 loss to Durham. Shawn Armstrong allowed four unearned runs on a grand slam by Shawn Kelly. Tides rightfielder Zach Jarrett had two hits, including his fourth home runs.

Gray Fenter allowed one hit in five shutout innings, walking two and striking out three as Double-A Bowie lost to the Akron Rubberducks, 5-1, in 12 innings. Tyler Joyner allowed four runs, one unearned, in the 12th.

Rightfielder Yusniel Diaz went 1-for-5 with an RBI in his fourth rehab game.

Kyle Brnovich gave up one hit in 5 1/3 innings, walking one and striking out seven as High-A Aberdeen beat Asheville, 3-2. Brnovich was one of four pitchers acquired by the Orioles from the Los Angeles Angels in the December 2019 trad for Dylan Bundy.

Designated hitter J.D. Mundy had a two-run home run.

Low-A Delmarva was held to two hits in their 5-4 loss to Salem. Brandon Young allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings of relief.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. CalsPals

    June 19, 2021 at 7:26 am

    Nice win against a good ball club, the youngest on MLB…go O’s…

  2. Orial

    June 19, 2021 at 8:22 am

    Noticed a nice trend this week in MLB–bousterous/enthusiastic crowds. Cleveland series,last night in Pitts,and though not a huge crowd the one last in OPACY. 13,000 sounded like 30,000. Good sign. Mullins extension candidate? Palmer high praise for Wells. Between Tyler and Alex I’ll never get the Wells boys figured out. Jahmai Jones 2 hits last night for Norfolk. Santander as previously mentioned(yesterday) definitely seems in a rut/lost. Please get Severino those glasses he needs. Hays coming alive. Great win when everything was pointing to an ugly loss.

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 19, 2021 at 8:41 am

      Once you watch Alexander Wells, it will be easier to tell them apart. Alexander is a soft-tossing lefty who bears a resemblance to Zac Lowther.

    • Orioles20

      June 19, 2021 at 9:06 am

      I thought Mullins would be a good extension candidate to but he’s not arbitration eligible after next season and well have three years of arbitration so I doubt they’d sign him to one right now.

  3. Orioles20

    June 19, 2021 at 9:04 am

    I’m surprised Eshleman pitched as well as he did. Hyde pulled him early in my opinion. Tyler Wells definitely seems like he can be a piece in the back end of bullpen for years to come. Mullins continued to impress me on how far he has came. He looked terrible in 2019 and two laters looks like a budding star and a building block. I starting to wonder if maybe it’d be a good idea to keep Galvis. If we were to trade him I’m not sure who would replace him. Martin? Teams should be lining up for Paul Fry.

    • willmiranda

      June 19, 2021 at 10:41 am

      A great night for Mullins and the Birds. But there’s always a “but.” I agree Eshelman was yanked prematurely in the fifth inning. Players should be placed in the best position to win. Eshelman was pulled only one out short of a chance to win but with a chance to lose if the inherited runners scored. You can’t assume subsequent events, but i think he deserved a chance to finish the fifth inning. Our pitchers are not biologically young, but they are inexperienced, and they’re not getting much experience.

      • Unoptionable-Option

        June 19, 2021 at 11:14 am

        Why does there always have to be a “but”…

  4. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    June 19, 2021 at 9:17 am

    Cedric Mullins just under 2 years ago was demoted from the active roster all the way down to Bowie. Through hard work and obvious talent he’s a strong candidate now to make the All Star team.
    It was a great night for him the Orioles and especially the fans.

  5. Boog Robinson Robinson

    June 19, 2021 at 10:31 am

    Some times you just stick with a player through some hard stretches. It’s paid off big with Mullins, although with the way management reacted in ’19 to his season, I’m a little hesitant to give them too much credit for the foresight. I remember JIm Palmer saying, and I quote, “Mullins simply can’t hit a major league fastball” during a broadcast. I admit, Palmer’s opinion, who I hold it very high regard, shook my opinion of the kid. But it goes to show you that even the baseball savant’s and gods are simply full of crap sometimes.

    Maybe I’m more full of crap than everyone else, but I feel the same about Chance Sisco.

    Now for Santander … hopefully Mr. Elias and the fans can ride out his little malaise here. I Don’t go trading this guy. Pay the man his money. He’s a hitter.

    It was nice to watch the win last night. Good pitching against a good team. This team isn’t as bad as thier recent performance. The question is, is management?

    • Unoptionable-Option

      June 19, 2021 at 11:12 am

      No maybe about it…

    • Shamus

      June 19, 2021 at 11:42 am

      Santander playing for free?

    • TxBirdFan

      June 19, 2021 at 3:24 pm

      Boog – you’ve been a Santander guy from the start and you’ve been right since it paid off for the Birds last year. I agree the man can hit, but I also think he can be a good trade chip if we don’t get fleeced. We have good outfielders but need vast improvements at 2B, 3B, Catcher and of course on the mound. I wouldn’t be unhappy if Santander gets traded to improve those positions.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        June 19, 2021 at 4:08 pm

        Tex …. Catcher? The answer is already here. But he’s not here is he … ask Tank Elias why that is?

        Infielders? Supposedly, we have a conucopia of promising infielders coming through the ranks. Guys like Martin, Jones, Vavra, Bannon and Grenier should be ready to take a look see. I’d argue that a couple of them should have already shown up except for injury and a GM slow to pull the trigger. And let’s not forget Gunnar and Westburg for crying out loud. Oh yeah … Adam Hall…I’d love to see him this year. What the heck is Elias waiting for? Why trade a future all star for stopgap infielder or two? I respectfully disagree with you on that one.

        And the mound…so if somebody wanted to trade me a top of the line pitcher, yeah, I’d consider letting Santander go … but let’s get real, you’re not getting that. The only pitchers you’d get are more ‘prospects’. We have plenty of those, and so far, none have paid off.

        Nooooooo….you hang on to Anthony Santander unless somebody offers you the farm. Santander could be a cornerstone for years to come.

    • Birdman

      June 19, 2021 at 3:40 pm

      Boog ,,, agree with you about Santander, he’s only 26, has proven to be a productive MLB hitter, and it makes sense to keep him as part of the “rebuild” … as for Sisco, I know you are a fan, but I think the chances that he will become another Mullins are far fetched, to say the least.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        June 19, 2021 at 4:16 pm

        You and others could very well be right about Sisco. I’ve been know to be wrong on occasion. IMO the jury is still out on that one, and I know time is running out for him. I just hope the kid has a chance to get at bats on a regular basis for the 1st time in his career.

        BTW…in my defense, I was one of the VERY few around here that was not on board with Mullins’ demotion in ’19 either. That was one that worked out.

  6. Balt mp

    June 19, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    Good pitching and for the most part good fundamentals. Did anybody else catch Cakes criticism of Severino on the pass ball . Palmer calls it straight . I really hope they don’t over use Wells he is a Double A guy a year removed from Tommy John what I like about him is he seems to have a plan and very good command of his fast ball .

  7. 33d St

    June 19, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    I will give Hyde credit in that when the O’s are in a winning position, overall he handles the bullpen well. Nobody gets it right 100% of the time. But I’d say that in an otherwise weak overall body of work, his bullpen handling seems to be his strong suit.

    • 33d St

      June 19, 2021 at 8:16 pm

      This comment didn’t age well.

  8. Hallbe62

    June 19, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    Nice Shot MOUNTY !

  9. Hallbe62

    June 19, 2021 at 5:25 pm


  10. Hallbe62

    June 19, 2021 at 6:02 pm

    M-O-U-N-T-Y !

  11. dlgruber1

    June 19, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    I said on this site about 10 days or so ago that while Hyde has done things deserving of criticism that the one thing I’m really glad he’s done was to stick with RM while a lot of folks were calling for him to be sent down to minors. I then said I thought RM could well end up with a 30 HR 80-90 rbi season. Maybe I should increase those numbers. Way to go RM and Hyde.

    • Hallbe62

      June 19, 2021 at 6:22 pm

      He is capable of such numbers. Seeing the ball well and looks more comfortable in box. But hitting a baseball, being what it is, MOUNTY will have stretches where he struggles.

      Mullins may catch up to Mounty’s 3

    • 33d St

      June 20, 2021 at 6:07 am

      Agree completely. RM has nothing to prove or accomplish at AAA. If anything they waited way too long to bring him up. He’s a 100% major league hitter and the only question that remains for the future is how good of one he is. Will he just be an average DH, or level up to being a star player? But to me, being average is his major league floor. Don’t think we should even think about ever sending him back down again.

  12. OriolesNumber1Fan

    June 19, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Should have Cedric Mullins t-shirt night every night! OK, every home game! Mullins used to have a longer swing with the bat but he shortened up his swing right to the ball now so Palmer was right then but not now! I saw the changes maybe last year from the left hand side and it is very noticeable since 2019 demotion. Another analytics decision on his part with of course the hitting coaches help and also the giving up switch hitting and focused just on left handed at bats.

    And what a nice start for Tom Eshelman. He pitched awesome in a spot start to replace Bruce Zimmermann who was scratched and placed on the 10-day injured list. And this was his longest pitched game this year! So there is no “But” in my statement here. Can’t ask a guy to go longer than what he’s recently been used to, especially in a spot start and for not pitching at all last year! As a matter of fact, all Orioles minor league starting pitchers are all going just 5 inning this year due to the pandemic.

    What a nice game for Mountcastle! Three homers and really starting to settle in to playing in the Major Leagues after a shaky start! Outstanding defensive grab at the hot shot for Wilkerson at second to start the double play! Mullins homers again in the 7th inning! Team is starting to click against the American League East except against the Rays! Getting close to .500 ball.

  13. Hallbe62

    June 19, 2021 at 6:27 pm


  14. OriolesNumber1Fan

    June 19, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    A really nice pitching performance from Kremer today. Struggled in the first and start of the second but Chris Holt came out right at the perfect time to settle him down. This is what was missing when he was out like I stated before. He seemed to be flying open on his delivery and not landing correctly. And boy I’m glad he’s Holt’s back! Hope everything is all right at home for him or whatever it was.

    And quite a battle going between the M & M boys – Mullins and Mountcastle! It’s like a “can to top this” thing going and fun to watch!

    • Hallbe62

      June 19, 2021 at 6:58 pm

      Like that “M & M Boys”. They can make the nickname stick, if they hit like this a few more times

  15. OriolesNumber1Fan

    June 19, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    And a very underrated game calling and handling of the pitchers for Wynn’s as well. May not hit much but his defense – throwing a runner out trying to steal, and coming out to settle Kremer down with Holt and now with Fry struggling shows a lot for me. Should be a great backup for when you know who makes it up here maybe next year.

  16. Hallbe62

    June 19, 2021 at 7:04 pm

    They’re never ever going to come easy this year. Just not going to happen

  17. dlgruber1

    June 19, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    I promise I’m not saying this out of frustration for the loss, but when the hell are O’s pitchers gonna start giving some payback for our guts getting plunked every game?! I’ve said this before and nothing has happened to change my mind. As someone so eloquently put it last tube I commented on this “we’re not their bitches”. I wanna see Guerrero or Grichuk or someone, anyone, take a shot to the ribs tomorrow.

    • 33d St

      June 19, 2021 at 8:18 pm

      Been going on for a few years now. Bostons another team that clowns us every series – they purposely bean our best hitters while we sit there and take it.

    • CalsPals

      June 20, 2021 at 7:30 am

      Totally agreed with you earlier & now dl, may as well play some old Elton John, Bitch is Back as walk up music…let Sceleor do it…lol…go O’s…

  18. Unoptionable-Option

    June 19, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    I say! That Wynns can really handle a pitching staff, last 7 games Wynns started the Orioles only gave up, umm, let’s see – 5, 14, 5, 7, 7, 10, and 10 runs.

    • OriolesNumber1Fan

      June 19, 2021 at 8:30 pm

      Pitchers not hitting their spots is not on Wynns. Wynns puts the target for them to throw to and when they don’t and get hit hard you can’t blame the catcher! He does a good job to frame pitches for pitchers; and go out and calm them down when an ump misses a strike not called; or when they struggle; or throwing out a base runner trying to steal after a walk; and with no pass balls all saving the pitcher when runners on base! He seems to be more enthusiastic and into the game behind the plate. Way more than Severino. That’s all the underrated stuff he’s been doing and doing a really good job.

  19. OriolesNumber1Fan

    June 19, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    Tough loss… But showed a lot of grit.
    Orioles need to start piggy backing their younger starters to help out the bullpen. They need to have the younger starters go five innings or six depending on how they’re doing and the other starter do the last 3 or 4 innings. Kind of like they’re doing in the minors. And just live with the results for now. And the next time around you flip the starter with the same 4 inning reliever and again live with the results. This way the young starters get the experience of pitching in the Major Leagues and saves the bullpen for the more “veteran” starters when they need them.

    When Means gets back and fully healthy, he and Lopez and maybe Matt Harvey would be the exceptions and use the regular bullpen. And by sticking with Tyler Wells, Plutko and Sceroler coming in for long relief when one of the three don’t pitch well.

    And then like Kremer starting and going at least 5 or maybe 6 depending on how he’s doing (like today). And then Akin going the last 3 or 4 and live with the results. Then they flip the next time around when it’s their turn with Akins going 5 or 6 and Kremer doing the last 3 or 4.
    Same thing with Tom Eshelman going 5 with Zimmermann (when he’s healthy) going the last 4. And then flipping them as well. And just living with the results while they get their experience.

  20. Benji

    June 19, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    and then our illustrious bull pen LOSES a 7-4 lead. Back to where we have always been since 2017.

  21. Ekim

    June 19, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    The ninth inning kinda blew a hole in the thinking that Fry is a closer. He’s back to where he was two years ago. And the praise for Wells (not Alex) must’ve gone to his head because he showed, for sure, he’s not ready for “prime time”. A tough loss to watch!

    Again, to Rich… kudos for the coverage on the minors. Thank you! It’s about the only continuing positive thing (other than the M & M’s) about the O’s that we see.

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 19, 2021 at 8:25 pm

      Ekim, there’s another article tomorrow morning.

  22. Papagreen

    June 19, 2021 at 8:21 pm

    What the hell was that! Is any lead enough for this team?

  23. 33d St

    June 19, 2021 at 8:22 pm

    “Whew!” exclaimed a visibly relieved Mike Elias. “I was getting worried we’d break the .333 mark and wreck our draft position.”

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      June 19, 2021 at 10:36 pm

      Watch out Arizona.

  24. Boog Robinson Robinson

    June 19, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    What do all the Holt lovers have to say about his performance in the 9th?

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