Bullpen strong in Orioles' 6-1 win over Nationals; Valaika hits 2 homers; Tyler Wells goes on injured list - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Bullpen strong in Orioles’ 6-1 win over Nationals; Valaika hits 2 homers; Tyler Wells goes on injured list

BALTIMORE—Coming off one of the most disappointing losses of the season, the Orioles’ bullpen rebounded with a dominant performance. Paul Fry, Cole Sulser, Tanner Scott and Dillon Tate allowed just one hit and struck out eight in 4 1/3 innings as the Orioles defeated the Washington Nationals, 6-1, on Friday night before an announced crowd of 17,022 at Oriole Park.

Scott gave up a game-winning two-run single to Tampa Bay’s Austin Meadows in the bottom of the ninth inning on Wednesday but rebounded to retire all four batters he faced.

“Nice to see him bounce back the way he did,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Tanner’s got under a 3 ERA. He’s doing a lot of things right. He only threw 15 pitches and got four outs. Paul Fry threw 20 pitches and got four outs.”

Fry (4-3) retired all four batters he faced when he relieved starter Jorge López with two outs in the fifth.

Josh Bell’s fourth-inning home against López put Washington (45-51) ahead, 1-0. Bell’s 15th homer traveled 448 feet.

Nationals starter Patrick Corbin (6-9) retired the first nine Orioles (32-64) before Cedric Mullins led off the fourth with a double. Austin Hays’ double to left scored Mullins. Trey Mancini struck out, and Ryan Mountcastle grounded to short with Hays taking third. Ramón Urías’ base hit scored Hays, and the Orioles led, 2-1.

Washington’s Andrew Stevenson led off the fifth with a double and moved to third on a passed ball by catcher Pedro Severino. López retired Alcides Escobar and Trea Turner on grounders and, with López an out away from qualifying for a possible win, Hyde called for Fry.

“I didn’t get disappointed,” López said. “Skipper and I have been talking about how rough that fifth inning is, and if he gets the feeling he’ll take me out, even if I get mad. It didn’t work out for me to get through the fifth.”

Fry retired Juan Soto on a grounder to first to end the fifth.


“I saw Juan Soto coming up to the plate, and I had Paul Fry ready for him,” Hyde said. “Paul Fry and Tanner Scott both faced the middle of the order, and both pitched extremely well.”

Pat Valaika homered with one out in the fifth, his third, and the Orioles led, 3-1.

Mancini led off the sixth with a double, moved to third on Mountcastle’s grounder to short, and scored when Urías grounded to short. Turner’s throw home wasn’t in time, and the Orioles went ahead, 4-1.

Corbin was replaced by Wander Suero, whose pickoff throw eluded Bella at first, allowing Urías to scramble to third. Bell was charged with an error. Severino hit a acrifice fly to score Urías for a 5-1 lead.

Fry struck out the side in the sixth. In the seventh, Sulser left with runners on first and second with two outs. Scott retired Turner on one pitch, a fly to left. Scott and Dillon Tate worked spotless innings in the eighth and ninth.,

Valaika’s second home run, his third in two games, gave the Orioles a 6-1 lead in the seventh. It was his first multi-home run game with the Orioles.

“Tonight, I just squared those balls up better than I have pretty much this whole year,” Valaika said. “It felt good to actually drive a ball and not see it die at the track. Hopefully, I can just continue that and keep it rolling.”

Notes: Right-hander Tyler Wells was placed on the 10-day injured list because of tendinitis in his right wrist. The move is retroactive to Tuesday. “I think we’re expecting him to be back when the 10 days is up,” Hyde said. He expects the team to call up a reliever for Saturday’s game. … Matt Harvey (4-10, 7.13 ERA) will face Max Scherzer (7-4, 2.83) on Saturday night at 6:35. It’s Jim Palmer bobblehead night. The first 20,000 fans 15 and over receive one.

Minor league update: Mickey Jannis (0-4) allowed nine runs, seven earned, in 3 2/3 innings as Triple-A Norfolk lost to Gwinnett, 17-8. Tyler Joyner allowed six runs in an inning.

Catcher Cody Roberts hit a grand slam and allowed four passed balls.

Mike Baumann (3-2) pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and a walk, striking out seven as Double-A Bowie beat Hartford, 5-0. Adley Rutschman drove in two runs, third baseman Patrick Dorrian and first baseman Toby Welk each homered.

Garrett Stallings (7-3) pitched five scoreless innings, allowing three hits, and Kade Strowd gave up one hit in two shutout innings as High-A Aberdeen beat Hudson Valley, 3-1.

First baseman Andrew Daschbach had three hits.

Centerfielder Mason Janvrin had three hits, including his seventh home run, as Low-A Delmarva beat Lynchburg, 5-1.

Houston Roth (5-1) allowed one run on three hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Orial

    July 24, 2021 at 8:23 am

    First of all–we have a CalsPals AND a ClayDals on here? Come on guys life’s difficult enough to comprehend for this old guy that to have that? Only kidding. Before I looked twice I thought somebody was talking to themselves on that post. Hyde definitely playing head games with Lopez. Best way to get Lopez over the 5th inning hurdle is for him to jump it. At least outwardly Lopez is ok with it. I don’t know. A shame about Wells. These guys are really fragile. One thing about some of these fringe O’s players-they do go down fighting. Valaika on the cusp hits 2 dingers,DJ on the cusp has injuries to others that keep him breathing.

    • CalsPals

      July 24, 2021 at 1:32 pm

      Totally agree, have no idea what he’s thinking…go O’s…

  2. Orioles20

    July 24, 2021 at 9:38 am

    If you want to give Lopez some confidence let him pitch through five innings. I get Soto was coming up. Bit Soto isn’t a split guy. He hits both lefties and righties. And with what he’s going through off the field that might help him. Urias seems to have figured it out. He has to become the second baseman once Galvis returns. Knowing Brandon Hyde he’ll play leyba like he does Stewart over hays.

  3. Icterus fan

    July 24, 2021 at 9:58 am

    I agree that Lopez should be allowed to stay in there longer so he can throw off his insecurities about getting past the 4th inning. It’s like Hyde is sending the message that Lopez can’t be trusted, but the bullpen can. Statistically maybe he’s right, but it likely is not building confidence.
    And regarding Lopez protesting when Hyde comes out to make the inevitable pitching change, I’m not sure he has the moxy to push back yet. He’s going to protest Hyde’s decision?
    I’d like to see that, but hardly think so. Maybe that’s a conversation that happens later privately.
    Once we have a more solid starting rotation, I can possibly see Lopez as a bullpen tool.

  4. willmiranda

    July 24, 2021 at 10:54 am

    According to Hyde, Lopez’s fifth-inning problems are all in the head. He’s right. The problems are in Hyde’s head. He’s the one who can’t get through the fifth inning. Once again, Jorge makes a very good start –on a pace to record not only a win but also a “quality” start– and Hyde, fearful of success, yanks him. I am disappointed that the headline today was about the bullpen when Jorge made by far the biggest contribution. Someone wrote somewhere that Hyde’s “strategy” worked. Yes, it worked if his strategy was to give himself an excuse to whine about an overworked bullpen for the next week.
    On another front: I can’t wait for the Angels to play the Guardians. There was a battle in heaven!

    • CalsPals

      July 24, 2021 at 1:34 pm

      Totally agree…go O’s…

  5. Bman

    July 24, 2021 at 11:08 am

    Time to end the Mickey Jannis experiment? Fun story but hows about we keep our minors system to 20 somethings. Very exciting to see Baumann coming back into form. That is a formidable rotation with Rodriguez, DL Hall, Baumann, Bradish once they’re all healthy and clicking. It would be great to get Kremer and Lowther on track too. Wells seems to be doing well. Hopefully they’ll grab some high ceiling prospects lottery tix in trades this week. Goodbye Fry? Scott? Valdez? Valaika? Harvey?

    • Buzz1979

      July 24, 2021 at 11:44 am

      Sulser, too!

    • Icterus fan

      July 24, 2021 at 12:00 pm

      I don’t think Elias’ phone is ringing off the hook for offers on Valdez, Valaika or Harvey.
      Keep Sulser.

    • ClayDal

      July 24, 2021 at 12:32 pm

      Probably right about Valaika. Valdez seems to have straightened himself out after being injured. He has a rubber arm and his dead fish changeup can be a great contrast to most modern relief pitchers who all seem to throw 100 miles an hour. As for Harvey, he still throws in the mid 90’s. A contender might view him as a reliever. So I could see a contender ( Mets?) wanting Harvey. Just don’t expect much of a return. Would just open up a roster spot for a Baumann

    • Icterus fan

      July 24, 2021 at 4:14 pm

      I don’t disagree at all that Valdez or Harvey may have appeal for a contending team. Also agree that Harvey still has some time on the odometer and Valdez’s change up can work in this age of blazing fastballs.
      But if that logic holds, then those attributes are reasons for US to simply hold onto them and their one year contracts. Right?
      I kept hearing repeatedly here that Harvey is done and Valdez sucks. Weeks of it. So now after a decent outing, we get rid of them and bring up some of our young arms finally, right?
      But….. I also hear the young arms need more seasoning and they’re not ready. Its been mentioned ad nauseum on televised games that Spenser Watkins tossed 700 innings in the minors before getting called up to the big show. Is that the new model?
      See? I’m no GM wannabe – more questions than answers.

  6. Buzz1979

    July 24, 2021 at 11:42 am

    Another gimmick, Jannis,like Wilkerson, that did now work! Can’t believe how much pitchers are babied these days!

  7. Raveonjo

    July 24, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    “López said. ‘Skipper and I have been talking about how rough that fifth inning is, and if he gets the feeling he’ll take me out…'”. Sounds like Hyde has constructed a regressive and negative mind-set for his starting staff. I wonder if he remembers “self-fulfilling prophecy” from Psyc 101?

  8. Mike1966

    July 24, 2021 at 4:08 pm

    Trust your starters. Why would you remove Lopez one out shy of qualifying for a win? Hyde often goes to the pen too often, and then wonders why his bullpen is stressed. Until we have starters that can go 6 or 7 innings we’ll continue to be a bottom feeder.

  9. Jeffpop

    July 24, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    I get that Hyde wants to win, but this team is not exactly in contention this year. Why not take the long view and try to give your struggling starter a chance to make his way through the always troublesome 5th? So what if you lose another game? You’ve already lost 60+ of them. Hyde should be slapped for pulling Jorge last night. What a fool.

  10. CalsPals

    July 24, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    Not the least bit surprised by all the talk about Hyde pulling Lopez early, again, yet think it’s funny when I said it during the game I get chastised by a couple of guys (not sure) who always question ANYTHING I say, glad to see most understand what poor managing has accompanied the last two (being nice) games Lopez has pitched, haven’t heard one person say anything about what a great move he made (Hyde)…go O’s…

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