BALTIMORE—When the Orioles decided to recall Mike Baumann from Triple-A Norfolk to fill the spot of the injured Jorge López, they decided to put him in the bullpen.
Before he sprained his right ankle on Monday, López had found success in the bullpen. Baumann also found success there on Tuesday night in his major league debut.
Baumann, who was a starter in the minor leagues, relieved Alexander Wells to begin the fifth and threw 3 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run to pick up the win in the Orioles’ 7-3 win over the Kansas City Royals before an announced crowd of 4,981 at Camden Yards, the lowest since full capacity was allowed on June 1st.
Baumann inherited a 6-2 lead, and had a 1-2-3 fifth. With the help of a fine play by second baseman Jahmai Jones to rob Andrew Benintendi of a hit in the sixth, had a perfect sixth, too.
In the seventh, Baumann got two outs, the second on his first strikeout, before Whit Merrifield doubled over third base. He retired Nicky Lopez on a grounder to short to end the seventh.
Salvador Perez singled to start the eight and, after two fly balls to Cedric Mullins in center, Benintendi walked, and Dillon Tate relieved Baumann.
“It was everything and more,” Baumann said of his debut. “I didn’t really know what the moment would be like. Everything was kind of like a blur. Looking back on it, I don’t even remember much of what happened on the mound. Walking off the field and hearing the fans, that was a cool moment. That was definitely something to remember.”
Edward Olivares beat out an infield hit to load the bases, and third baseman Kelvin Gutiérrez booted Michael A. Taylor’s infield grounder, allowing Perez to score.
Tate struck out Ryan O’Hearn looking, and Baumann’s line was complete. He allowed an unearned run on two hits, walking one and striking out one.
“I remember feeling pretty nervous at the beginning of the game and easing into warming up and going out there,” Baumann said. “I felt like I settled down after those first couple of pitches. As each inning went on, I felt like I settled more and more into the game.”
After Sunday’s one-run win against the New York Yankees, manager Brandon Hyde said he would be fine if his team won a 7-2 game. It nearly did.
“I could have done without the bases loaded, tying run in the eighth,” Hyde said.
The Orioles (44-93) handed a four-run lead to Wells, who was making his fourth major league start and his first at home. Mullins and Ryan Mountcastle were walked by Jackson Kowar (0-3). Anthony Santander’s single to right scored Mullins, and Austin Hays’ grounder to short scored Mountcastle.
With two outs, DJ Stewart homered to center, his 12th, and the Orioles led, 4-0.
In the third, Kansas City (62-76) scored on an RBI single by Lopez. In the bottom of the inning, Hays hit a two-run home run, his 16th, that extended his hitting streak to 14 games and put the Orioles ahead, 6-1
Carlos Santana’s 19th homer cut the lead to 6-2 with one out in the fourth. With two outs, Kansas City loaded the bases against Wells before Merrifield lined to Hays to end the inning.
Wells allowed two runs on five hits in four innings, walking two and striking out two.
Mullins’ 27th home run in the seventh gave the Orioles a 7-2 lead.
In the last two days, the Orioles have seen encouraging performances from Baumann, Wells and Zac Lowther, three homegrown products.
“It’s awesome. It’s good to see Zac and Mike pitching well,” Wells said. “It’s just like back in Bowie in 2019. It’s good to be around them again and, hopefully, we can build off each other and go out and be competitive and put up some good numbers.”
Notes: Matt Harvey (6-14, 6.28 ERA) will face Mike Minor (8-12, 5.25) on Wednesday night. … Baumann is the ninth Oriole reliever to earn a win in his first appearance, the first since Alberto Castillo on April 28, 2008. … Baumann is the 15th Oriole to make his major league debut this season, tying the club record set in 2018, and is the 57th player used by the Orioles, one short of the franchise record set in 2019.
Minor league update: Ryan Hartmann allowed a run on two hits in five innings as Triple-A Norfolk beat Durham, 3-1 Hartman (1-0) struck out five and didn’t walk a batter. First baseman Tyler Nevin and catcher Adley Rutschman homered.
Kyle Brnovich pitched five innings, allowing an unearned run on five hits, as Double-A Bowie beat, Somerset 7-3. Brnovich (1-1) struck out six without walking a batter. Designated hitter Tony Welk hit his 10th home run and scored three runs.
Shortstop Gunnar Henderson had an RBI triple in High-A Aberdeen’s 6-2 loss to Wilmington. Ryan Watson (3-2) allowed three runs in two innings of relief.
Centerfielder Colton Cowser, third baseman Coby Mayo and first baseman Jacob Teter each had two hits in Low-A Delmarva’s 7-6 loss to Fredericksburg.