Mullins' great catch, 2 homers by Hays aren't enough as Orioles fall to Yankees; Minor league update -

Rich Dubroff

Mullins’ great catch, 2 homers by Hays aren’t enough as Orioles fall to Yankees; Minor league update

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—In an utterly forgettable season, centerfielder Cedric Mullins gave Oriole fans something to remember. And admire.

With two outs and a runner on first in the bottom of the second inning against the New York Yankees, Gary Sánchez hit a long drive to center field. Mullins ran to the fence, timed his jump, turned his back to the field and snatched the ball — his left shoulder parallel with the top of the wall, and his right arm and glove well above it.

Sánchez paused at first, in disbelief. Starter John Means and catcher Austin Wynns raised their arms in salute, as Mullins ran off the field after a wonderful catch.

“Any time a ball goes in the air to center field, I think Cedric has a chance of catching it,” Means said. “That was the most incredible catch. I thought it was gone. Typical Cedric, he doesn’t show off very much, so he kind of nonchalanted with his glove, and threw it in. I was in awe.”

Austin Hays, who was playing right field, said: “I was yelling at him: ‘Get up, rob him!’ He jumped even higher than I thought he could—unbelievable catch.”

That catch, along with Means’ no-hitter on May 5th, lead the few highlights of the 2021 season, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Yankees from winning a most entertaining game, 4-3, before an announced crowd of 10,402 at Oriole Park on Wednesday night.

As rain fell and the grounds crew was ordered off the field, Brett Gardner’s two-run bloop single against Tyler Wells gave the Yankees the lead in the top of the ninth.

Hays’ second home run of the game, a two-run shot that was his 20th, had given the Orioles a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth.

Wells (2-3) walked Luke Voit to begin the ninth, and Tyler Wade came in to pinch-run. Gleyber Torres singled and, after Sánchez flied to center, New York (82-64) pulled off a double steal, with Wade taking third and Torres second.


Gardner’s bloop hit landed in short left field, scoring Wade and Torres.

Wandy Peralta (5-3) recorded the final out of the eighth, and Aroldis Chapman registered his 27th save.

“Tough loss, tough loss,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We did a lot of good things and a blooper beats us, which is unfortunate, a two-strike blooper.”

It was the Orioles’ fifth straight loss.

Means, who allowed only a two-run home run to Gio Urshela in the third inning, left trailing, 2-0. In his last three starts, the Orioles (46-99) have scored just one run while he’s been in the game. In 13 of his 23 starts, they’ve scored two runs or fewer.

Means, who allowed two runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings, has won just once since the no-hitter.

“I didn’t really have anything going tonight,” Means said. “To be honest, the curveball was pretty brutal tonight, and the changeup was a lot harder than it usually is. I wasn’t really sure why. I really just had the fastball, and that was it. Locating the fastball really saved me … I didn’t feel great, but I battled through.”

Nestor Cortes, a one-time Oriole Rule 5 pick who was let go after just four appearances in April 2018, thwarted the Orioles for 6 1/3 innings, allowing just Hays’ 19th homer in the sixth. He struck out 11.

Chad Green, who relieved Cortes with one out in the seventh, got the final two outs. In the bottom of the eighth, Wynns singled, and Mullins grounded to Torres at second, who inexplicably threw to first, allowing Wynns to advance to second.

Green threw a wild pitch, moving Wynns to third. After Ryan Mountcastle struck out, Hays homered to left on an 0-2 pitch.

The 11 strikeouts were a career high for Cortes. Seven of his strikeouts came against the top four batters in the order: Mullins, Mountcastle, Hays and Anthony Santander. The Orioles struck out 16 times, including four for Kelvin Gutiérrez.

Notes: Chris Ellis (1-0, 2.08 ERA) will face Jordan Montgomery (5-6, 3.71) on Thursday. The game will begin at 5:05 p.m. The Avett Brothers and Carter Faith will perform on the field after the game.

Minor league update: Grayson Rodriguez allowed a run on four hits in five innings as Double-A Bowie won its 10th straight, beating Altoona, 5-4, in 10 innings. Rodriguez allowed a run on four hits, striking out five without walking a batter.

Leftfielder Toby Welk hit his first home run and drove in the game-winning run in the 10th.

Adley Rutschman had an RBI triple in Triple-A Norfolk’s 7-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. Leftfielder Robert Neustrom hit his eighth home run. Paul Fry recorded two outs and walked a batter in relief.

High-A Aberdeen was held to three hits in its 4-0 loss to Greenville.

Colton Cowser had two RBIs as Low-A Delmarva beat Salem, 4-3.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB




  1. 33d St

    September 16, 2021 at 8:20 am

    If you’re on the fence about tonight’s game, go. The Avett Brothers show alone would cost a lot more than your ticket. And having seen them perform live 5 times
    or so, can guarantee their show will be at least 35x more entertaining than anything the O’s do. If I lived in the area I’d be there for sure. Do yourself a favor and go!

    • chico salmon

      September 16, 2021 at 8:37 am

      I’m looking forward to the Avett Brothers. Ten of us are going. I’ll get there around 7 to catch the inevitable bullpen meltdown and “Let’s go Yankees” chorus, then move onto the field for an awesome concert. Hope the rain holds off. “Let’s go Avett Brothers!”

      • Orial

        September 16, 2021 at 9:03 am

        But will the Yankee fans stay for the show?

    • CalsPals

      September 16, 2021 at 11:49 am

      Aren’t they the show?…:)…lol…go O’s…

  2. Orioles20

    September 16, 2021 at 9:04 am

    That ump was terrible. There was no outside corner to righties and no inside corner to lefties. Wells was getting squeezed. Hays showed why he should play everyday even against righties. Even if the bats not always there against righties the defensive value is certainly enough reason to play him over Stewart. Means looks to be finishing the season strong. Anyone know what the deal was with the grounds crew? I’m assuming it was because it was the ninth and they didn’t want to have a rain delay.

    • HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

      September 16, 2021 at 2:35 pm

      Wells did not get squeezed at all, in fact he was the beneficiary of two balls well off the plate that were called strikes – 3rd pitch to Torres and 2nd pitch to Gardner.

      • Orioles20

        September 16, 2021 at 2:39 pm

        He did the one pitch to Gardner hit the inside corner and it was called a ball. That would’ve changed the whole at bat.

  3. Orial

    September 16, 2021 at 9:12 am

    Oh that lead off walk(9th). I thought Wells’ shining star was his strikeout to walk ratio? Well we saw the walk but not the strikeout. A matter of fact he never strikes anybody out? Closers strike people out. For the umpteenth time–cant wait to get this team on the road where they at least show “spark”. Rich why no Jones or Martin(other than defensive replacement) in this series? Hope Hyde’s not going for experience against Yankees with Valaika. How’d that work out. Oh maybe Valaikas’s getting that proverbial “2nd look”.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 16, 2021 at 11:29 am

      Urias is still slowed by the leg injury, and Jones hasn’t played up to their expectations. I’m sure you’ll see Jones and Martin often these last two weeks, Al.

  4. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 16, 2021 at 11:05 am

    So Rich, with the Yankees in town, the O’s have 2 straight games of 10,000+ fans in the stands. That’s after a week or so of exeriencing 4,900+ give or take, paying customers per game. DOUBLE the number of fans.

    What I’m wondering is did the scales tip towards the Yankee fans in attendence?

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 16, 2021 at 11:27 am

      Interestingly, the crowds, especially last night sounded a lot louder than 10,500, and yes, Ken a large number of Yankees fans. Will be interested to see how many the concert draws today.

  5. Buzz1979

    September 16, 2021 at 11:55 am

    At least porn stash Nester did not get the win!

    • Icterus fan

      September 16, 2021 at 4:13 pm

      You’re still on this guy? He got the W. Move on…….

  6. Birdman

    September 16, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    Mustache or no mustache, Cortes looking very impressive – 87 strikeouts in 79 innings, and a 1.054 WHIP … released by O’s (pre-Elias) on April 13, 2018, after all of 4.2 innings pitched.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      September 16, 2021 at 2:14 pm

      That danged Duquette couldn’t tell a pitcher from a belly itcher. How ever did he get that job?

      • HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

        September 16, 2021 at 2:45 pm

        Well Cortes was pretty awful pitching for the Orioles as a Rule 5 draft pick, he wasn’t released in the traditional sense but returned to the Yankees in 2018 who traded him to SEA in November 2019, and SEA granted him after the 2020 season. In 2018 Cortes appeared in 4 games and let up 2 grand slams with an ERA of 7.71 and WHIP of 3.000. In 2019 Cortes had 5.67 ERA and 1.545 WHIP, 2020 15.26 ERA and 2.348 WHIP. He is having a great 2021, Duquette is obviously a fool if he couldn’t tell a pitcher with a 7.71 ERA and 3.000 WHIP would be great three seasons later! We are glad to have Birdman here to catch such obvious, plain as the nose your face, oversights and mistakes. Thank you Birdman, hats off to you sir!

        • Birdman

          September 16, 2021 at 3:55 pm

          So you are such a perceptive judge of baseball talent that you can tell after just 4.2 innings that a pitcher is “pretty awful” and it’s time to give up on him … you are remarkable!

        • OriolesNumber2Fan

          September 16, 2021 at 4:05 pm

          That’s Friggin-A right HmmmimNoSoSureAboutThat ….. Dan Dusquette is obviously a fool Why sign a rule 5 pitcher if your going to turn around an givee him bacK/ If Number1 was around I’m sure he would back me up on this and tell you the same thing! So what do you thing about them apples?

  7. dlgruber1

    September 16, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    In yet another lost season Cedric Mullins alone has given me a reason to smile.

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