Mullins is 1st Oriole to hit 30 homers, steal 30 bases; Tyler Wells hurt in bullpen meltdown; Bowie ousted in playoffs - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Mullins is 1st Oriole to hit 30 homers, steal 30 bases; Tyler Wells hurt in bullpen meltdown; Bowie ousted in playoffs

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan USA Today Sports

BALTIMORE—Cedric Mullins took a special place in Baltimore Orioles history on Friday night when he joined the 30-30 club, the first Oriole to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in a season.

Mullins stands alone after hitting his 30th home run of the season with two men on base in the bottom of the second inning against the Texas Rangers on Friday night at Camden Yards.

It gave the Orioles a 4-2 lead, one they would increase to 5-3 going into the ninth inning. But Texas scored five runs in the ninth to beat the Orioles, 8-5, before an announced crowd of 7,935.

Mullins, who hadn’t hit a home run since September 11th, hit a 1-1 pitch from the Rangers’ Spencer Howard (0-5) over the center-field wall.

“There were moments when I knew I was going against the clock a little bit,” Mullins said. “I was trying to hit a line drive over short, and it resulted in a homer.”

The fans wanted a curtain call, and Mullins obliged. As he trotted out to center field for the third inning, he was saluted on the video board and applauded by his teammates, who remained in the dugout to allow Mullins to take the field alone.

“That experience, the curtain call, the trip around the bases, going out on the field, the guys let me have that moment and just kind of let me have a breather in that situation. It was awesome.”

Mullins, who came up to the Orioles on August 10th, 2018 to replace Adam Jones as the team’s centerfielder, had an awful first month of the 2019 season when he went 6-for-64 (.094) and was demoted — first to Triple-A Norfolk, then to Double-A Bowie.

Last season, he earned his way back to the Orioles and hit .271 with three home runs and seven steals in 48 games before his emergence as the American League All-Star centerfielder and likely winner of the Most Valuable Oriole award.

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“I always felt I had 30 bags in me,” Mullins said of the stolen bases. “The homers is something I envisioned if my power clicked like it has. It’s an amazing feat, my proudest moment. It’s just awesome and surreal.”

Mullins, who abandoned switch-hitting during the offseason to become a full-time left-handed hitter, didn’t start to display his power until well into April. He was batting .346 after 21 games, but had just one home run. He had 16 home runs by the All-Star break when he replaced the injured Mike Trout in center for the American League.

He’d hit 13 in the second half of the season but stalled on 29, and he thought about it.

“It’s kind of hard for it not to be,” Mullins said. Once Ryan Mountcastle hit his 29th home run to break Cal Ripken Jr.’s record for most homers by an Orioles rookie, and then added his 30th and 31st, he encouraged Mullins.

“He’d say it was my turn,” Mullins said. “There was a lot of buzz going around, kind of hard to not listen and be a part of it. You don’t want to run away from doing something very special.”

Mountcastle, Mullins and Austin Hays have known each other since their minor league days.

“He’s extremely well-liked,” manager Brandon Hyde said about Mullins. “He’s an incredible guy. His teammates love him. They also know the journey that he’s gone through with adversity. He’s done this from the first day of the season. Incredibly consistent, good at-bats every night, amazing at-bats. It was cool to watch somebody be so consistent and so good for so long.

“It’s a hard game at the major league level, the pitching we face … watching him night in and night out, he is so professional and he’s just really come into his own this year in so many ways. He’s matured in so many ways. It’s fun for all of our guys, especially the guys who’ve played with him for a long time.”

Ninth-inning collapse: Even though Rangers centerfielder Leody Taveras took away a home run from Pedro Severino and leftfielder DJ Peters jumped high at the wall to take another way from Pat Valaika, the Orioles led, 5-3, going into the ninth, setting up a happy ending to Mullins’ night. But the Rangers spoiled it. Peters began a five-run rally when he tripled against Tyler Wells, who left with discomfort in his right shoulder. Hyde said that he would be reevaluated on Saturday.

Connor Greene (1-3) retired Willie Calhoun on a fly to center as Peters scored. Taveras was safe on a bunt single and Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s roller went for a hit. With runners on first and second, Andy Ibañez walked to load the bases.

Adolis Garcia doubled to score Taveras and Kiner-Falefa, and Texas (56-98) took a 6-5 lead. Lowe hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Ibañez, and a double steal allowed Garcia to score for an 8-5 Rangers lead.

Josh Sborz (4-3) pitched the eighth inning, and Joe Barlow pitched the ninth for his eighth save.

The evening also didn’t start out well for the Orioles. Nathaniel Lowe hit a two-run home run against Alexander Wells in the first to put Texas up, 2-0.

The Orioles (49-105) bounced back in the second. Severino scored when Richie Martin hit into a forceout. Kelvin Gutiérrez singled, and then Mullins delivered to put the Orioles ahead, 4-2.

Peters hit an RBI single in the fourth to cut the Orioles lead to 4-3.

Ryan McKenna, who had struck out three times, scored Mountcastle with a single in the eighth inning to put the Orioles ahead, 5-3.

Wells gave up three runs on five hits in five innings. Dillon Tate, Fernando Abad, Joey Krehbiel and Cole Sulser combined for three scoreless innings.

Notes: Chris Ellis (1-0, 2.39 ERA) will face the Rangers’ Jordan Lyles (9-12, 5.36) on Saturday night.  … Austin Hays has a 10-game hitting streak. … Krehbiel, who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk before the game, is the 61st player used by the Orioles this season.

Bowie eliminated: Bo Naylor’s bases-loaded single scored Bryan Rocchio with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth as Akron completed a three-game sweep of the Double-A Northeast Championship Series with a 6-5 win over Bowie at Akron.

With the Baysox ahead, 5-4, Will Brennan led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run against Diogenes Almengo.

Rocchio walked, and Jose Fermin advanced him to second on a bunt. Rocchio moved to third on a wild pitch. Almengo walked the next two batters intentionally. With two outs, Naylor singled to left for the win for the Cleveland Indians Double-A affiliate.

Drew Rom pitched five scoreless innings and Logan Gillaspie pitched the sixth and seventh as Bowie took a 5-0 lead before Akron scored four runs against Morgan McSweeney in the eighth.

Bowie, which was hitless through four innings, scored two runs in the fifth when designated hitter Jordan Westburg reached on a error, allowing two runs to score.

Catcher Cody Roberts hit an RBI single in the sixth to give the Baysox a 3-0 lead. Centerfielder Zach Watson hit a two-run double to put Bowie ahead 5-0 in the sixth.

Kyle Bradish and Cody Sedlock combined on a five-hit shutout as Norfolk beat Charlotte, 7-0. Bradish gave up two hits in five innings, striking out five and walking two. Sedlock allowed three hits in four innings and picked up his first save.

Rightfielder Kyle Stowers had four hits. Centerfielder Zach Jarrett hit his 10th home run.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

 

 

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Orial

    September 25, 2021 at 8:05 am

    Congrats to Cedric you’ve gotten that piano off your back. Now sit down,relax,take a break. Oh wait–you’re only one of three healthy OFers. You’ll HAVE to play. Rich why aren’t they bringing up another OFer? Is Jones the other OFer? Day to day injuries just burden the bench. I guess the bullpen was put into shock mode once Wells went down. Greene had a little bad luck. Only solid hit came from Mountcastle’s ROY rival Garcia. What is it with these injuries. My God. I’ll repeat it again(us older people repeat a lot) the bullpen needs strikeout pitchers. These guys,yes Wells too,pitch to contact. I see Westburg has been DHing. Why? Please don’t tell me he has defensive difficienties.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 25, 2021 at 8:23 am

      Al, the Orioles had Tyler Nevin with them in case Santander had to go on the IL, but Hyde said he should be ready to play shortly. Nevin went back to Norfolk. Even though he’s a first baseman, Nevin has played the outfield.

      The only other outfielder at Norfolk on the 40-man is Yusniel Diaz, who’s batting .159.

      Jones and Valaika can both play the outfield.

      Bowie had a lot of infielders, and they wanted to give them all playing time. Gunnar Henderson was often the DH in his short time at Bowie. Westburg was the DH five times, played short 21 times and third five times.

    • Bhoffman1

      September 25, 2021 at 12:42 pm

      159 Rich what happened to that guy Diaz. It seems like yesterday he was tearing up the ball in spring training but that was I think almost three years ago

  2. CalsPals

    September 25, 2021 at 8:08 am

    Unfortunately sounds like Bowie’s bullpen is as reliable as the O’s bullpen, not very bright, Mikey needs to start scoping out the Potential FA lists for pitchers, time to open the purse up, HUGE congrats to Mullins, too bad they couldn’t put it away, again…lol…go O’s…

    • HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

      September 25, 2021 at 10:05 am

      Almengo who took last night’s loss finished with a 3.40 ERA and 1.289 WHIP during the regular season at Bowie, not too bad, but he is 26 so not sure how much of prospect he is.

      McSweeney who gave up 4 runs but only 1 ER in the 8th last night pitched very well at Bowie for a short period 9.1 IP 1.93 ERA WHIP under 1.000. Grenier and Fontana made errors in the 8th leading to 3 unearned runs scored.

      So, how about a comment about how Bowie’s fielding seems just as wonderful as the Orioles? Or maybe a comment reflecting on GRod’s poor performance on Wednesday and how that was just as super the O’s starters? Way to take a single event and mischaracterize it, again…lol…

      • willmiranda

        September 25, 2021 at 11:30 am

        Actually, I was going to write about how I was following both games on my tablet last night and felt really good with a solid lead by the big team and an apparently secure one by the farm team as we went into the eighth innings at almost the same time. Both teams collapsed, choked, or whatever within about a half an hour. It’s the new Oriole Way. Is that, NotSo, the kind of comment you requested?

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          September 25, 2021 at 3:27 pm

          WillM….Good luck getting a reply from PajamaBoy. His MO is to write his crap attacking another poster, and then never respond to people that come back at him. He’s a chicken-spit loser without an original thought in his head. He’s always hiding behind the numbers, but never ahead of them. Too much a sissy to go out on the conviction limb. He simply doesn’t know the game.

    • CalsPals

      September 25, 2021 at 5:25 pm

      :)….go O’s….

  3. Orioles20

    September 25, 2021 at 9:31 am

    Great Job Hyde what did you expect when you use a Wells four out of the past five days. Mullins needs an extension. The orioles determine his salary for next year. But after that he’s arbitration eligible. Elias was in the booth with Hollander and McDonald and said that Rodriguez and Rutschman will be in big league camp and could make the team out of spring training.

    • HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

      September 25, 2021 at 9:50 am

      Man I thought all pitchers were supposed to throw 300+ innings like back in the good ole days. The 35 pitches T Wells threw from 9/20-9/23 must be the cause of his injury and the responsibility for the injury clearly is on Hyde. It’s not the number of pitches thrown, it’s the number times used over a set time period determined by commenters after an injury or poor performance…

    • Bhoffman1

      September 25, 2021 at 12:46 pm

      Rutschman could . How about should definitely be on this team out of spring training. It would be nice to see Grod too. No need for Norfolk . His stuff is way good enough already for here.

  4. HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

    September 25, 2021 at 9:54 am

    Sincere congratulations to Cedric Mullins on his superb achievement – “There have been 62 30-30 seasons by 40 different players.” Gives all O’s fans something to smile about this season…

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      September 25, 2021 at 3:30 pm

      Wow .. what a gem of a comment.

    • CalsPals

      September 25, 2021 at 5:27 pm

      Notice how he has to say “sincere”, everyone is so used to him criticizing something he had to clarify, hey I really mean it this time…lmao….go O’s…

  5. Bman

    September 25, 2021 at 10:23 am

    A lot of bright spots in a season with a lot of losses. Mullins, Mountcastle, Hays. It’s going to be an interesting winter to see which direction they go, who’s protected, who’s signed, who’s released. Diaz has to be the biggest disappointment. They need to retool and fix whatever went wrong with him this year. Overall, it’s been a tremendous year for the minors system. Lots of talent percolating up. Stowers sticks out as having a great year. I’m glad all of these minor league pitchers are finally getting a chance to compete on the Os. We’ll see who make the rotation next year, and if they sign a big name pitcher.

  6. millboy

    September 25, 2021 at 11:32 am

    Hey Rich…how is the defense of Zach Jarrett and Zach Watson…they seem to be decent hitters, just wondering about their outfield defense

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 25, 2021 at 1:19 pm

      Jarrett’s hitting .216 at Norfolk. Both have decent defensive numbers. Watson is considered a better prospect.

  7. millboy

    September 25, 2021 at 11:39 am

    Congratulations to Cedric Mullins…watched him play at Delmarva years ago. At this point we should enjoy the accomplishments of our guys, like Mullins, Mountcastle and Hays, and stop nitpicking every single loss and how it happened, and who is the lazy, over weight, sloppy dressed loser of the game. Geez you sound like my grandmother…oh wait she would have the respect not to constantly whine to everyone

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