BALTIMORE—For the second straight game, the Orioles and Rangers played into the 10th inning, exchanging blows like boxers. And, for the second straight game, the Orioles avoided a loss with two outs in the ninth and won it in the 10th.
Cedric Mullins’ two-out double scored Ryan McKenna with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th, giving the Orioles an improbable 10-9 win over the Rangers before an announced crowd of 7,371 at Oriole Park on Tuesday night. The Orioles became the first team in major league history to allow a game-tying or go-ahead homer in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings and still win, according to Stats.
In the top of the 10th inning, Oriole reliever Joey Krehbiel (4-3) loaded the bases with one out before striking out Steven Duggar and retiring Josh H. Smith on a fly ball to center.
McKenna was the automatic runner at second to begin the bottom of the 10th. Robinson Chirinos attempted to bunt against Texas left-hander Matt Moore (3-2) but popped out to the catcher. Ryan Mountcastle, who didn’t start because of sinus issues, popped out to first base, bringing up Mullins, who already had reached base four times. Mullins lined a shot to the gap in left-center to power the Orioles (38-44) to their third straight win, and second straight walkoff victory.
First baseman Trey Mancini was asked if this was a game that the Orioles would have lost in the past several seasons.
“Sometimes, we’d seem to drop out of these games, but not this team,” Mancini said. “We’re never out of a game, I feel like, and that game was the epitome of who this team is. We never give up. We give up some leads at times, but we’re always going to battle back.”
It was the second time this season the Orioles won consecutive games on walkoffs. It came after the Orioles trailed by a run with two outs in the ninth only to tie the game. Adley Rutschman’s double tied the score on Monday, and second baseman Rougned Odor’s home run sent the game to the 10th on Tuesday night — after he had misplayed a ball in the top of the inning that preceded a two-run homer by the Rangers’ Corey Seager.
The Orioles won for the 38th time in their 82nd game. Last season, the Orioles didn’t win their 38th game until their 102nd game on August 2nd. That was the day before their 19-game losing streak, their second longest in team history began.
Until last Friday, the Orioles’ bullpen had been airtight, but closer Jorge López blew two ninth-inning save opportunities in Minnesota. On Monday, López allowed a ninth-inning home run to Marcus Semien that gave Texas the lead.
“In our opinion, we’ve been nails all year,” Krehbiel said. “For us to have a couple of bad games, if we spread that out over the course of the season, no one would even ask that question. I think it’s just a thing we’re going through, and I’m sure it will be gone by tomorrow.”
Each of the five Oriole relievers, except for Krehbiel, allowed at least a run.
Félix Bautista gave up the two-run home run to Seager on a 100-mph fastball in the ninth.
“I don’t understand how he could ever give up a run,” Krehbiel said. “His stuff is incredible. He brings 100-102 every night. For him to give up a run is bizarre, but it’s going to happen. But for him, it rarely happens.”
Mancini has been through so many losses in his career, and he has seen a different club his year.
“It was a rare game where the offense had to carry us,” Mancini said. “The pitching has done such a good job this year, so it felt good as an offense to pick them up a little bit tonight because all those guys have done so well this year.”
In the second inning, the Orioles scored four runs against Texas starter Spencer Howard. Ramón Urías led off with a single and moved to third on a single by McKenna. Jorge Mateo drove home Urías with a base hit. Mateo stole second, his 20th successful steal in 23 attempts. Mullins hit a double to score McKenna and Mateo. Mancini hit a double to knock in Mullins.
On May 31st, Mullins’ average was .236. It’s now .266.
“Just feeling more comfortable in the box. I dedicate that to the work put in the cage,” Mullins said. “Trying to get comfortable, trying to make adjustments in certain places, and it’s showing. I think it’s just putting better swings on the ball more consistently, and that’s been my main focus.”
In his fourth start, Austin Voth sailed through four innings, allowing just a hit and a walk. It was his longest outing since throwing five innings on September 27th, 2020.
Voth got into trouble with one out in the fifth. He allowed consecutive singles to Nathaniel Lowe, Mitch Garver and Brad Miller to load the bases before Keegan Akin replaced him.
Akin allowed the three inherited runners to score on a sacrifice fly by Smith and run-scoring singles by Semien and Seager.
Garver’s 10th home run of the season leading off the seventh against Akin tied it at 4.
The Orioles scored three runs against Dennis Santana in the seventh inning to take a 7-4 lead. With two outs, Mullins walked, Mancini reached on an infield single. A single by Anthony Santander scored Mullins and, after Rutschman walked, Urías singled to right to score Mancini and Santander.
Seager doubled against Tate to lead off, the eighth. After Adolis Garcia and Kole Calhoun struck out, Jonah Heim walked and Lowe hit his 12th home run, a three-run shot against Nick Vespi, to tie it at 7.
McKenna hit his first home run in the bottom of the eighth to give the Orioles an 8-7 lead.
Bautista allowed Seager’s 16th home run in the top of the ninth, and Texas had their first lead, 9-8. Odor was slow fielding a grounder by Semien, allowing him to reach first before Seager’s home run.
In the bottom of the ninth, Odor homered with two outs on the first pitch, standing at home plate to admire his ninth home run to tie the score, 9-9.
“He misplayed a ball in the top half of that inning,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I know he was disappointed in how that went, and for him to regroup and get a homer there … He’s a warrior, and he’s inspirational and he’s got energy and he loves to play, and he’s a tough dude.”
Notes: Santander bunted for a base hit in the first inning, the first bunt hit of his career. … Because the minor leagues played on Monday, their normal day off, they were idle on Tuesday. … Spenser Watkins (1-1, 4.61) will face Glenn Otto (4-4, 5.63) on Wednesday night. … Hyde said it was possible the Orioles would make a roster move to add a fresh bullpen arm.
Mancini on trade deadline: Mancini realizes that with the August 2nd trade deadline approaching his time with the Orioles could be nearing an end.
“It’s been really fun,” Mancini said. “I’m not sure what the next few weeks have in store, exactly. I know I’m just having fun, just trying to enjoy every day with these guys. This year has been a breath of fresh air, and no matter what happens I’m really proud of this group and the way that we’ve progressed and played this year. It’s been really, really fun and special to be a part of.”
Call for questions: I’ll be answering questions in the coming days. Please email yours to: [email protected].