BALTIMORE—Orioles manager Brandon Hyde watched relief pitcher Jorge López’s appearance in the All-Star Game on Tuesday as if he were a fan. López threw three pitches, got two outs in the seventh inning of the American League’s 3-2 win over the National League, and was gone seemingly in the blink of an eye.
“I was so nervous for him. I was so excited,” Hyde said “I found out before the game what inning he was going to pitch, and I was obviously watching the game. I definitely wanted to be there in the seventh inning to watch him.
“He was fantastic. He showed everybody how great his stuff is. I loved to see the smile on his face.”
Hyde said he was glad AL manager Dusty Baker didn’t extend López.
“That was probably best-case scenario. Thank you, Dusty,” Hyde said. “In my text with him [López], he was so excited to be there and so appreciative of being part of the game. It was great to watch him on the mound.
“That honor he had to go to the game and pitch, it was so well-deserved. We all know the story. What a cool moment for him and his family and for all of us to be able to watch him.”
Batting second: For the first time in his major league career, catcher Adley Rutschman is batting second in Friday’s game against the New York Yankees.
Rutschman has started games hitting in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh spots.
“Against a right-handed pitcher [Jameson Taillon], having more righties at the top, Adley with the ability to take pitches,” Hyde said. “He’s getting more comfortable in the big leagues now.”
Hyde wanted Cedric Mullins, Rutschman and Anthony Santander are three of the first four batters in the order. Rutschman and Santander are switch-hitters.
Setting the rotation: After Tyler Wells pitches Friday, Jordan Lyles and Dean Kremer will finish the series against the New York Yankees.
Wells pitched a week ago, Lyles threw the final game before the Alll-Star break on Sunday, and Kremer pitched last Saturday.
“That last game in Tampa, he wasn’t real sharp,” Hyde said of Lyles, who gave up six runs in Lyles’ 2 2/3 innings. “He wasn’t really himself. He’s logged a lot of innings so far. We talked to him about where he felt comfortable to pitch.
“I like to veterans who’ve done this for a while, like to get input. Jordan felt comfortable going that day.”
Post-break homestand: Hyde knows the importance of getting off to a good start in the second half at home — three-game series against the Yankees, followed by four against Tampa Bay. The Orioles are 46-46 at the All-Star break.
“This is the division we’re in,” Hyde said. “We’ve turned the corner on the second half. I loved how we played over the last couple of months before the first half ended, just love to see that continue. We’ve been playing good teams all year and playing them tough, being competitive. We’re playing two teams that are ahead of us in our division. They’re important games.”
Notes: Former Oriole first base and outfield coach Wayne Kirby had surgery for prostate cancer on Tuesday. He said he’s feeling good and hopes to return to the New York Mets, where’s he coaching now for manager Buck Showalter. … Hyde said right-hander Kyle Bradish, who’s on the 15-day injured list because of right shoulder inflammation, will throw another rehab game this weekend. In his last game on July 14th, Bradish allowed just one hit in five scoreless innings for Double-A Bowie. “He’s throwing another rehab game this weekend, and after that, I’m not sure,” Hyde said … The Orioles held an optional workout on Thursday night. … Outfielder Austin Hays’ sore right wrist is better, according to Hyde. “He rehabbed it for four days,” Hyde said. “He played banged up. I saw him last night. It felt better. It feels great today. The break came at the right time for him.” … Right-handers Harif Frias and Eris Rodriguez and infielder Aron Estrada were named to participate in the Dominican Summer League All-Star Game.