BALTIMORE—For the last few years, Orioles fans have been waiting to watch Grayson Rodriguez and Adley Rutschman star together. On Tuesday night, they saw Rodriguez win his first game at home and Rutschman guide him along and break an 0-for-19 slump with a two-run home run.
The Orioles’ 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays before 10,017 at Camden Yards broke a season-high three-game losing streak, and it handed the Rays (27-10) a rare loss.
Rodriguez (2-0) retired his first batter for the first time in seven starts, and got two outs in the sixth inning, his longest start of the season. He threw 101 pitches, the most he’s thrown, struck out four and walked two.
“That was his best start,” manager Brandon Hyde said.
Hyde waited through three long seasons before Rutschman came up, and he’s hoped to see Rodriguez pitch to him, and both came through for a big win.
“I’d like to see a lot more of that,” Hyde said. “All the fans would. Two young, up-and-coming really good players and they’re going to be fun to watch going forward.”
As Rodriguez was removed from the game, he was cheered loudly by the modest crowd and waved as he walked off.
“That was a lot of fun, especially to have a lot of Orioles fans at the ballpark getting loud, it’s a great atmosphere,” Rodriguez said.
“Playing at home in front of the home fans, feeling that support and that love is a different kind of feeling,” Rutschman said.
Rutschman’s two-run home run, which finished off a three-run third inning, landed on Eutaw Street. It was Rutschman’s first home run to land there, and the first Oriole Eutaw Street home run of the season.
“No better feeling, no better feeling in baseball,” Rutschman said. “It was nice to square one up and get a good swing off.”
Rodriguez first worked with Rutschman at Delmarva in 2019.
“I’ve been throwing to Adley since I was 19,” Rodriguez said. “He knows me pretty well. It’s pretty fortunate for me to have him behind the plate and of course, when he’s swinging the bat well, hitting balls out of the yard, that’s a lot of fun. Being a pitcher, that’s something you like to see in the dugout, helps you a lot when you go out there for the next inning.”
Wander Franco’s sixth home run with one out in the first and Taylor Walls’ sixth homer in the fifth were the two Rays runs. He left after Isaac Paredes singled, and after Baumann walked Walls and threw a wild pitch, Christian Bethancourt grounded to short, ending the inning.
After Baumann walked Manuel Margot to begin the seventh, Hyde called for Yennier Cano, and got Wandy Diaz to ground into a 6-4-3 double play and Franco lined out to first.
Cano struck out Randy Arozarena and Harold Ramirez in the eighth, and after Luke Raley singled to right, a ball that Kyle Stowers couldn’t handle for an error, Félix Bautista threw a wild pitch and walked Brandon Lowe before getting Walls looking to end the inning.
“I don’t like pitching [Cano] more than an inning,” Hyde said. “He got five enormous outs for us.”
After walking Josh Lowe and Margot Diaz hit into his third double play and Franco flied to right, and Bautista had his eighth save, his first four-out save of the season.
“The last three innings didn’t quite go the way we drew it up,” Hyde said.
Gunnar Henderson, who apparently will play the majority of games at third base with Ramón Urías on the 10-day injured list, tripled and scored on Jorge Mateo’s infield out against Zach Eflin (4-1) before Rutschman’s homer.
Austin Hays’ RBI single in the fourth gave the Orioles (23-13) a 4-1 lead.
The Orioles lost two of three in Atlanta and will try for a series win against the Rays on Wednesday.
“We’ve played good baseball the last couple of days,” Rutschman said. “I like the way we’ve played, the way we’re continuing to play. We’re just going to try to get better and do our thing.”
Notes: Opponents are batting .057 (3-for-53) against Cano. …Dean Kremer (3-1, 5.80) pitches against Jalen Beeks (1-2, 6.75) on Wednesday night.
Rom’s first day with Orioles: The Orioles recalled left-hander Drew Rom before the game, and he didn’t pitch. “It’s just been a whirlwind of a day and a half,” Rom said. “I’m trying to take it all in stride and keep doing what I’ve been doing down in Norfolk and bring it up here.”
Rom was 4-1 with a 2.87 ERA with Norfolk.
“I think just throwing everything through the zone and just attacking hitters rather than trying to be too fine with everything,” he said. “At this point, I have to trust my stuff, and that’s what’s gotten me here today.
“It’s kind of surreal. My favorite movie was ‘The Rookie’ growing up with Dennis Quaid, so that’s what I felt like coming in, honestly. A little bit of shellshock. Everything today has been eyes wide open, trying to bask in everything, one step at a time, one moment at a time.”
Vavra works on catching: Terrin Vavra, who plays nearly everywhere on the field added another position while at Norfolk when he played four innings as a catcher for the first time since high school
“I brought a catcher’s mitt, catcher’s gear, all of it,” Vavra said. “First time I’ve been back there in a game situation in a while. Definitely wasn’t ultra comfortable, but I think I did all right. I opened some eyes. I made people realize it’s something I can actually do and I’m excited about, that I put work into.”
Minor league update: Third baseman Jordan Westburg hit a three-run home run, his ninth to spark a seven-run first inning as Norfolk beat Jacksonville 10-2.
Rightfielder Josh Lester drove in three runs.
Second baseman César Prieto had three hits in Double-A Bowie’s 5-1 loss to Harrisburg.
Jean Pinto pitched 4 1/3 hitless innings in High-A Aberdeen’s 11-0 win over Hudson Valley.
The Renegades had just two hits against four IronBirds pitchers.
In his first home game for Aberdeen, shortstop Jackson Holliday hit his second home run. Designated hitter TT Bowens drove in three runs and hit his first home run. Centerfielder Jud Fabian homered, and rightfielder Dylan Beavers had four hits.
Down East scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth in a rain-shortened 8-2 win over Single-A Delmarva. The game was ended after six innings.
Alfred Vega allowed six runs on seven hits.
The Shorebirds had three hits.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB