Santander's homer wins it for Orioles, 1-0 over Yankees; Rodriguez's best start - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Santander’s homer wins it for Orioles, 1-0 over Yankees; Rodriguez’s best start

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE—Anthony Santander stood and watched his ball fly. In a game that started two hours, 32 minutes late and ended after midnight, Santander’s game-winning home run was the only one in a tense game featuring excellent pitching and some terrific fielding.

The Orioles’ 1-0 win over the New York Yankees before an announced crowd of 34,558 at Camden Yards on Friday night enabled them to maintain their 1 ½ game lead over Tampa Bay in the American League East.

In a scoreless duel, Tommy Kahnle (1-1) started the ninth by striking out Adley Rutschman, and on a 2-0 count, Santander hit his 18th home run of the season, and the second game-winning homer of his career.

“I put a good swing on it, and I said, ‘I got it,’” Santander said. “I looked right to my teammates.”

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Félix Bautista (6-1) pitched a spotless ninth, striking out two. It was the fifth shutout of the season for the Orioles (63-40), and their first since May 13th.

“Right before the start of the game, it felt like a playoff game,” Santander said.

Grayson Rodriguez had his best start in the major leagues, throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits, walking two and striking out four.

“The O’s fans packed a lot of energy into the ballpark tonight,” Rodriguez said. “That was electric. That was a lot of fun. By far, the best environment I ever pitched In, hands down.”

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Rodriguez hadn’t started warming up before the delay and wasn’t bothered by it.

“I was able to shut it down and then fire it up right before the game started,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez retired the first nine batters. Second baseman Adam Frazier made an excellent play on Ben Rortvedt’s grounder for the third out of the third, and Ramón Urías made a fine strop at third on Anthony Volpe’s grounder to end the fifth.

“Our defense has been phenomenal,” Rodriguez said. “Every night there are spectacular plays being made.”

In Aaron Judge’s first game since June 3rd after being on the injured list with a sprained toe, he walked twice against Rodriguez, who allowed a fourth-inning single to Anthony Rizzo’s and two singles to DJ LeMahieu in the fifth and seventh.

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“So proud of Grayson,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’s just scratching the surface of what kind of starting pitcher he can be. He showed tonight, what he has is an overpowering fastball, slider’s getting better and better, bad swings on his changeup, just presence, command against a really tough lineup. It was awesome.”

Shintaro Fujinami relieved Rodriguez after the LeMahieu single with one out in the seventh. Fujinami walked Billy McKinney and and Harrison Bader hit into a double play.

Volpe led off with a line drive to the right field corner that Santander dove for and caught to begin the eighth. Jake Bauers singled, and Gleyber Torres hit into a force play. After Judge walked for the third time, Danny Coulombe relieved Cano to face the left-handed Anthony Rizzo.

Rizzo punched a grounder that looked as if it was heading for right field, but for the second time in the game, Frazier dove for it, stopped it and ended the inning with a fabulous play.

“Defense won us the game,” Hyde said. “Just played really well.”

Gerrit Cole allowed just three hits in seven scoreless innings. Ryan Mountcastle singled in the second, Rutschman singled in the fourth and Urías singled in the sixth. Cole did not walk a batter and struck out five.

“That was such an amazing, well-pitched game from both sides,” Hyde said.

Notes: Orioles games have been delayed by 15 hours, 43 minutes this season. … Tyler Wells (7-5, 3.65) and Clarke Schmidt (6-6, 4.33) are Saturday’s scheduled pitchers. Game time is 7:15 p.m. and will be shown exclusively on FOX. Kenny Albert and John Smoltz are on the call.

Elias on Ortiz: In his pregame news conference, executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias spoke about the upcoming trade deadline. One of the names mentioned in trade talks is Triple-A Norfolk infielder Joey Ortiz, who has already been called up twice by the Orioles.

“He’s doing great in Triple-A,” Elias said. “He’s come up here and helped us. He’ll come up again and help us. I think he’s going to have a long future as a starting shortstop somewhere and here is the most likely place. I’m thrilled that we have him right now waiting in the wings. When you’ve got a deep organization, sometimes there are some really good players in Triple-A.

“He’ll get his opportunity here very soon, and the good thing about being a shortstop is you can play everywhere else. We love Joey Ortiz. We love having him.”

Where next for Holliday: Last year’s top overall draft choice, shortstop Jackson Holliday, is the top prospect in the minor leagues, and he’s moved up twice this season from Single-A Delmarva to High-A Aberdeen and now Double-A Bowie, where he’s currently on the injured list due to illness.

Elias downplayed chatter that Holliday could plan for the Orioles this season.

“I wouldn’t rule it out, but I just don’t rule out anything as you can probably tell,” Elias said. “One step at a time. He’s in Double-A. He was in high school a year ago. He’s doing very, very, very, very well and if he climbs beyond Double-A this year, it would be borderline unprecedented, so I don’t want to put anymore on his plate than continuing to accrue his minor league experience.”

No outfield addition likely: With centerfielders Aaron Hicks and Cedric Mullins both on the 10-day injured list, Elias is not concerned enough about the amount of time they’ll miss to add another left-handed hitting outfielder.

“I wouldn’t say anything we’re doing in the trade market now is being at all influenced by the temporary injuries to Mullins and Hicks at this point,” he said. “They’re obviously out for a few weeks, but we got [Colton] Cowser. We’ve got [Ryan] McKenna, [Austin] Hays. We’re in pretty good shape. We’ve got [Norfolk outfielder] Daz Cameron if we need him. We like our center field options.”

Minor league update: Ortiz had three hits and drove in three runs as Norfolk beat Nashville, 8-4.

First baseman Lewin Díaz and leftfielder Kyle Stowers hit two run home runs.

Cade Povich allowed four runs in 2 1/3 innings in his first Triple-A start.

Connor Gillispie (5-4) allowed six runs in four innings as Double-A Bowie lost to Somerset 10-0. The Baysox had just three hits.

Trace Bright (1-4) allowed four runs in three innings as High-A Aberdeen lost to Jersey Shore, 8-1.

First baseman Maxwell Costes hit his ninth home runs for the IronBirds, who committed four errors.

Rightfielder Luis González homered as Single-A Delmarva lost to Kannapolis, 8-1.

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