BALTIMORE—Orioles manager Brandon Hyde hasn’t decided on his Game 3 starter at Globe Life Park. With left-hander John Means ineligible for the Division Series because of a sore elbow, Hyde will pitch either Kyle Gibson or Dean Kremer against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas on Tuesday night.
The Orioles lost Game 1 on Saturday, 3-2, in Hyde’s first postseason test as a manager.
“I feel like the game we played yesterday was the game we had played 80 times this year,” Hyde said. “We played a lot if close games. We’ve been on the right end on a lot of them. Yesterday, we just came up a little short.”
In the ninth inning, Gunnar Henderson led off with a single to right and was caught stealing with no one out against Rangers reliever José Leclerc. After the game, Hyde called the steal attempt a “miscommunication.”
On Sunday, he elaborated on the play, saying it was a missed hit-and-run by batter Aaron Hicks.
“Hicksy has been wonderful for us this entire season in so many ways,” Hyde said. “And that’s just something that we’ve done a lot this year. We do put runners in motion [because] we don’t hit a ton of homers, trying to generate offense a little bit at times, and we bunt. We do the little things, and yesterday we just missed a sign in the ninth inning.”
Henderson said the sign came from the dugout but declined to blame Hicks, who ended the at-bat by striking out for the second out.
“But that didn’t cost us the game,” Hyde said. “We had opportunities to score before that. We need to start taking a little bit of pressure off our pitchers and start scoring earlier in the game. Yesterday, we just didn’t execute [the way] we have this season.”
Lineup changes: In Game 1, Hyde batted Austin Hays leadoff and Adley Rutschman second against left-hander Andrew Heaney. In Game 2, Rutschman will be the leadoff hitter and Ryan Mountcastle will bat second against left-hander Jordan Montgomery. Hays will hit fifth, and Jorge Mateo, who didn’t start on Saturday, will bat ninth and play shortstop.
“Adley, just to get him up to the plate as much as possible,” Hyde said.
Hyde is looking for Montgomery to pitch longer into the game than Heaney did. Heaney was removed after 3 2/3 innings with a 2-1 lead.
“I’m also looking for a little bit of offense,” he said. Mateo “has swung the bat [well] against left-handed starters, especially in the second half. If he gets on base, he normally scores.”
Hall’s sparkling relief: DL Hall pitched a hitless 1 2/3 innings in relief on Saturday, walking one and striking out three.
Hall has started only in his major league debut in August 2022, and relieved 28 times, though the Orioles have contended that their top 2017 draft pick’s future is as a starter.
After he was brought up from Triple-A Norfolk after closer Félix Bautista went on the 15-day injured list on August 26th with an injured elbow, Hall has been used in higher-leverage situations in the bullpen.
“That’s the position I’m in right now, so that’s what I’m worrying about right now,” Hall said.