What they're saying about Orioles' 4-3 comeback win - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

What they’re saying about Orioles’ 4-3 comeback win

Mitch Stringer USA TODAY Sports


BALTIMORE—What happened: James McCann’s two-out, two-run ninth-inning single capped an unlikely 4-3 Orioles win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday. The walk-off win, the second in three games against the Royals, rewarded the hearty fans who had to endure a five-hour rain delay.

They had to wait even longer for the Orioles’ offense to warm up. After seven innings, the Orioles trailed, 3-0, and had just one hit. Royals left-hander Cole Ragans limited them to one hit in 6 1/3 innings.

“That’s a big-time, number one-type arm, and we did absolutely nothing against him,” manager Brandon Hyde said.

In the eighth, Gunnar Henderson’s sacrifice fly and Adley Rutschman’s run-scoring single to deep right  brought the Orioles to within 3-2. Rutschman was out at second on an exceptional throw by rightfielder Hunter Renfroe and an equally good tag by shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. It set up the ninth-inning heroics.



Ryan Mountcastle walked and Anthony Santander ripped a single to left (and left for pinch-runner Cedric Mullins). After a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Westburg and an intentional walk to Austin Hays, McCann lined the game-winning single to left.

“There’s as much pressure on the pitcher as there is on the hitter,” McCann said. “Just trying to get him over the plate and getting a good swing on it, and thankfully found a whole.”

Danny Coulombe and Yennier Cano (1-0) combined for 2 1/3 spotless innings.

“Our pitching won us that game. Those were not easy conditions to play in for anybody and we got out of the gate really slow offensively,” Hyde said.

Jordan Westburg’s two-run homer was the game-winner on Monday night.

On Wednesday, though, it looked as if the story would be the weather. The game was delayed by rain for five hours, and the Orioles allowed fans who left during the delay to re-enter. Fans could occupy any open seat, but only several hundred fans were there for the beginning of the game.

“It’s tough, especially you look at tonight at what Ragans was doing,” McCann said. “Running cutters in off our hands. It’s tough in a warm-weather environment. It’s tougher in a cold-weather environment. You’ve got to grind. You’ve got to find a way to win. That’s what this team did today.”

Oriole starter Corbin Burnes, who was extremely sharp in last week’s Opening Day win over the Angels, wasn’t at his best on Wednesday. Burnes allowed two runs on nine hits, striking out three, throwing 100 pitches. He has yet to issue a walk.

“We had a plan going out tonight and did a good job,” Burnes said. “Almost got through six innings with what we were dealt with. I was definitely proud of that.”

Maikel Garcia homered against Mike Baumann to begin the seventh. Garcia had five RBIs in the series.

“I feel like our offense is going to get going,” Hyde said. “I still don’t feel like we’ve clicked at all offensively. We need to get going earlier in the game to take pressure off our pitching, but our pitching won us the game.”

Last season, the Orioles had 48 comeback wins. This was their third of the season.

“I feel like we can swing the bat better than we’re swinging the bat,” Hyde said. “We had a couple of nice games offensively the first couple of games. After then, we haven’t had our best offensive games. We aren’t exactly keeping the line moving like we can, so we have some room to grow offensively, and if we do. we won’t have comeback wins as much.”

What was with the delay? This was Kansas City’s final scheduled game in Baltimore, and that was why the game was played after such a long delay. Major League Baseball makes the decision.

“I think we knew all along that we were definitely going to try to play,” Hyde said. “If there was any sort of way we could play, we were going to play.”

Hyde didn’t want to make up the game later in the season.

McCann said he “hung out” during the delay.

“Look at the radar and wondered when the rain was going to leave,” he said. “We knew what the radar was showing. The window wasn’t going to be until this evening.”

Burnes didn’t want to blame the weather.

“The conditions are the same for everyone,” he said. “You try to use that as an excuse. You let that get to your head. You start to make excuses for the ball not doing this or balls are getting wet in the outfield. It was very easy to go that route. For me, it was stick to my plan, stick to my routine.”

What’s with Norfolk’s power display? Rightfielder Heston Kjerstad had 10 RBIs, including two home runs, one a grand-slam, designated hitter Kyle Stowers hit three home runs, driving in seven, in Norfolk’s 26-11 win over Charlotte. First baseman Coby Mayo had five hits and second baseman Jackson Holliday had four hits.

What’s the word? “That’s a tough day to watch baseball, a little bit uncomfortable. It was cold, and I think we’re all a little red-faced and chapped. For those people to stick around [those are] true Orioles fans-Hyde on his appreciation of the fans.

What does it mean? It was notable that despite three days of horrible weather, the Orioles were able to complete three games, winning two. They go on to Pittsburgh, where Friday and Saturday high temperatures are forecast to be in the 40s.

What’s next? The Orioles have a day off on Thursday before beginning a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on Friday at 4:12 p.m. Grayson Rodriguez (1-0, 1.50) will face Jared Jones (1-0, 4.76).

It will be the Pirates’ home opener, and the first time the Orioles have played in Pittsburgh since 2017.

Vouchers offered to Wednesday’s fans: The Orioles are offering a voucher for free tickets to a future Monday-Thursday game, excluding some blackout days, to fans who had tickets to Wednesday’s game.

Call for questions: I’ll be answering at least one question, sometimes more every weekday. Send yours to: [email protected]

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