What they're saying about Jackson Holliday's 1st hit in Orioles' 6-4 win over Brewers - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

What they’re saying about Jackson Holliday’s 1st hit in Orioles’ 6-4 win over Brewers

Photo Credit: Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports


BALTIMORE—What happened? After 13 hitless at-bats, including nine strikeouts, Jackson Holliday finally had his first major league hit and scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning in the Orioles’ 6-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

Holliday struck out in his first two at-bats against Milwaukee starter Colin Rae, then singled to right on a 1-0 pitch from Abner Uribe. The single sent Jordan Westburg to third. Westburg scored on Gunnar Henderson’s single, and Holliday, who advanced to third on Henderson’s hit, came home on Adley Rutschman’s double-play grounder, giving the Orioles a 5-4 lead. It would prove to be the winning run.

“Pretty relieved,” Holliday said. “It’s very nice to finally get it out of the way and enjoy playing winning baseball now versus trying to fight for a hit. Now, I can go out there and play and enjoy being around these guys.”

Colton Cowser, who’s a leading contender for the American League Player of the Week award, homered in the eighth, his fourth.

Holliday grounded out to second to end the eighth inning.

“I’m just happy for the kid,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “To see the look on his face after he got that hit. It was a huge hit for us at the time, too. Happy for him, happy for his family. It’s a special moment they’ll never forget.”

Hyde was asked if the hit will allow Holliday to play without pressing.

“You hope so,” Hyde said. “I thought he played a little easier today. Great to see him get his first hit.”

The win enabled the Orioles to avoid a sweep by the Brewers, who scored 22 runs in 11-1 and 11-5 wins. The Orioles haven’t been swept in 96 consecutive regular-season series, fourth longest in baseball history.

What’s Holliday saying about the hit? When he batted in the eighth inning, an inning after his first hit, Holliday felt relieved.

“Kind of a free feeling, you know,” Holliday said. “I could definitely feel the relief, and the comfort is starting to come in.”

After his third straight hitless game, Holliday, who was promoted by the Orioles on Tuesday, was given Saturday off.

“Not too much difficult, just a lot,” Holliday said. “It’s a lot. It’s been fun. It’s quite an experience, and I don’t think I’d ever take it for granted, the experience that I’ve had. It’s a good learning thing. To go 0-for-three or four games, it’s going to happen in baseball. I’d prefer it not to be in the beginning of my career. It’s going to happen, and I’m glad to hopefully learn from it.”

It meant even more that it was an important hit. Holliday hit a 1-0 pitch, expecting a fastball.

“It was awesome,” Holliday said. “We still haven’t gotten [swept], right? I was kind of thinking about it. ‘We’ve got to get something rolling.’ It was really cool to be able to do that and start a rally or right in the middle of it.”

Now, Holliday hopes he can become just another ballplayer.

“Looking forward to tomorrow to kind of just settle in,” Holliday said. “Looking forward to settling in and getting a few more hits under my belt and really getting comfortable.”

What are his teammates saying about Holliday? “I know he was pressing a lot,” starter Corbin Burnes said. “Twenty years old, I was still in college, and he’s in the big leagues. I can’t say I know what it feels like at 20 years old because I don’t. The expectations that he’s had. Obviously, I’ve been through a little bit of that, so I know what he’s going through. It’s not for lack of trying. He’s been trying his [butt] off to try to get hits. I was happy to see him it … He’ll be all right, just fine.”

Cowser, who was the Orioles’ top pick in 2021, a year before Holliday, was delighted, too.

“I’m stoked for him,” he said. “Someone made a joke that you have to face someone who throws over 100, I guess, but really excited for that. I know he was really searching fo that, and I’m really happy for him.”

What’s a coach saying about Holliday? “Normal stuff for a 20-year old, we’re not worried at all,” said co-hitting coach Ryan Fuller before Sunday’s game. “He’s had all the cameras in his face, a lot of stuff going on in the first couple of days. We can’t wait for him to be in a normal routine, be one of the guys and come here and not feel like he has to get a hit today.

“Just let his process take over and, hopefully, that initial knock will take a little steam away and he’ll be ready to roll.”

How did Burnes do? Burnes was facing the Brewers, who dealt him to the Orioles, for the first time since he was traded in February. He allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits in five innings, striking out five and walking two. It could have been more, but Burnes was tough in the clutch in the fourth and fifth to keep the Orioles in the game.

“They’ve got a good approach up there right now,” Burnes said. “They understand what the guy on the mound is doing. They do a good job of not chasing … Made a couple of mistakes early to the first two hitters, then after that we were able to limit some big damage.

“Pitch count was up because they didn’t chase a ton and I didn’t execute very well.”

What’s the latest on Kyle Bradish? Bradish threw a bullpen session on Saturday, and he’s going to begin a rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie this week.

“It’ll be nice to face some other jerseys,” Bradish said. “I’m treating this as my spring training. I’m working on different mechanical things, but it will be nice to get in a game setting.”

Bradish is on the 15-day injured list with a sprain of the right ulnar collateral ligament.

“I think the only real challenge is making sure when you come in because these games matter,” Bradish said. “Luckily I haven’t had any setbacks. It’s a pretty positive one.”

What’s going on in the minors? Justin Armbruester allowed four runs on four hits in 3 1/3 innings in Triple-A Norfolk’s 6-4 loss to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Rightfielder Connor Norby had two hits and drove in a run.

First baseman TT Bowens hit a three-run homer, his first of the season, in Double-A Bowie’s 7-4 loss to Hartford.

High-A Aberdeen scored seven runs in the first inning in a 10-4 win over Wilmington.

Michael Forret pitched five hitless innings, striking out seven and walking one, in Single-A Delmarva’s 4-1 win over Salem.

What’s the word? “We’ve seen him do it at a high level and make adjustments, and he’s very cognizant of what he’s doing now, and the adjustments he needs to make, so just a matter of time before we see the talent we’ve all been aware of come through.”-Fuller on Holliday

What does it mean? The hit should allow Holliday to play to his potential and avoid, at least for now, any criticism that he was rushed to the majors.

What’s the stat of the day? Holliday was the youngest Oriole (20 years, 132 days) to get a hit since Manny Machado (20 years, 85 days).

What’s next? The Orioles will open a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins on Monday night at Camden Yards. Cole Irvin (0-1, 8.10) will face Louie Varland (0-2, 9.00) at 6:35.

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

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