What they're saying about Rodriguez's start, bullpen's collapse in Orioles' 4-3 loss to Mariners - BaltimoreBaseball.com

What they’re saying about Rodriguez’s start, bullpen’s collapse in Orioles’ 4-3 loss to Mariners

Photo Credit: Gregory Fisher USA TODAY Sports


What happened? Orioles right-hander Grayson Rodriguez hadn’t pitched since April 29th because of right shoulder inflammation and was eager to take the mound against the Seattle Mariners on Saturday afternoon. Rain would delay that start by nearly three hours, but it didn’t have an effect on his performance.

Rodriguez gave up just one hit and shut out the Mariners for six innings, leaving with a 2-0 lead. The bullpen wasn’t able to protect it, giving up all of Seattle’s run in a 4-3 loss at Camden Yards.

Shortstop Gunnar Henderson’s two-out opposite-field home run in the ninth gave the fans who waited out the 2-hour, 58-minute delay some hope. But catcher Adley Rutschman, who won Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays with a two-run walk-off homer, struck out against Mariners closer Andrés Muñoz.

The Orioles (28-15) trail the New York Yankees (32-15) by two games in the American League East.



How good was Rodriguez? Manager Brandon Hyde said Rodriguez would be on a “shorter leash” after he came off the injured list to start Saturday’s game.

“The guy missed a couple of weeks so we are going to keep him around that 80-pitch mark,” Hyde said about Rodriguez. “I thought his fastball command was a little erratic early, but he made pitches when he had to. It was great to see him back out there.”

The only hit Rodriguez allowed was an infield single by Julio Rodríguez in the sixth. He finished with seven strikeouts, three walks, and a hit batter, throwing 82 pitches.

Rodriguez has a 1.14 earned-run average in four starts at Camden Yards this season. He has not lost a home regular-season game since May 26th, 2023, against Texas.

“To be able to go six innings with the three weeks off was big for me,” Rodriguez said. “I wish I could have been in the strike zone a little more. I got a little wobbly with the heater. I need to work on that before the next start. I felt great.”

The Orioles gave him a 2-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by Austin Hays in the second and an RBI single by O’Hearn in the third off Seattle starter Luis Castillo.

What happened to the bullpen? Danny Coulombe replaced Rodriguez and allowed a single to Luke Raley and a double to Dylan Moore, who scored on a fielder’s choice by Mitch Haniger that cut the lead to 2-1. Albert Suárez entered and allowed the tying run on a double by Ty France.

It was the first time Coulombe was charged with multiple runs in 20 appearances this season.

The Mariners took a 4-2 lead in the eighth on RBI doubles by Cal Raleigh off Yennier Cano and another double by Dylan Moore off Cionel Pérez. Cano was charged with both runs.

“We just had a couple of bad pitches there in big spots,” Hyde said. “They’ve been excellent this year. We can’t ask for anything more from those guys.”

How impressive was Henderson’s home run? Henderson hit his major league-leading 14th home in the top of the ninth off a Muñoz fastball. It traveled 410 feet and landed in the left-field seats.

“There are only a few left-handers in the league that can hit a ball at that spot,” Hyde said. That’s a really impressive home run and unbelievable power from a 22-year-old left-handed hitter.”

What’s with Westburg? Third baseman Jordan Westburg hit a one-out triple and scored on the sacrifice fly by Hays in the second. He has three triples this season. Westburg is tied for second in Major League Baseball with 11 multi-RBI games, trailing the Rangers’ Adolis García (12).

How about Mateo’s improvement? Orioles second baseman Jorge Mateo led off with a double to right in the third inning and 11 of his 19 hits have gone for extra bases this season. He and Henderson hit back-to-back triples in Friday night’s 9-2 win. Mateo is batting .260 with eight doubles, one triple, and two home runs. He also stole his sixth base in the seventh and has been playing excellent defense.

What’s next? Corbin Burnes (3-2 with a 2.68 ERA) will start the series finale against Mariners right-hander George Kirby (4-3, 3.58) on Sunday at 1:35 p.m.

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