Kjerstad's grand slam helps Povich notch 1st victory as Orioles win 4th in row, 6-5 over Rangers - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Kjerstad’s grand slam helps Povich notch 1st victory as Orioles win 4th in row, 6-5 over Rangers

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan USA TODAY Sports


BALTIMORE-What happened? After a five-game losing streak, the Orioles have won four in a row, and their stars on a Saturday night prime-time game were a pair of rookies, pitcher Cade Povich and designated hitter Heston Kjerstad.

Povich earned his first major league win, and Kjerstad hit his first grand slam to lead the Orioles to a 6-5 win over the Texas Rangers before a sellout crowd of 44,286 at Camden Yards.

The win moved the Orioles (53-30) a game ahead of the New York Yankees in the American League East. The Yankees lost to Toronto, 9-3.


Corey Seager homered against Povich (1-2) in the first inning. Anthony Santander hit his 13th home run in June in the bottom of the second against Michael Lorenzen (4-4) to tie it at 1.

Derek Hill’s home run in the top of the fifth gave Texas (37-46) a 2-1 lead. Seager was hit in the left wrist by a Povich  pitch in the fifth and immediately walked off the field and went to the clubhouse. X-Rays were negative.

In the bottom of the fifth, Kjerstad’s grand slam gave the Orioles a 5-2 lead. It was his second home run this week and the Orioles’ 60th of the month.

It also came at a perfect time for Povich, who allowed two runs on five hits in five innings, striking out three without walking a batter. He threw 86 pitches.

Bryan Baker allowed a two-run home run to Nathaniel Lowe in the sixth to reduce the Orioles’ lead to 5-4.

Yennier Cano, who threw just seven strikes in 19 pitches on Friday night, pitched a scoreless seventh.

Santander’s ground-rule double scored Adley Rutschman in the seventh to extend the lead to 6-4.

Jacob Webb allowed a home run to Adolis Garcia in the eighth, just the second home run Webb has allowed this season, and his first since April 24th.

Craig Kimbrel walked two in the ninth but retired the Rangers for his 19th save of the season and the 436th of his career, breaking a tie with Boston’s Kenley Jansen for fifth place.

What did Kjerstad think of his grand slam? “Close game. Sold-out stadium. Bases loaded. Those are the moments you want to be part of,” Kjerstad told reporters after the game. “Anytime you can come through for the team and put runs on the board for our pitchers and help win a game, that’s huge. Big time.”

Manager Brandon Hyde liked the grand slam but thinks the rookie still needs work.

“He was late with that curtain call. We’ve got to work on that,” Hyde joked. “Early work tomorrow on the timing of curtain calls because that was five seconds too late. It lost its luster, I felt like. But I give the crowd credit for recognizing the moment. He just booted it in the dugout. It’s 10 pushups for that tomorrow.”

Hyde also said: “The raw power is on another level.”

What was Povich’s reaction to his first win? Povich has been impressive since he joined the starting rotation, even though his numbers might not fully reflect that. After losing Kyle Bradish, John Means and Tyler Wells to season-ending elbow surgery, and missing Dean Kremer because of a triceps muscle strain, the Orioles have needed Povich to pitch effectively. Hyde has praised his composure and now the 24-year-old left-hander has his first win.

“It’s awesome, obviously,” Povich said. “First major league win, but more importantly, a team win and continuing to just try to stack those together.”

What’s the Orioles’ injury situation? Rutschman, who missed Friday’s game with a right hand injury after getting hit with a foul ball, returned to the lineup and walked three times.

Jordan Westburg returned to the lineup after missing Friday’s game with a sore right knee. Austin Hays missed his fourth straight game with a knee injury.

Second baseman Connor Norby was on the taxi squad for the game. He won’t necessarily be activated for Sunday night’s game on ESPN, the second straight prime-time appearance for the Orioles after Fox carried Saturday’s game.

What does it mean? After Sunday’s game, the Orioles’ challenging month of 29 games in 30 days will be over, They should be pleased with how well they have played during this stretch.

What’s the stat of the day? 60. Kjerstad’s home run was the Orioles’ 60th in June. It’ just the third time a major league team has hit 60 in a month.

What’s going on in the minor leagues? Triple-A Norfolk had just two hits in its 1-0 win over Charlotte in 11 innings.

Third baseman Mac Horvath homered in High-A Aberdeen’s 8-3 win over Brooklyn.

Second baseman Aron Estrada had three hits in Single-A Delmarva’s 4-3 win in 10 innings over Down East.

Infielder Terrin Vavra completed his injury rehab at Aberdeen and returned to Norfolk. The Orioles signed two major league veterans, infielder Niko Goodrum and right-handed pitcher Burch Smith to minor league contracts.

What’s next? Cole Irvin (6-4, 3.74) will face Andrew Heaney (2-9, 4.17) on Sunday night at 7:10. The game will be shown on ESPN.

Call for questions: Most weekdays, I’ll be answering at least one Orioles question. Please send yours to: [email protected]

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