BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles were coming off of their third win in a row after taking two of three from the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday and Thursday and defeating the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night. Taking the mound for the Orioles would be right-handed pitcher David Hess, who was making his Major League debut.
Before being recalled to Baltimore on Friday, Hess had been dominant at Triple-A Norfolk. In six starts, Hess had a 2-0 record, 2.12 ERA, striking out 29 batters, with batters holding a .189 average against him. Hess was called up earlier during the season from Triple-A Norfolk, but was immediately sent down after being unused.
Hess got roughed up early in the game, allowing surrendering three runs in the first inning. He would get Denard Span to fly out for the first out. Then he allowed two consecutive singles to C.J. Cron and Joey Wendle, which would set up a Matt Duffy three-run home run. Fortunately for Hess, he would settle in after giving up a single to Brad Miller. He would get Adeiny Hechavarria ground into a force out and got Mallex Smith to strike out.
“Just going out there and after that, if I kept throwing up zeroes, then I could give the team a chance to win,” Hess said of the first inning of his outing. “They put together some runs, we could pull it off and they did it.”
Baltimore wouldn’t strike for blood until the bottom of the second inning, with Jonathan Schoop hitting a homer left field off of Chris Archer. After a Mark Trumbo single, Chance Sisco doubled to score Trumbo. Later on in the inning, Jace Peterson and Sisco would steal both second base and home plate to tie the game at 3-3.
The Orioles would continue their attack in the bottom of the third inning with a solo shot to center field by Manny Machado. Schoop would follow up with his second home run of the day, giving the Orioles a 5-3 lead after the third inning.
“I just like to compete and play to win,” said Schoop of his two-home run day. “If you compete, playing to win, good things are gonna happen. So, I’m not really I’m not really worried about hits because I’m ready to win. If you win, good things are going to happen. I go out there with Cooly [Scott Coolbaugh] and I go into the game to compete.”
Hess end up only allowing three more hits for the remainder of his outing. The 24-year old ended his day after going six innings, allowing three runs (three earned), while striking out three batters and allowing a home run. The most important stat for Hess is that he didn’t allow a walk, continually pounding the strike zone.
“It was fun to watch, anytime,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Hess’ outing. “Regardless of things, one thing that we’ve always liked about David [Hess] is his moxie. He showed you a little bit there. That’s one thing that we like about giving him an opportunity.”
As mentioned before, Hess has made the shuttle from Norfolk to Baltimore before. This time was much different, as he actually got to start instead of being placed in the bullpen. Both days were hectic, but he enjoyed every moment of it.
“It’s pretty crazy,” Hess said of his last 24 hours. “I know you guys are probably aware that I have a lot of family here. So, getting everything organized and getting everything situated was a lot of fun. Everyone was really cooperative – the staff here and everyone’s been great. It’s been an exciting process and experience and it’s something that I’ll never forget.”
Trumbo doubled to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning. Sisco would then move him over to third on a groundout. Then, Trumbo would score on a wild pitch from Archer in the bottom of the sixth inning, putting Baltimore up 6-3.
Baltimore would only need two relievers out of the bullpen, starting with Tanner Scott in the top of the seventh inning. Scott had a hitless inning in the seventh and allowed one hit in the eighth. In total, Scott went 1.1 innings, allowing just one hit and striking out one. Givens came on for the five out save, going 1.2 innings, allowing one hit and striking out one.
The Orioles now have their fourth consecutive win of the season, which is their longest winning streak since winning seven-straight games from August 23-30, 2017. They are now 2-2 against Tampa Bay and 9-11 at home. Baltimore is 10-7 when scoring five or more runs in a game.
With Hess pitching and Sisco catching, it was the first time since August 4, 2009 that an Oriole pitcher making his debut had a rookie catcher as his battery mate. Brian Matusz and Matt Wieters were the last two Orioles to accomplish this.
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(Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)