Monday was filled with uncertainty for the Orioles, who entered the day as clear sellers at the trade deadline. They also had a baseball game to play.
And, in a vacuum, the game may have been more exciting than the deadline turned out to be.
On the field, Jose Iglesias’ heads-up play to field a cutoff throw to no one and throw a relay to catcher Chance Sisco for the tag out at home gave the Orioles a 4-3 win over the Blue Jays in 11 innings. The win prevented the Orioles from suffering a four-game sweep in Buffalo.
Away from the field, they traded relief pitcher Miguel Castro to the Mets for pitching prospect Kevin Smith right before the 4pm deadline. Castro said it was a trade that he was surprised to see happen.
As is life on deadline day, the afternoon was a hectic one for the Orioles.
“Guys are going to have to step up,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “It’s the nature of the business right now, this is deadline day. I learned during the game about Miggy. Miggy is a huge loss for us. I’m a big Miguel Castro fan as a person as well. Love the guy. So I feel like he’s been improving ever since I’ve seen him pitch. Put together a nice year this year. Tough to say goodbye to him after the game.”
Hyde was on hold from using Castro during the game, another element of deadline day for managers. Hyde was told during the game about the trade, meaning Castro was the third pitcher in two days to be traded off the Orioles big league roster.
“I feel surprised by the movement made by the Orioles,” Castro said postgame through a translator. “I certainly wasn’t expecting it. At the same time, there’s only a few things I can control. Right now, I'm headed to wear a new jersey, a different jersey.”
Postgame, Castro and Hyde gave a socially distanced hug, Hyde said, and went on their way.
The Orioles bullpen didn’t suffer on the field sans Castro, as it totaled 8 ⅔ innings of four-hit ball. It allowed just one run, which was unearned. After Keegan Akin’s 4 ⅓ inning performance in the first start of his major league career, the Orioles’ bullpen held and kept the Blue Jays off the board until extra innings.
The offense strung together 10 hits, including back-to-back doubles in the top of the 11th inning from Iglesias and Bryan Holaday to give the Orioles the winning run.
That run turned out to be mightily important, as the Blue Jays cut the lead in half before Iglesias’ play at the plate to save the Orioles from what could’ve been a fourth-straight loss to the Blue Jays.
“I see a game-winner right there,” Iglesias said. “It was just a great heads-up play, I was able to read the throw, and it was in no man’s land, and I was just able to go get it, an out for the team.”
The win lifted the Orioles to 15-19 on the season, still firmly in fourth place with 26 games to play.
It was an uplifting win for the Orioles, avoiding a seventh-straight loss to the Blue Jays this season. Now, they’ll head back to Camden Yards for a two-game set with the Mets.
Only this time, Castro won’t be seated in the home bullpen.
“He knows I’m a big fan of his,” Hyde said of Castro. “I just love seeing, every day, the smile on his face. This has been kind of a whirlwind since the game has been over. It was hard to say goodbye. He was emotional, a little bit, saying goodbye to me.”