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Orioles make home run history Tuesday night in more ways than one

Orioles make home run history Tuesday night in more ways than one

The Orioles pitching staff has struggled with the long ball all season long, and it culminated in a couple of historic moments at the ballpark.

First, it was Gary Sanchez joining his teammate Gleyber Torres in torturing Orioles pitchers this season, launching his eighth home run of the year against the O’s alone. 

Torres reached that mark earlier in the series, making them the first pair to reach eight home runs in the same season against the Orioles since Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. 

Anytime you’re the first to do something since literally Ruth and Gehrig, two of the greatest home run hitters in the history of the sport, you’re clearly doing something right (or wrong, if you’re an Orioles fan).

What’s especially concerning for the Orioles is how quickly Torres and Sanchez reached this mark, needing less than two months to accomplish what no one else had in an entire season for the last 88 years.

The other piece of history made also came with shocking speed in 2019.

In April, the Orioles became the first franchise to allow at least 50 home runs before May 1. The unfortunate thing for them is they reached the mark with a week and a half to spare.

That trend has continued into May, and the pitching staff now has another claim to fame.

In the sixth inning, the Yankees crushed their third bomb of the evening, bringing the Orioles home runs allowed total to 100 on the season. Per ESPN, the previous fastest team to allow that many was the 2000 Royals, who needed 57 games to make history.

The Orioles did it in just 48. They aren’t just setting records; they’re obliterating them.

Understandable, manager Brandon Hyde is less-than-pleased with the mark.

"We’re facing good teams, but you gotta pitch." Hyde emphatically told reporters after the game. "Gotta stay off the barrel, gotta be able to locate And if you don’t, in a hitter's ballpark, against guys who mash, you're going to give up 100 homers in 40-something games."

Hyde isn't wrong. If the staff keeps pitching the way they have so far, it’s not hard to imagine the Orioles setting a few more benchmarks for futility in 2019.

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One year ago today, Adley Rutschman became the face of the Orioles' rebuild

One year ago today, Adley Rutschman became the face of the Orioles' rebuild

The Orioles officially got a face of the rebuild one year ago today. 

Adley Rutschman, the former Oregon State catcher, was selected first overall by the Orioles on June 3, 2019, which was the first pick of the team’s multi-year rebuild. 

A switch-hitting catcher, the former College World Series Most Outstanding Player hit .408 and .411 in back-to-back seasons as a Beaver. In each of his last two seasons, his on-base percentage was over .505. His OPS in 2018 and 2019 were 1.133 and 1.327, respectively. 

In his final season in Corvallis, he hit 17 home runs and had 76 hits in 57 games played. He also walked 76 times and struck out just 38 times.

The sixth catcher to go first overall, and the first since Joe Mauer in 2001, he was the first ever selection of general manager Mike Elias as the Orioles began their rebuild toward contention once again.

“I think just to go No. 1 overall is an honor and a tribute to all the people who’ve shaped me into who I am today,” Rutschman told NBC Sports Washington that night. “Just to be able to do that for the people around me, my friends and family, to be the first one for Baltimore is truly a special honor.”

Rutschman played in 37 games after he was drafted for Delmarva, Aberdeen and the Gulf-Coast Orioles, where he slashed .254/.351/.423 and hit four home runs. His fielding percentage was .976 and he tallied 150 putouts. 

He’s been compared to Mauer and San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey in the past, a fact not lost on Rutschman himself.

“It’s an honor,” Rutschman said. “Those guys are phenomenal players, phenomenal athletes, and a lot of them are phenomenal humans. So to be talked about in that same comparison is very special.”

Rutschman will be joined by the Orioles eventual second overall pick in a week, but make no mistake, Rutschman is the face of the rebuild. 

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Orioles in statement: 'We are committed to advocate for the change our country needs'

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Orioles in statement: 'We are committed to advocate for the change our country needs'

The Orioles were one of many teams to release a statement about protests and the Black Lives Matter movement across the country late Tuesday, as nearly every professional sports team has in the last two days.

“Nearly six decades ago, at another low point in our country’s ongoing struggle to understand and rectify the racial injustice our fellow Americans have endured since the inception of our nation, the author James Baldwin warned, ‘Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced,’” the statement began. 

The Orioles statement came amidst a flurry of statements released by MLB teams in the late afternoon.

“Today, as our friends and neighbors experience the same mistreatment of generations ago in the form of engrained, unyielding and institutionally-discriminatory systems that deny justice and equality and provide in their place a steady supply of brutalizing misconduct, compounded in some cases by voices that fan the flames of violence and racism, it is imperative that we face the past and present,” the statement continued. 

The statement concluded with the phrase, “Black Lives Matter,” one of the only team-released statements to reference the specific movement. 

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