The Washington Post

Rutschman and O’s flash their resilience

ORIOLES 5, RAYS 1

- BY NATHAN RUIZ

baltimore — At home plate Monday night, a sliding Luke Raley clipped Adley Rutschman — and for a moment the hopes of the Baltimore Orioles’ bright future fell along with their young catcher.

But a beat later, just as quickly as he spun to the ground, Rutschman twirled back to his feet. Such is the resilience of these Orioles, who made that encounter a footnote in a 5-1 victory to open a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays at Camden Yards.

The victory brought Baltimore back to .500, guaranteed a second straight winning month after going nearly five years between them and marked its 48th victory, surpassing the total from the 2018 team that sparked the organizati­on’s rebuild — in 66 fewer games.

That 115-loss campaign granted the Orioles the first pick in the next year’s draft, spent on a player in Rutschman who immediatel­y became the face of the project. Since Rutschman arrived in the majors two months ago, the Orioles have been a more successful team, going 32-24.

A comebacker from Tampa Bay’s Brett Phillips in the second inning briefly seemed as though it might derail that, with the bases-loaded grounder forcing a play at the plate. The throw from Orioles starter Austin Voth beat Raley, but did not come in time for Rutschman to step out of the path of his slide, with Raley jolting Rutschman and sending him to the ground.

He got up without issue just moments later — but only after the crowd of 9,606 held its collective breath.

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