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Five home runs, including Austin Hays’ second-deck blast, lift Orioles to 9-3 win over Cubs in Brandon Hyde’s first game managing vs. former club

The consistent fall of rain in Baltimore perhaps offered some cover, but the first pitch of Tuesday night’s Orioles game and six others that followed made it clear: Summer has arrived early at Camden Yards.

After Chicago Cubs leadoff hitter Christopher Morel hammered Kyle Bradish’s first pitch over Oriole Park’s new left field wall to begin the night, the Orioles answered with five home runs of their own — including a second-decker from Austin Hays — to beat Chicago, 9-3, in the first half of a two-game interleague set.

It took two pitches for Baltimore (24-33) to even the score with Cedric Mullins going deep, marking the first time an Orioles game featured both teams hitting leadoff home runs since Houston’s George Springer paired with Adam Jones in 2016. Trey Mancini sent Cubs starter Keegan Thompson’s next pitch into the bullpen in left-center, marking the first time the Orioles’ first two at-bats resulted in homers since Seth Smith and Manny Machado did it in 2017. The consecutive solo shots doubled the Orioles’ total of first-inning home runs this season.

The Orioles broke the game open an inning later when Jorge Mateo hit a three-run home run beyond the new wall. It was Baltimore’s 11th three-run home run of the season, a total that entered the day as the most in baseball and surpassing their 2021 mark. They pushed two more runs across in the third, with Hays doubling in a run then narrowly beating the throw to the plate on Ryan Mountcastle’s sacrifice fly.

“We haven’t been real good at scoring early in the game,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We haven’t done that a whole lot this year, really in the past few years. I just thought we came out swinging aggressively. Maybe a little contagious.”

The Cubs chased Bradish from the game in the fifth. The rookie right-hander took the mound having thrown 88 pitches, just three beneath his season high, but Willson Contreras sent No. 89 over the left field wall. A two-out walk ended Bradish’s night after 105 pitches, but the Orioles got that run back in emphatic fashion.

With two outs in the inning, Hays launched a 2-1 changeup from Alec Mills down the left field line, with the drive becoming only the seventh home run in Camden Yards’ 30-year history to reach the ballpark’s second deck. At a projected 464 feet, it was the fourth-longest home run at Camden Yards since Statcast began tracking in 2015, coming a foot shy of a Machado solo shot in 2017 for the longest at home by an Oriole in that time.

Asked whether he’s ever hit a ball to that area in batting practice, Hays immediately responded, “No.”

“I’ve never sniffed the second deck before,” Hays said. “I don’t know if there was a gust of wind or what happened on that one, but all the stars aligned for me to get one up there.”

Having battled injuries for much of his major league career, Hays is batting .292 with an .826 OPS, playing in 52 of the Orioles’ 57 games. That includes a .341/.399/.543 slashline against right-handed pitchers after he had a .684 OPS against same-handed throwers in 2021. Hyde credited the success to health, with Hays saying the consistent at-bats that come with it are playing the largest role.

“He’s just hitting the ball hard,” Hyde said. “I think you’re seeing what kind of player he can be when he stays healthy and he plays every day.”

Hays’ blast was the fourth home run of the night over the deeper left field wall and seventh in six June games after there were eight in Baltimore’s first 24 home games.

For good measure, Ramón Urías homered in the sixth, making Tuesday the first time since August 2017 that five Orioles all homered in the same game. Mancini was part of both quintets.

“I think we kind of noticed it in the Seattle series; I felt like balls were carrying a little bit more,” Hyde said. “Thought the ball was really carrying tonight. Not to take anything away from the homers, but there was a lot of deep flyouts. … I think we’ve seen it here before. Balls carry here, but we had five tonight, and it was good to see.”

‘Pretty magical’

As he’s managed his way through “some long days” in Baltimore, Hyde has often fallen back on his experience on the Cubs’ coaching staff, watching a rebuilding process unfurl and result in a championship.

Tuesday marked the first time he’s managed opposite his former team, for whom he was the first base coach on their 2016 World Series title club among what he called “seven pretty magical years there.”

He acknowledged it was a “little strange” to be managing against them, though Chicago has endured many changes since Hyde’s tenure there. Cubs manager David Ross was a catcher on the roster during Hyde’s coaching stint. Before Tuesday’s game, he chuckled thinking of a photo of he and Hyde missing on a high-five attempt after a Cubs walk-off victory.

“I think I sat next to Brandon as he stood on the steps at Wrigley every day of my tenure in Chicago when I was a player, and he’s a real old-school baseball-minded person. I think he’s got a lot of experience and I value him for his baseball opinion. I call him for opinions, managerial opinions, people opinions, baseball opinions, spring training opinions, all the time.

“It was a special group. He’s a special man. Outside of us winning, he’s a great human being, great baseball man that I had a lot of good baseball conversations with. Learned a ton from him.”

Around the horn

> Before the game, the Orioles reinstated infielder Chris Owings from the bereavement list, claimed right-hander Austin Voth from the Washington Nationals and designated right-hander Cody Sedlock, a first-round draft pick in 2016, for assignment. Voth, 29, has a 5.70 career ERA across five major league seasons and has pitched mostly in relief the past two years.

> Rookie catcher Adley Rutschman singled in the eighth inning to snap an 0-for-20 skid. Through 14 major league games, the top prospect in baseball is batting .145.

> Terrin Vavra rejoined Triple-A Norfolk after a rehab assignment with High-A Aberdeen, though the Tides’ game in Nashville was rained out.

CUBS@ORIOLES

Wednesday, 7:05 p.m.

TV: MASN2

Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM

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Source: Berkshire mont

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