For a brief moment in the eighth inning, left-hander Sionel Perez stood in the Orioles’ bullpen and began warming up. He was an insurance policy, an option to turn to if right-hander Jordan Lyles ever wavered.

But as Lyles continued to chew up pitches, Perez soon settled back down, leaving Lyles in charge for the ninth inning. That’s how Lyles envisions each start, picking up his teammates, offering the bullpen an outing. It didn’t happen as often as it would have liked, however, with Lyles becoming just the second pitcher to throw a complete game during manager Brandon Hyde’s tenure and fellow left-hander John Means hitting a no-hitter last year in Seattle.

On the mound, it was the veteran who helped the Orioles avoid defeat by the Detroit Tigers. And at the plate, it was a crop of Orioles starters who provided run support in an 8-1 victory Wednesday night.

Lyles paced the Tigers, making 72-of-94 shooting for 76.6%. The 31-year-old allowed just one run, a solo homer off right fielder Kerry Carpenter in the seventh inning, and gave up three hits with six strikeouts.

As Lyles approached his first complete game since age 21 with the Houston Astros — and the first since 2017 as an Orioles pitcher at Camden Yards — the crowd rose to its feet. He had impressive defense, with right fielder Kyle Stowers making two shutout plays in just the ninth inning. But it was Lyles’ gem that provided the platform for the Orioles’ rookies to take the stage on offense.

Baltimore’s four rookies provided the lion’s share of the runs, with Stowers’ laser-hit homer into the bullpen the highlight. Stowers added an RBI single in the eighth, Terin Vavra reached base three times on two walks and a single, Gunnar Henderson recorded an RBI on two singles and Adley Rutschman checked in with one of his own.

Before the game, manager Brandon Hyde emphasized that Rougned Odor has been the team’s “great guy” this season. But Odor was out of the lineup for the fourth straight game because Hyde wanted Wavra to play more second base as the season wound down.

“We’re just looking at some other players right now,” Hyde said, and that could be a more common trend down the road. Stowers has yet to start against a left-handed pitcher, but as Baltimore gathers information on their rookies for next year and beyond, he could find himself in those situations down the stretch.

The Orioles began Wednesday by snapping five straight losses to the Tigers this season, including in May.

Still, the third inning was a welcome reprieve for an offense that had collected two runs in the first 20 innings of this streak. In relative terms, the Orioles broke free, scoring three runs on just one hit with runners in scoring position, a persistent problem in September that was remedied Wednesday by a sacrifice fly and an error.

Henderson, batting third after Hyde struck him in the leadoff in the final days, had a one-out combination to score Rutschmann in the second inning. The hit was just Baltimore’s second with runners in scoring position against Detroit this year, and the Orioles finished with third after Stowers singled over the shortstop for the insurance run in the eighth.

That was more than enough for Lyles, who did what he always tends to do: chew up the innings.

A familiar face

That thought was already on Hyde’s mind the day before Trey Mancini was set to return to Camden Yards. It’s hard to avoid that — what Mancini meant to the Orioles, to the city. An “F16HT” sign remains on the dugout stairs leading to the clubhouse, honoring Mancini’s successful battle with colon cancer.

And even though Mancini will be in the visitors’ clubhouse with the Houston Astros starting Thursday after the trade deadline moves from Baltimore, Hyde expects a standing ovation from Orioles fans and a big hug from his former teammates. to the team.

Mancini burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2017, becoming a regular in Baltimore. He missed the 2020 campaign as he battled cancer, but returned in 2021 and had a strong start to the 2022 season, hitting 10 homers before being traded to the Astros to help Houston make the playoffs.

“I think Trey’s had a huge impact on a lot of people here and just everything that he’s been through, from him going through cancer to how he’s come back from it, his everyday attitude, the smile on his face, his mature manners, how wonderful he is to people,” Hyde said. “I think when you look at him, or just be around him, or watch him on TV, you realize how special a person he is. It’s clear that the fan base loved him and continues to love him, and his teammates think highly of him as well. We are proud of it [F16HT] subscribe again. It means a lot since that year.”

Around the horns

  • The 2022 Orioles joined the 2005 Diamondbacks as the only teams since 1900 to win at least 77 games in a season after 110 losses.
  • Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez went three innings for Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday before his outing was cut short in the fourth. The top pitching prospect in baseball left after 83 innings, allowing six hits and three runs with three hits and seven strikeouts.

This story will be updated.

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