Baltimore Orioles: Jonathan Villar Breaks MLB Record, Austin Hays Has Big Night
By Nick Stevens
Wednesday night featured a historic home run and a career-night for a Baltimore Orioles outfielder.
We have mentioned the Baltimore Orioles in the same sentence as “home run record” on several different occasions this season. Sometimes in a good way, but many times to discuss another home record a team rather not be associated with.
It’s only fitting that Jonathan Villar‘s 443-foot moonshot into left field last night was home run number 6,106 of the major league season, a new record for home runs hit at the big league level in a single year. The 2019 season doesn’t end until September 29th.
Villar’s three-run bomb broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the 7th inning, eventually leading to a 7-3 victory for the Baltimore Orioles over the Los Angeles Dodgers in game two of their three-game series. The win was number 47 on the year for the O’s, finally matching last year’s win total and breaking a six-game losing streak.
Nine of the 12 Orioles who came up to the plate reached base at least once with Dwight Smith Jr.and Austin Hays leading the way offensively for Brandon Hyde‘s club.
Smith made the most of a rare start Wednesday night by going 2-4 with a double and two RBI. His RBI-single in the 6th inning was the hardest-hit ball of the night, coming off the bat at 113.5 mph. He needs to capitalize on every opportunity he gets over these last three weeks of the season and Wednesday night was a good reminder of what Smith brings to the table. He will likely face a tall task to make the 25-man roster next season, but it will be fun to watch him battle.
The story of the night was the Orioles young outfielder, Austin Hays. Hays finished the night 3-4 with a double and a run scored. It was his fifth multi-hit game in 24 major league appearances and his first three-hit effort. His first hit of the night marked his first hit at the major league level since 2017. We mentioned before this series started that Hays was going to be someone to watch after a day off to process being back in the bigs. He didn’t disappoint Wednesday night.
Pedro Severino also contributed to the big night at the plate for the Orioles, hitting his 12th home run of the season. His two-run shot in the 8th put was the icing on the cake in this one.
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Referencing our “what to watch for” piece heading into this series, we also discussed John Means and Dylan Bundy showing up against a very good Dodgers lineup. While we were looking for five solid innings and keeping the Orioles in the game, Means went above and beyond that.
Outside of a few mistakes, Means put in a solid outing against the NL West division champs. Across 6.1 innings of work, the All-Star lefty allowed two runs on four hits (one home run), while walking one and striking out six. His ERA now sits at 3.47 on the year. Means wasn’t able to pick up win number 11 on the year, but Shawn Armstrong did get credit for the victory on his birthday.
It was Armstrong’s 100th career game in the majors and just his second win. Happy birthday!
The Orioles will look to take the series tomorrow with Dylan Bundy (6-13, 5.06 ERA) taking on Rich Hill (4-1, 2.55 ERA).