Rougned Odor has had quite a few big moments for the Orioles this season.
Tuesday night wasn’t exactly shaping up to be a good one for Rougned Odor and the Baltimore Orioles. They weren’t sharp defensively, committing three errors, and there was a 78-minute rain delay thrown into the middle of the game. Things weren’t too great, until one swing of the bat from Rougned Odor.
The two-run home run in the 8th inning from Odor took the game from a 5-4 deficit to a 6-5 lead for the Orioles, a lead that stuck in the 9th inning to give the Orioles a dramatic win, and also a series win, against a division rival, the Toronto Blue Jays.
While Odor has had a somewhat up and down season, sitting at just a .196 batting average and .635 OPS, one thing that that cannot be denied is his penchant for coming up big in the clutch moments. That is what saved the Orioles on Tuesday night, and it’s what has saved them in a few other games this season.
So far this season, Odor has 11 home runs to his name. That in itself is a rather unimpressive stat, but six of those 11 home runs have come in high leverage situations, as defined by Baseball Reference. Odor’s blast was also important when you realize that it put the Orioles just a half game back of the third and final wild card spot entering play on Wednesday.
The big swing from Odor clinched a series win against the Blue Jays, the first time the Orioles have beaten them in a series since July of 2019. He’s also helped them win a few other series against division rivals this season, and the Orioles have a record of .500 or better against three of the four teams they face in the AL East, with the New York Yankees the only team they are under .500 against this season. Odor had this to say after the game:
"“You look around, and there’s a lot of good players on this team, a lot of young guys that not a lot of people know. There’s a lot of good talent on this team, and we play together and we have fun, and when we have fun, a lot of good things happen.”"
Of course, Odor’s night didn’t end after his big homer in the 8th inning. Because, in the 9th, he was right back out there defensively. What better way to end the night than Odor catching the final out, a line drive off the bat of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to seal the win for the Orioles?
While the whole team has been a big reason for the Orioles surprising success this season, some of the big hits for Odor have been the reason that this team is so close to a playoff spot. He’s been clutch, and that’s one thing a contending team sure needs.