Baltimore Orioles Player of the Week: Adley Rutschman gets homer happy

Adley Rutschman almost single-handedly saved the Orioles consecutive sweep-less series streak.
Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

A lot of news has come out recently about the Baltimore Orioles incredible streak of what is now 106 regular season series' without being swept. A couple close calls against the Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays threatened it, but the streak lives on, thanks in no small part to this week's Baltimore Orioles player of the week, Adley Rutschman.

Rutschman started the week off with a bang against the Blue Jays. On a night where Orioles offense mustered just three hits, Rutschman accounted for two of those hits, both of which went for solo home runs. It was his first career multi-homer game in the major leagues, and each homer gave the O's a one-run lead (though they lost that first game against Toronto).

After the second game was rescheduled due to inclement weather (that turned out to be not so inclement), the Birds and Jays returned for the second game of what became a two-game series. Jordan Westburg was inserted into the leadoff spot and did his best Gunnar Henderson impression by homering in his first at-bat. After that, things went down hill. The Orioles continued hitting the ball and getting on base but they could not get the last hit to drive in any more runners and frustratingly stranded numerous runners in scoring position.

Kyle Bradish started the game for the O's and did not have his best stuff, but to his credit he battled through four innings and allowed two runs. The bullpen had similar results pitching the next five innings only allowing one hit but four walks. The recently released Mike Baumann was the main standout as he pitched a great 1 2/3 innings to save the rest of the O's bullpen. With the Birds leaving all those runners in scoring position throughout the game and the Jays bringing in their closer, Jordan Romano, for the ninth, the streak appeared all but over.

A glimmer of hope appeared when Westburg led off the bottom of the ninth with a single up the middle that Blue Jays defensive replacement Isiah Kiner-Falefa was not able to handle. Then, on a 2-1 count with Rutschman batting from the left side, the unthinkable happened. Adley connected for his fourth home run in his last three games, and his second walk-off homer of his career, giving the Orioles an unexpected 3-2 win.

Kevin Brown put it best when he said "A truly ridiculous way to end this truly ridiculous game."

With the streak still alive, the Orioles welcomed the Seattle Mariners to town for the second series of the week. The first game saw the return of the Orioles offense. They came out swinging and scored five runs in the first inning. Rutschman went 2-for-4 for the third straight game and the Orioles offense exploded for nine runs on 10 hits. The Birds won 9-2.

Rutschman was quiet in the second game of the series and ended his modest four-game hit streak while the Orioles dropped the game, 4-3. After appearing in 42 of the O's first 43 games, Rutschman got Sunday off in the series finale against the Mariners. The other Orioles must have realized that Rutschman was the favorite for player of the week and smelled blood in the water when he got the day off.

The Birds came out swinging in the finale as Henderson notched his MLB-leading fifth leadoff homer of the season and his 15th total homer on the season (which also leads MLB). Unlike the series finale against the Blue Jays, this time the hits and runs kept coming. The O's recorded 12 hits and six runs to get the series win. Henderson and Ryan O'Hearn homered while Cowser had a three-hit day and a beautiful diving catch in the ninth. Corbin Burnes pitched arguably his best game as an Oriole and Craig Kimbrel recorded his first save since May 3.

For all the excitement the Orioles put on in the final game of the week, none of it was enough for any player to catch up to Rutschman, who finished the week going 6-for-17 with five runs scored, one double, three home runs (including the walkoff), and five RBI. Sunday was a well deserved day of rest for the superstar backstop.

He's going to need it as the Orioles are now three games into a stretch of 43 games scheduled in 45 days.