Thursday’s matchup was a special day for Orioles third baseman Rylan Bannon, who had his Major League debut with the franchise’s main lineup after a collegiate career with the Xavier University Musketeers.
Baltimore clinched a tight victory with only a single-point gap over the hosting team. Regardless, the win had the Orioles claim their three games series after a humiliating 10-1 defeat on Wednesday this week.
Bannon’s rookie debut helps Orioles claim victory
Bannon’s debut also marked yet another history for him. The rookie baseman became the third only rookie player for Baltimore since 2000 to manage a first career pitch in his MLB career. The previous player to have a first pitch hit was baseman Rhyne Hughes in April 2010.
“I let him know he’s in the big leagues an hour before the game,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “So, he’ll never forget that. I know it’s a special day for him and his family.”
The 26-year-old was named a Big East Player of the Year in 2017 with the Musketeers. In the same year, the Los Angeles Dodgers had him on their radar and drafted the Xavier University’s prominent infielder in the eight-round of the 2017 amateur draft. In the following year, he was traded to play in Baltimore for the current San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado.
Bannon was then recalled fresh from Triple-A Norfolk ahead of Thursday’s game. The rookie was one for four in addition to having four at-bats, a strikeout, and two flyouts.
Bannon, shortstop Jorge Mateo, catcher Anthony Bemboom, and first baseman Trey Mancini were crucial components behind the team’s victory.
“I trusted the scouting report. I stuck to my approach. I got a pitch middle and put a good swing on it. It was a fastball right down the middle,” Bannon said.
“I felt really like I didn’t get my feet under me until the fifth or so inning. After a couple of at-bats, that’s when it really sunk in where I was. It was a weird feeling being out there early in the game. It was awesome. It’s definitely good to be here. It’s cool to be here in the locker room.”
The Orioles made eight hits in total. Mateo made one home run and Bemboom had his first Major League homer in the seventh inning since his last one in September 2020. Mancini performed relatively, hitting one hit in eight out of nine games he played since May 3 after returning from bruised ribs.
St. Louis was in a tough spot on Thursday when Baltimore outfielder Cedric Mullins made his RBI off to Dominican professional pitcher Génesis Cabrera in the seventh inning to extend the Orioles’ lead to 3-0.
Cardinals pitcher Steven Matz also lost his second start. In 6 2/3 inning, he allowed three runs and seven hits in addition to seven strikeouts and zero walks.
Despite all of these, the 30-year-old lasted longer compared to his previous start.
“As far as stuff goes, definitely a lot better today,” Matz said. “A good stepping stone.”