BALTIMORE (AP) — Cedric Mullins hit for the cycle for Baltimore, and his three-run homer in the eighth inning helped the Orioles to a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
Mullins hit a single in the third, a triple in the fifth and a double in the seventh before completing the cycle with a drive to right in his final plate appearance. He became the seventh Oriole to accomplish the feat and first since Austin Hays on June 22, 2022 against Washington.
After his home run, Mullins received a standing ovation when went back to his position in center field for the top of the ninth. His teammates stayed back, letting him take the field by himself.
The Pirates have lost 10 of 11 since starting the season 20-8, and they twice blew a one-run lead in this game. Up 2-1 in the seventh, Jose Hernandez (0-1) allowed consecutive doubles by Mullins and Adley Rutschman with one out. That tied the game, and after Anthony Santander struck out, Ryan Mountcastle snuck a grounder up the middle past shortstop Rodolfo Castro for an RBI single.
Bryan Baker (3-0) pitched 1 1/3 perfect innings of relief, giving way to Austin Voth to start the ninth after Mullins’ homer had put Baltimore up 6-2. Voth allowed all three of his hitters to reach — including Jack Suwinski on a run-scoring single. With men on first and third and nobody out, Félix Bautista came on and struck out three straight hitters for his ninth save in 12 chances.
Connor Joe homered for Pittsburgh in the seventh.
Kyle Bradish allowed three hits in six innings for Baltimore, striking out six with one walk. Ji Hwan Bae led off the third for the Pirates with an infield single when shortstop Jorge Mateo appeared to have trouble getting a grip on the ball before throwing to first.
After a wild pitch and a groundout, Pittsburgh had a man on third with one out. Ke’Bryan Hayes hit a grounder to Mateo, who had a chance to get Bae at the plate but threw wildly for an error.
Mountcastle led off the bottom of the sixth with a triple when Joe couldn’t make a sliding catch of his fly ball in the right-field corner. After a walk by Adam Frazier, Dauri Moreta replaced Pittsburgh starter Johan Oviedo and struck out Austin Hays.
Moreta, however, allowed the tying run to score on a wild pitch. The ball bounced to catcher Austin Hedges’ right, then caromed back to the left off Gunnar Henderson, the Baltimore batter. That caused Hedges to have trouble locating the errant pitch and gave Mountcastle enough time to score.
Joe put the Pirates up 2-1 in the seventh when his drive to left stayed fair for a solo homer.
The Orioles recalled left-hander Nick Vespi from Triple-A Norfolk.
Orioles: Manager Brandon Hyde said the timetable — two or three weeks — for INF Ramón Urías (left hamstring strain) remains the same. Urías has been exercising and getting treatment.
Baltimore starts Tyler Wells (2-1) on Saturday night against Pittsburgh’s Roansy Contreras (3-3). Hyde will miss that game because of his daughter’s graduation at Syracuse.