Ruiz comes up big again, this time in a win

After a would-be decider on Saturday, O's make Sunday heroics stick

September 15th, 2019

DETROIT -- This time, ’s go-ahead hit stood up.

His two-out, two-run homer in the third inning broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Orioles the lead for good in an 8-2 win over the Tigers on Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park.

On Saturday night, his RBI single in the top of the 12th gave Baltimore a 4-3 lead, but Detroit rallied for five runs in their half of the 12th, capped by John Hicks’ walk-off grand slam, to deal the Orioles their 100th loss of the season.

“Rio’s been swinging the bat well the last couple of weeks,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’s starting to tap into his power and he’s been doing a good job at third base.”

Ruiz said he feels he’s been swinging the bat well all year. His home run on Sunday, his 11th, followed a rare RBI bunt single by . Perfectly placed down the third-base line, it brought in , who had tripled, setting up Ruiz’s turn at the plate.

Ruiz, who went 2-for-4 with a walk on Sunday, drilled Edwin Jackson’s full-count pitch just over the right-field fence to put an exclamation point on an eight-pitch at-bat.

“He threw me a cutter earlier in the game and I just stepped out for a minute and I was looking for it,” Ruiz said. “But then he threw me a slider and I was able to barrel it up.”

Ruiz, 25, is hitting .237, and now has 41 RBIs in his first opportunity to play on a somewhat regular basis after being selected off waivers from the Atlanta Braves last Dec. 18.

The Orioles cushioned their lead by adding two runs in the sixth on Jonathan Villar’s single to make it 6-2, and then two more in the eighth on Anthony Santander’s single.

“The rest of our offense the rest of the game scored a lot of runs and hats off to Wojo and to the whole bullpen,” Ruiz said.

Starter Asher Wojciechowski (3-8) went five innings to get the win. He allowed two runs on eight hits, and exited after the game was paused for 39 minutes by rain in the middle of the sixth.