BALTIMORE -- Orioles pitching prospect David Hess walked into the clubhouse for the first time on Friday. Manager Buck Showalter wanted to make sure Hess tried on his uniform and experienced as many "firsts" as possible in advance of his Major League debut.But what Showalter, or anyone for that matter,
BALTIMORE -- Orioles pitching prospect David Hess walked into the clubhouse for the first time on Friday. Manager Buck Showalter wanted to make sure Hess tried on his uniform and experienced as many "firsts" as possible in advance of his Major League debut.
But what Showalter, or anyone for that matter, couldn't prepare Hess for was adversity. And the righty, who allowed a three-run homer one out into his first career start, immediately showed his grit. Hess tossed five scoreless frames after a shaky first, recording a quality start in a memorable debut that highlighted a 6-3 win over the Rays in Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader.
After the 10-3 loss to the Rays in Game 2, the Orioles optioned Hess back to Triple-A Norfolk. While the move may look odd because he pitched so well, Hess is eligible to come back whenever needed and does not need to stay in the Minors for 10 days.
"That was fun to watch," said Showalter, who procured the lineup card to present to Hess. "One of the things we've always liked about David is his moxie, and [he] showed you a little bit there. A lot of guys would have pulled the dirt around them a little bit, but he didn't and that's one of the things we liked about giving him an opportunity."
The victory, which gave Baltimore a season-high four game-winning streak, saw red-hot Manny Machadohomer for the fourth time in three games and Jonathan Schoop deliver a pair of solo blasts off Rays starter Chris Archer. But the day belonged to Hess, who nimbly held Tampa Bay to three hits after Matt Duffy's three-run first-inning homer to pick up the win.
"After that home run I felt like everything kind of slowed down a bit, so I think without realizing it there might have been some [nerves]," said Hess, who had a large crowd of family and friends on hand screaming for him at Camden Yards. "But after that I kind of settled in and felt like I was able to make the pitches I wanted to make. Chance Sisco called a great game back there. We were on the same page. So you can't beat that."
Ranked as the O's No. 17 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Hess was pitching on just three days' rest from his last Triple-A outing and confidently maneuvered through the Rays' lineup. He struck out just three, using his defense all day and not allowing a walk over the 78-pitch outing.
"I don't know if he did anything specifically different [after the first]," Duffy said of Hess, who used a four-pitch mix to keep Tampa Bay off balance. "We kind of let him get into a little more of a comfortable rhythm ... kept the momentum in their dugout."
Hess retired 10 of his final 11 batters before handing the ball over to the bullpen. Fellow pitching prospect Tanner Scott recorded the next four outs with Mychal Givens picking up his first big league save.
"I think Mike's outing was as big as any. Tanner pitched well. David presented himself well," Showalter said, when asked if he wanted to see more of Hess. "We'll see what best serves us."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
O's go back-to-back: Machado, who leads the American League in batting average, tied Boston's Mookie Betts for the MLB lead with a third-inning homer off Archer. Schoop followed to mark the first time the Orioles hit back-to-back jacks this season. The pair of homers also gave Baltimore a two-run lead it would not relinquish.
"Some pitchers you have more success off," Schoop said following his seventh career multi-homer game. "You just go out there and try to compete and try to put a good swing and hit the ball hard somewhere and hope you get on and win. That's all that matters."
Schoop's second homer was the 92nd of his career, which tied him with Brian Roberts for the O's club record as a second baseman.
"I respect Brian a lot. He helped me a lot in my career. When I was in the Minor Leagues, he was coming down and rehabbing. He helped me out. I'm thankful for him," Schoop said. "He still teaches me a lot of things. He's one of the best over there that I've seen."
HE SAID IT
"I can't really put it into words. It's just an experience that you literally dream about since you were a kid. To be here in front of you guys [in the media] is great. It is hard to put into words, but it definitely has been everything and more I thought it would be." -- Hess, on his big league debut and first win
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Orioles pulled off the unusual two-out double steal that included Sisco racing home to tie the game in the second. Jace Peterson also swiped second, a call that was ruled to stand after a challenge by the Rays.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.