For all his talents, Adley Rutschman’s greatest strength might just be his ability to discern balls from strikes, a model of the swing decision-based development plan that floods the Orioles’ minor league system. At times, it’s burned him, with his awareness of the strike zone perhaps sharper than that night’s home-plate umpire.
On Tuesday, when he dropped his bat head on Toronto Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah’s slider just below the strike zone, he showed that the area in which he can do damage is expansive. His solo shot in the fifth inning came two pitches after Cedric Mullins also delivered one, with the back-to-back home runs evening a game the Orioles eventually won, 4-2, to move within half a game of Toronto for an American League wild-card spot.
The Orioles (61-55) were…
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