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Dodgers use grand slam to spoil Grayson Rodriguez’s return and snap Orioles’ win streak

Bryan Baker allowed a grand slam with two outs in the sixth inning, and the Orioles never recovered.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles were cruising. Grayson Rodriguez returned and looked the part of a front line starter over the first five innings. The bats secured an early lead, and Baltimore appeared destined for their ninth straight victory. Unfortunately, the good vibes evaporated in a hurry.

The Dodgers used a Chris Taylor grand slam to fuel a five-run sixth inning, and the Orioles never recovered. The Orioles fell 6-4 as the win streak finally came to an end.

Rodriguez entered the game throwing heat. The rookie reached triple digits multiple times while retiring Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman to start the first. Will Smith snuck a two-out single by Ryan O’Hearn, but Rodriguez struck out Max Muncy with a high fastball to end the inning.

Rodriguez erased a one-out single with an inning ending double play in the second and showcased his changeup with a pair of strikeouts in the third.

The first sign of trouble came when LA snuck another ball through the right side in the fourth. Freeman advanced on a wild pitch, and Rodriguez issued his first walk to place two on with nobody out. Freeman advanced to third on a fly ball to right field, and JD Martinez punched one to left for the Dodgers’ first run.

Still, Rodriguez showed poise and generated a pair of grounders to end the inning.

The 23-year-old delivered a 1-2-3 fifth inning with a little help from Betts. Betts slapped a two-out base hit to center field but Aaron Hicks nabbed the All Star attempting to stretch a single into a double.

Rodriguez returned to the mound in the sixth holding a three-run lead.

Ryan O’Hearn and Ryan Mountcastle had strung together a pair of two-out hits to plate Adley Rutschman in the first. Colton Cowser worked a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a double by Ramón Urías to start the second inning. Frazier earned an RBI with a weakly hit ground ball, and Gunnar Henderson ripped a ball down the right-field line for an RBI-triple.

Adley Rutschman provided some insurance with a solo homer in the fifth, but the Birds needed more than that.

Freeman led off the sixth with a deep ball that a jumping Hicks failed to secure. Freeman raced to third after the ball trickled off Hicks’ glove, and Smith quickly drove in Freeman to trim the lead to two.

Rodriguez fired another wild pitch and proceeded to walk Muncy to place two on with nobody out. Brandon Hyde summoned Bryan Baker to relieve Rodriguez, and the rookie’s fate fell in the “out-maker’s” hands.

Baker retired Martinez and David Peralta with fly balls to center, but Jason Heyward used a veteran at bat to work a two out walk. Chris Taylor stepped in with the bases loaded and quickly fell behind 0-2 in the count.

Unfortunately, Taylor sat on the heater and Baker served up a good one. Taylor launched a ball over the center field fence for a go-ahead grand slam. The blast increased Rodriguez’s earned runs from two to four, and catapulted Los Angeles to a two-run lead.

Mike Baumann retired a pair of hitters in the seventh, but Hyde summoned Nick Vespi for the third. Vespi rose to the occasion by retiring Muncy and saving the bullpen with two additional scoreless innings.

Colton Cowser worked the count full and reached base after a pitch-clock violation to start the ninth. Urías followed with a softly hit double play ball, and Jordan Westburg flew out to end the game.

The loss sours a mostly positive return for Rodriguez. The rookie was clearly amped up with the triple-digit fastball, but his offspeed stuff looked valuable. He issued a pair of walks and threw two wild pitches, but at least one WP could have been blocked by Rutschman.

The Dodgers feature one of the better lineups in baseball, and there’s no shame dropping a game to the team leading the NL West. The Orioles certainly did not look overmatched against a successful club with a top-five payroll, and the Birds will look to start another winning streak tomorrow with Tyler Wells on the mound.