When the Baltimore Orioles needed him the most, Cedric Mullins delivered.
Mullins and the Orioles were trying to close out the Seattle Mariners in the ninth inning when Ty France hit a long drive to center field off pitcher Mike Baumann. Mullins tracked the ball perfectly, leaped up and grabbed it just as it was going over the fence.
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The outfielder and Baumann both exclaimed in jubilation as the second out of the inning was recorded. But the happiness didn’t last too long.
Two pitches later, Mariners batter Dominic Canzone tied the game with a deep fly to right field. Baltimore and Seattle moved to extra innings.
With one on, Mullins delivered again. He hit a two-run home run off Trent Thornton to give the Orioles a 5-3 lead. They would win by that score and improve to 73-54 on the year.
“It’s crazy,” Mullins said after the game. “There’s always that scenario of what’s better, to rob a home run or hitting one, but to do it basically within an inning is pretty cool.”
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Orioles manager Brandon Hyde called Mullins’ play the “catch of the year.”
“I’d say the moment, for sure, ranks in top three. Might be number one, I’d have to go back and look through the archive,” Mullins added. “But just a fun game all around for us.”
With the win, the Orioles maintained the best record in the American League and a three-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East.
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The Mariners fell to 63-54 and sit 1.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the final spot in the AL Wild Card race.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.