The Orioles’ introduction to Reds rookie left-hander Amir Garrett on Wednesday night will be one they remember, more because of how the Orioles were able to scrape across just enough offense to nullify a dominant performance.
Otherwise, the 24-year-old Garrett — who was making his third career big league start — bottled up the Orioles offense, striking out 12 batters to tie the Reds’ modern-day record for strikeouts in a game by a rookie left-hander.
“You can see why they’re so high on him and we didn’t exactly solve him,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
The Orioles struck out a season-high 16 times on the night. They struck out 15 times on Thursday in Toronto.
Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (1-0) bettered Garrett by throwing 72/3 shutout innings to earn his first win of the season.
The Orioles (9-4) have won five of their past seven games, and seven of their nine wins have been decided by two runs or fewer.
The Orioles overcame the hangover of one of their worst losses of the season a day earlier, when Opening Day starter Kevin Gausman was shelled in a 9-3 loss to Cincinnati.
Gentry makes big play: Showalter didn’t start outfielder Craig Gentry because he wanted to have him as a weapon off the bench to play defense or run the bases.
Gentry entered the game in the eighth, playing left field, and made one of the most important plays of the game.
With a runner at third and two outs, Gentry chased down a tailing fly ball off the bat of Joey Votto into foul territory, making the catch just before hitting the railing of the stands.
Brach gets save: With closer Zach Britton on the disabled list with a left forearm strain, right-hander Brad Brach received the save opportunity on Wednesday and recorded his fourth career save with a perfect ninth inning.
Brach figures to get the bulk of the save opportunities in Britton’s absence, but could share them with Darren O’Day, who was also warming in the Orioles’ bullpen late.
Brach retired the Reds in order in the ninth in nine pitches.