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Mateo returns to Orioles' lineup, hits three-run HR in win over Braves

Jorge Mateo Baltimore Orioles Jorge Mateo - The Canadian Press

BALTIMORE (AP) — Jorge Mateo hit a three-run homer in his first plate appearance after returning to the lineup, and Albert Suárez allowed four hits in 5 1/3 innings to lead the Baltimore Orioles to their fifth straight win, 4-0 over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.

Mateo was reinstated from the concussion injured list and played for the first time since he was hit in the head by teammate Cedric Mullins' bat in a freak accident at the on-deck circle in a June 2 game. He hit a drive into the Baltimore bullpen in the second inning off Max Fried (6-3).

“Earlier in the count, I was sitting on certain pitches," Mateo said through a translator. "But in that spot, with an 0-2 count, I was just trying to put the ball in play."

Suárez (3-0) lowered his ERA to 1.61, and the Baltimore bullpen — which lost left-hander Danny Coulombe to the injured list before the game — kept Atlanta off the scoreboard.

The Braves wasted a leadoff triple by Michael Harris II in the first inning. Then with men on first and second in the top of the second, Sean Murphy hit a drive to left field that stayed in the park for a flyout thanks to the tall, deep wall in that part of Camden Yards. It would have been a homer in all 29 other ballparks, according to Statcast.

“I thought the wind was blowing out, based off what I had checked, but it seemed like that ball kind of died,” left fielder Austin Hays said. “I was just trying to get back to the wall and find it, and sure enough I still had some room. I'm glad whatever was going on with the wind held it in a little bit."

Mateo's 402-foot shot in the bottom of the inning went only 10 feet farther than Murphy's, but it was hit to left-center, where the wall juts in front of the bullpens. It could have easily been 3-0 Atlanta after Murphy's bid, but instead the Orioles took a 3-0 advantage.

“He hit it the right spot," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “We hit our three-pointer in the wrong spot. When you're going like we are, that's what happens.”

Hays had three hits, including an RBI single in the sixth.

Atlanta, which lost star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. for the rest of the season because of a knee injury, has dropped four straight. The six-time defending champions in the NL East, the Braves are now 10 games behind division-leading Philadelphia. Both of those teams face the Orioles this week in Baltimore.


Orioles: Coulombe went on the 15-day IL with left elbow inflammation. Baltimore recalled RHP Bryan Baker from Triple-A Norfolk to replace him in the bullpen. The Orioles also optioned INF/OF Connor Norby to Norfolk to make room for Mateo. ... LHP Cionel Pérez was hit by Adam Duvall's comebacker in the eighth but stayed in the game.


Orioles rookie Cade Povich (0-1) makes his second career start Wednesday night against Atlanta's Spencer Schwellenbach (0-2).