Rylan Bannon became just the third Baltimore player since 2000 to get a hit on the first pitch of his big league career, Jorge Mateo and Anthony Bemboom homered and the Orioles beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 on Thursday.
Bannon a 26-year-old third baseman, was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk before the game and singled on a pitch from Steven Matz (3-3) with two outs in the second inning, one batter after Mateo homered to put the Orioles ahead.
Bannon went 1 for 4 with a strikeout and two flyouts. The 2017 Big East Player of the Year at Xavier, he was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the eighth round of the 2017 amateur draft and traded to Baltimore in July 2018 in the deal that brought Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Bemboom hit his first big league home run since September 2020 in the seventh, and Cedric Mullins added an RBI single off Genesis Cabrera later in the inning for a 3-0 lead.
Matz lost his second straight start, allowing three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks.
Baltimore took two of three from the Cardinals and improved to 4-1 in rubber games this season after going 7-5 in such games in 2021.
Keegan Akin (1-0), the second of six Orioles pitchers, got just his fourth win in 16 big league decisions, allowing one hit over 2 2/3 scoreless innings and striking out four on a bullpen day for the Orioles.
Bryan Baker gave up one hit in 2 1/3 innings of his first big league start.
Dylan Carlson hit a solo homer off Cionel Perez in the seventh after Tyler O'Neill bounced into a double play. Nolan Arenado added a sacrifice fly in the eighth against Joey Krehbiel.
Felix Bautista got four straight outs for his second save of the series and the season.
Trey Mancini singled twice and has a hit in eight of nine games since returning from bruised ribs on May 3.
Jordan Hicks (1-2, 3.78) is slated to start in Friday's series opener against Francisco. Hicks has not gone longer than 4 1/3 innings in six starts this season.