Cowser's 2-run homer in the 8th lifts Baltimore to its 6th straight win, 4-2 over Atlanta


BALTIMORE — Colton Cowser hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Baltimore Orioles won their sixth straight game, beating the Atlanta Braves 4-2 on Wednesday night.

Cade Povich pitched six scoreless innings in his second big league outing for Baltimore, but Atlanta tied it when Matt Olson hit a two-run shot off Keegan Akin (2-0) in the eighth. Cowser answered with a drive to right-center off Joe Jiménez (1-2) that cleared the wall despite an impressive leaping effort by center fielder Michael Harris II.

“I thought he robbed it at first,” Cowser said. “Really glad it went over.”

Cowser entered as a defensive replacement in right field at the start of the eighth, with the Orioles up 2-0. After Olson’s homer, he made a nice catch in the corner in foul ground. Then came his one chance at the plate.

“I knew that if I came into the game, I was going to get an at-bat,” Cowser said. “Coaches in the tunnel did a great job, kind of gave me an idea of who I was going to face.”

Craig Kimbrel worked a perfect ninth against the franchise he’s most associated with, earning his 16th save in 19 chances.

Atlanta has dropped five straight for the first time since 2017 — the last year the Braves didn’t win the NL East. They entered Wednesday night 10 games behind first-place Philadelphia.

Povich allowed five hits without a walk and struck out six. The 24-year-old left-hander was called up last week to help a Baltimore staff that lost John Means and Tyler Wells to season-ending injuries. Those problems haven’t slowed the Orioles much lately. They’ve allowed nine runs during this six-game streak.

Baltimore scored two in the third against Spencer Schwellenbach. Cedric Mullins hit a leadoff double, and Jorge Mateo singled and stole second. Mullins came home on Gunnar Henderson’s groundout. When Adley Rutschman hit a grounder to first, Olson’s throw home was low and skipped past catcher Sean Murphy. Mateo scored to make it 2-0.

Povich allowed six runs in 5 1/3 innings in his debut at Toronto. He permitted a couple singles to start the fourth against Atlanta, then struck out Austin Riley and got out of the jam on a couple grounders. The Braves had two more hits off him in the sixth but didn’t score. They’ve left 18 men on base through the first two games of this series.

“No walks on the night for our whole pitching staff,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “No walks for Cade Povich. That’s something we talked a lot about with him at the end of spring, about command and how important command of your fastball is and being able to land offspeed in fastball counts for strikes. And he did all that tonight.”

UP NEXT

The Orioles try for a three-game sweep Thursday, sending Cole Irvin (6-2) to the mound against Reynaldo López (3-2).

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb



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