Albert Suárez makes Orioles start in first MLB appearance since 2017, holds Twins scoreless

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The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Minnesota Twins in walk-off fashion on Wednesday (box score), with a two-run shot from Cedric Mullins improving their record to 12-6 on the season. Arguably as notable as how the game ended was how it began: with right-hander Albert Suárez making his first big-league appearance since Sept. 26, 2017 — or, 2,395 days ago. 

Suárez, 34, held the Twins scoreless over 5 2/3 innings, surrendering three hits and no walks. He struck out four of the 21 batters he faced. Suárez generated 14 swinging strikes on 75 pitches, with 11 of those coming on his 96 mph fastball. 

Suárez was called upon because the Orioles are currently without three starting pitchers: Kyle Bradish, John Means, and Tyler Wells, who was placed on the injured list with a case of elbow inflammation.   

For some perspective on how long Suárez went between big-league appearances, consider that the last time he took an MLB mound he was throwing pitches with the San Francisco Giants to since-retired backstop Nick Hundley. He was also throwing those pitches against an Arizona Diamondbacks lineup that featured AJ Pollock, Paul Goldschmidt, and J.D. Martinez.

Suárez’s first professional season came in 2008 as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays organization. He made 40 big-league appearances for the Giants, amassing a 4.51 ERA (91 ERA+) and a 2.38 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In the time since, he’s pitched in Japan for the Yakult Swallows, in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, and even in various winter ball leagues. (Hey, no one said the path to the majors had to be a straight line.)

By the way, Suárez’s brother Robert is the San Diego Padres closer. 

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