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Lopez back on track

Orioles pitcher bounces back after first hiccup as closer
Jorge Lopez
Posted at 4:52 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 16:52:06-04

BALTIMORE — Of all the feel-good stories on the Orioles roster this year, right at the top is that of Jorge Lopez.

The 29-year-old pitcher is enjoying a career rebirth this season, his first as a closer. Lopez was picked up off waivers by Baltimore in August of 2020. Primarily a starter he went 3-14 last year with a 6.07 ERA in 33 games. This year he is thriving in his new role with a 1.83 ERA in 36 games.

Wednesday's save in a 2-1 win against Texas was his 14th of the season and it was a critical one. It came after his first real bump in road. Last weekend he blew back-to-back saves in Minnesota.

Still, manager Brandon Hyde went back to him Wednesday and he delivered.

"It was huge confidence. Every time I go out there I try to compete as hard as I can and some things happen in this game. A lot of ups and downs. It’s a roller coaster a lot of times," said Lopez on Thursday. "But, the good thing is we have been doing a really good job to get that confidence back. So, just keep working with my executing pitches."

While Lopez has a shot at representing the Orioles at the All-Star Game in a couple weeks, we learned Thursday that an O’s minor leaguer is already headed to All-Star weekend in Los Angeles. Triple-A infielder Gunnar Henderson will play for the American League in the Futures Game on July 16. The contest is comprised of all of the top prospects in baseball.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook