ARLINGTON, Texas — As manager Brandon Hyde walked down the dugout steps, wracking his brain for an answer to solve the dilemma the Orioles found themselves in, Tyler Wells approached with the answer.

The right-hander was scheduled to pitch Tuesday against the Texas Rangers. He wasn’t wearing spikes, nor did he have a jersey on. But there was a need, and Wells was hellbent on filling it, if that’s what his teammates required.

“I can do this,” Wells told Hyde.

Hyde had just watched as right-hander Kyle Bradish, Monday night’s starter, limped down the dugout steps into the clubhouse with a right foot contusion from the 104-mph line drive that knocked him out of the game. He thought of the 13 2/3 innings of relief Baltimore’s bullpen had to cover against the Boston Red Sox to begin the season.

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And then he realized, the best chance for the Orioles to win Monday’s game was to turn to Wells. So Wells ran to get his cleats and his uniform, then hustled to the bullpen to prepare to become an emergency reliever in Baltimore’s 2-0 series-opening win against the Rangers.

“He came to the park not thinking he would pitch,” Hyde said. “To do what he did, that’s just absolutely amazing. Amazing performance.”

Wells didn’t have time to think about his approach. The pregame tactical session he would normally go through with his catcher and pitching coaches didn’t occur, because he wasn’t expecting to step onto the mound at all.

But Wells filled the zone with strikes, needing just 47 pitches to record five no-hit innings. The only runner to reach base did so because of an error by shortstop Jorge Mateo in the fifth inning.

“Sometimes at this point in time, you go out there and you do it,” Wells said. “You don’t even have time to think. And it’s pretty quick and it happens pretty fast, and sometimes that works out in your favor.”

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Catcher Anthony Bemboom said Wells established all five of his pitches early in the outing, replacing left-hander Danny Coulombe (who stranded both runners he inherited in the second and pitched a scoreless third). Wells leaned on his four-seam fastball and cutter, and while he recorded just two strikeouts, the vast majority of balls off Rangers’ bats were weak contact.

“He doesn’t have the luxury of kind of feeling it out and trying to get into a groove like a regular start,” Bemboom said. “Maybe it was just going to all his pitches right away, which he did a really good job of, and just filling up the zone with all his pitches.”

The pitching staff’s performance was backed by an impressive swing from infielder Gunnar Henderson, who smoked an opposite-field home run at 106.6 mph and traveled 408 feet into the left field seats at Globe Life Field.

Henderson walked six times in his first 14 plate appearances against the Red Sox, the most of any player in the majors through three games. But he also struck out four times and was left waiting for his first hit of the campaign. But Hyde felt as though it was just a matter of time before his young star’s good at-bats turned into results. And Monday, they did.

“I’ve been seeing the ball really well, I’ve been taking some good at-bats,” Henderson said. “I knew it was only a matter of time before I got some good pitches to hit and put a barrel on them.”

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Mateo added on for Baltimore in the fifth with a blast of his own, powering a pull-side homer 433 feet off the façade of the second deck.

Those two blasts were all the Orioles needed, even after Bradish’s early departure. The 26-year-old took a 104-mph line drive from Rangers catcher Jonah Heim off his right foot, and the club announced his preliminary X-rays were negative for a fracture.

But in his stead were Coulombe, Wells and closer Félix Bautista to finish out a tight victory, with one infield hit the lone knock against Baltimore from a team that had combined to score 29 runs against the Philadelphia Phillies in three games.

Wells could’ve waited for his turn in the rotation to come around Tuesday. With his team in need, though, his five no-hit innings were a saving grace for a fatigued bullpen facing an early exit — and they were well worth a midgame sprint to the clubhouse.

“Nothing you can’t throw on a little bit of clothes for if you need to,” Wells said.

Andy Kostka is an Orioles beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Orioles for The Baltimore Sun. Kostka graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Rockville.

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