Maybe the Orioles ought to keep looking for arms in Korean baseball.

After uncovering Albert Suárez — the 34-year-old who has become much more than just a feel-good story for the club this year — it seems like Baltimore’s front office can find a pitcher from anywhere.

Suárez’s 5 1/3 scoreless innings were the key piece for the Orioles (44-22) in a series-opening 4-0 win over the Atlanta Braves (35-29), Baltimore’s fifth straight victory.

Striking out four and hammering the zone with fastballs and cutters, Suárez continued a campaign in which he’s carrying a 1.61 ERA after spending the previous six seasons out of the big leagues — a career second wind for the Venezuela native that no one saw coming. Prior to joining the Orioles, the journeyman spent 2022 and 2023 with the Samsung Lions of the Korea Baseball Organization.

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Suárez bent, but did not break. On the first at-bat, he gave up a triple to center fielder Michael Harris II, the first of the 11 runners who would eventually be stranded. The scoreless appearance gives Suárez just seven earned runs across his seven starts, a role he’s only taken because of injuries to other arms on staff.

“It just doesn’t seem like the heart rate varies very much,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’s always in control.”

The Orioles’ pitching staff entered the evening as one of the league leaders in ERA, third-best among starters (3.06) and fourth-best among relievers (3.29).

But behind the numbers, Baltimore has dealt with the chaos of injured arms. Six pitchers have been on the injured list this season, and two starters, John Means and Tyler Wells, are done for the year with elbow surgery. The bullpen has had to withstand the absence of All-Star closer Félix Bautista all season after he got Tommy John surgery last fall.

The latest blow came Tuesday afternoon as the Orioles placed reliever Danny Coulombe on the IL with elbow soreness. The lefty has been one of the team’s most reliable arms out of the bullpen — giving up just 13 hits and 3 walks in 26 innings — and even a short-term absence will be a significant challenge as Baltimore grinds through a June schedule with only one day off.

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BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JUNE 11:  Jorge Mateo #3 of the Baltimore Orioles celebrates after hitting a three-run home run in the second inning against the Atlanta Braves at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 11, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Jorge Mateo, #3 of the Baltimore Orioles, celebrates after hitting a three-run home run in the second inning against the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Suárez’s run support came early. In his first at-bat back from the injured list, Jorge Mateo swatted a three-run homer in the bottom half of the second inning, a bullpen shot that teammate Cionel Pérez caught in his hat. Mateo’s blast was one of six hits the Orioles got off southpaw Max Fried, one of Atlanta’s better starters this season (3.20 ERA).

It was Mateo’s fourth homer of the year, helping him keep up his own resurgence as an everyday infielder for the O’s.

Mateo was caught off guard at the end of the last Orioles’ homestand by Cedric Mullins’ swing of the bat, which hit him in the helmet as he knelt in the on-deck circle. Commenting for the first time on the injury, Mateo said he started feeling better the next day, but it took a few days more to get closer to normal.

“I feel really good about about coming back and helping the team win tonight,” Mateo said through a team translator. “Thankfully, I’ve been feeling better little by little.”

While Mateo enjoyed a splashy return to action, Austin Hays had the best day of any Oriole at the plate with three singles, including a sixth-inning drive that scored Ryan Mountcastle. It was Hays’ first three-hit game of the season after the veteran outfielder got out to a rocky, injury-riddled start.

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The closest Atlanta got to the scoreboard was in the second inning, as catcher Sean Murphy’s 392-foot blast was a few feet shy of the left-field wall. It would have been a homer in the 29 other MLB parks, but Camden Yards’ recessed barrier allowed Hays to make the catch.

Suárez acknowledged he held his breath for that shot.

“But I’m glad we were playing at home today,” he added with a relieved grin.