There are certain pitchers whose turn comes up in the rotation and a team can exhale. They’re the aces, the steady flagship of a pitching staff, and they’re in small supply around the majors.

The Orioles needed that sort of start Wednesday to help buck a five-game losing streak and an eight-game slide from a rotation that has been buffeted by three season-ending injuries.

Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez answered the call in Baltimore’s much-needed 4-2 win against the Cleveland Guardians.

Rodriguez is in only his second year in the majors, but when he is at his best, he looks like the sort of ace a team can rely on when it faces a slippery slope. He can grind through an appearance, working around a pair of solo home runs Wednesday to complete seven innings.

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“That’s what we needed,” Cedric Mullins said. “That’s what he gave.”

For the first time in nine games, Rodriguez supplied the Orioles with a quality start. In the other eight, the rotation had allowed 36 runs in 39 2/3 innings — good for a 7.26 ERA and 1.789 WHIP.

But Rodriguez quieted a red-hot Cleveland lineup beyond the home runs by Jhonkensy Noel (whose long ball was his first MLB hit in his first plate appearance) and Gabriel Arias. And the Orioles hurler received run support from Gunnar Henderson, Mullins and Ryan O’Hearn, who all blasted off in another power display for a lineup that leads baseball in homers.

Henderson, who’s continuing to bolster an All-Star résumé, drove in Jorge Mateo with a single in the second inning. He then clubbed a solo shot off Guardians right-hander Carlos Carrasco in the fifth. With the three-hit night, Henderson raised his on-base-plus-slugging percentage to 1.005 — the third-best mark in the majors, behind Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani.

Henderson has extended his on-base streak to 33 games, which is the longest active streak in baseball and the longest for the Orioles since Nick Markakis’ 38 games in 2009.

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“I’m running out of things to say about him,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’s doing everything.”

Mullins prolonged his strong June when he hit a homer to Eutaw Street in the seventh, giving the Orioles the lead in the process. The homer lifted Mullins’ average to .214, but the last two weeks have been especially impressive. Including his two hits Wednesday, Mullins has recorded 17 hits in his last 13 games.

Jorge Mateo scores on a single by Gunnar Henderson in the second inning Wednesday night at Camden Yards. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

“Just pitch recognition, making sure I’m swinging at good pitches,” Mullins said. “Just making sure my body’s in a strong position to do damage. I think that’s what was missing for a little bit, so we’re just keying in on that.”

And, with O’Hearn’s eighth-inning dinger, seven hitters on the Orioles have reached double-digit home run figures.

For much of his career, Rodriguez has proven to be a high-strikeout pitcher, using his overpowering fastball and deceiving changeup as a strong combination. But he knew entering the start that the Guardians have a high rate of contact; they have struck out the third-fewest times in the majors.

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So Rodriguez shifted his game plan to a contact approach, and it worked well. He spun a six-pitch frame at one point and didn’t strike a batter out until the final out of the sixth inning.

“He was executing well, getting ahead of hitters,” Hyde said. “Just a couple solo homers there. Besides that, not a whole lot of traffic and an outstanding job going seven innings for us.”

It was a positive bounce-back for Rodriguez, who allowed seven runs in five innings against the Houston Astros last week, which Hyde called a hiccup in what has been an otherwise standout year for the 24-year-old.

“I had some unlucky breaks there for us over the last week,” Rodriguez said. “Obviously, we’ve been swinging the bat well, so I really don’t think we’ve struggled all that much. But just thankful to go get the win.”

The questions around Baltimore’s pitching staff only grew over the course of a week in which starters stumbled. A strong display from Rodriguez doesn’t end those questions; with the trade deadline approaching July 30, the Orioles may well look to add to the rotation and bullpen as they prepare for a postseason push.

But the Orioles needed an outing like Rodriguez’s on Wednesday nonetheless to break out of a rut. And he delivered, with seven quality innings laying the groundwork for Craig Kimbrel’s save and Baltimore’s victory.