The pitch before the loud blast that drove those inside Camden Yards to their feet might’ve been more telling about Colton Cowser’s adjustments than the home run against a four-seam fastball.

It was a full-count changeup, thrown from future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer, low and outside. It might have tagged the edge of the strike zone if Cowser hadn’t swung, but the Orioles rookie flicked his bat at an offering that has caused him nothing but fits of late.

That changeup — a pitch type Cowser hit .147 against with a 39.5% whiff rate entering Friday — tipped away for a foul ball.

That allowed Cowser to face Scherzer’s fastball, and the outfielder deposited the next pitch into the right-center seats for his second homer in two games. The sequence — as well as the result — displays the steps forward for Cowser at the plate.

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“He can really hit a heater,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “But it was great to see him battle there and foul off some off-speed, like you said, to keep the count going and get a pitch he can handle.”

Cowser began the year hot. He feasted on fastballs in April (he hit .455 against four-seamers), and pitchers realized it. So they adjusted, and Cowser dipped into a cold spell, the kind that finds every young hitter attempting to cement himself in the majors. His average dropped to .229 by early June, and only recently has it crept north of .230 again.

But with five hits in his last 16 at-bats — four of them have gone for extra bases, including three homers — Cowser is showing he can adjust, too. It came in use against the Texas Rangers on Friday, when he provided a critical run in Baltimore’s 2-1 victory.

“Not easy to be a young player, and not easy to go through rough stretches. I think he’s identified how teams are pitching him differently,” Hyde said earlier Friday. “I think he’s doing a better job of adjusting back, and he shows you the power and the bat speed are definitely there.”

Hyde was still thinking of Cowser’s home run and double during the series opener against Texas. He’ll soon think of the pull-side power from Cowser, the rocket that left Cowser’s bat at 109.4 mph.

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Cowser has felt the adjustment from pitchers, particularly in May. He saw changeups 18.3% of the time last month, compared to 13.4% in April; June has dropped the changeup usage again to 11%, with sliders taking the place as the most heavily used off-speed pitch to Cowser.

To counteract that plan, Cowser has worked to find better timing on his load. He doesn’t want to become too fastball reliant, although when a pitcher throws one, he knows what to do with it.

Albert Suárez allowed three hits and no walks in six scoreless innings. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

“Making sure I have my sights set where I want them to, especially going into that at-bat, I think, is really important,” Cowser said. “I think in the past when I’ve struggled, it’s been overly aggressive, and lately it’s really been trying to see the ball before I make my move forward.”

Cowser’s long ball gave the Orioles 58 this month, which ties May 1987 for the most this franchise has clubbed in a month’s span. But Baltimore can also produce in small-ball fashion, which Jorge Mateo showed best in the fifth. After he singled, Mateo tagged up on a fly ball to deep right field. He flashed his speed, sliding in ahead of a strong throw.

Taking those 90 feet on a ball to the same side of the field proved valuable; Gunnar Henderson quickly drove Mateo home with a single.

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“If I even went back to tag up, [first base coach Anthony] Sanders is like, ‘What are you doing? What if he dropped that?’” Cowser said. “Jorge’s just a superb athlete, and he does things on the baseball field that not a lot of people can. That ended up being the difference in the game today.”

That would be all Baltimore’s offense produced, but its pitching staff did enough to tightrope out of danger following Albert Suárez’s strong outing.

The recent results for Suárez haven’t been steady. He gave up five runs last week to the Houston Astros and lasted just 3 2/3 innings the appearance before. But on Friday Suárez rebounded for one of the best starts of his career, let alone this season.

For the first time since 2016, Suárez completed six innings. He did so without issuing a walk — making him the fourth straight Orioles starter to avoid a free pass — and scattered three hits. Suárez induced weak contact with his fastball and benefited from a leaping catch from right fielder Anthony Santander. He could also thank the deeper left field wall at Camden Yards for retaining two deep flyouts.

“Today I was just trying to pitch to contact,” Suárez said. “They were aggressive the whole time, and I was able to get quick outs.”

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Before this three-game stretch, Baltimore’s rotation had hit a skid. The Orioles didn’t record a quality start in eight straight games, and then Grayson Rodriguez, Corbin Burnes and Suárez provided three in a row.

The first two will be expected to carry the Orioles deep into the postseason. Suárez was more of an unknown entering the year, having pitched previously in Korea and Japan. Although he’s unlikely to be a central cog in an injury-depleted rotation after Dean Kremer returns from a triceps strain and the Orioles seek pitching help at the deadline, every strong outing from Suárez is an unexpected boost.

It almost fell by the wayside, though, when right-hander Yennier Cano walked two and gave up a single to load the bases. Right-hander Jacob Webb walked in a run but ended that threat, and left-hander Cionel Pérez stranded two batters in the eighth.

“We got lucky a little bit,” Hyde said. “You can’t walk five guys in the seventh and eighth against a team like that and have a two-run lead and expect to win. So I think we escaped one there.”

Part of that escape came to right-hander Craig Kimbrel, who earned his first save this season when entering with a one-run lead (he had been 0-for-4 in those situations).

And the win had Cowser’s imprint firmly fixed upon it. He’s seen an increase in off-speed pitches. He’s struggled against the changeup. But, when the fastball came, Cowser didn’t miss.