Orioles’ manager Brandon Hyde makes his lineups for the entire series on the eve of the first game of that set, a tactic he learned from his time in Chicago.

The strategy is two-fold. First, he likes to have the match-ups lined up, so everyone has plenty of time to prepare. And secondly, he likes to give players a heads-up, so they know days in advance what their playing time will be that series.

“It’s such a long year,” Hyde said. “It’s just how I do it, right or wrong ... I just want our guys to get better and do the best we can to win every series.”

There’s always an asterisk next to player’s name, though, and an expectation that they need to be ready, especially in later innings. On Tuesday, in the second game of the Orioles’ series against the Reds, Hyde had Cedric Mullins, Ryan O’Hearn and Adam Frazier on the bench. None remained there by the end of the game.

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In the seventh inning, with the Orioles down a run, Hyde made three switches. Mullins — who Hyde had scheduled for a rest day on Tuesday since he’s fresh off the injured list from his groin injury — replaced Ramón Urías in the batting order. Mullins drew a walk, but was caught stealing. O’Hearn came in for Ryan McKenna, but grounded out. Then Frazier, taking the spot of Jorge Mateo, was hit by a pitch.

None of the moves ended up impacting the game, as the Reds beat the Orioles 3-1 in another game extended by a long rain delay. But for this team, which is currently in second place in the American League East and chasing its first playoff bid since 2016, every game is important.

And Hyde is managing like it.

It’s only June. And this was just one game against a team in the opposite league. But Hyde knows exactly how the Orioles compare to other teams — remaining in his office long after the his own game ends to see how the rest of the league is doing. He knows exactly where they stand.

“I look every night,” Hyde said.

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Every game could end up mattering for the Orioles. So Mullins, O’Hearn and Frazier all remained in after their plate appearances, taking their spots at center field, first base and second base in the eighth inning after another lengthy rain delay.

The Orioles, though, fell even further behind the Reds after Bryan Baker gave up a solo home run to TJ Friedl. They had one last chance in the ninth, thanks to those who started the night on the bench. With two outs, O’Hearn was hit by a pitch and advance to second on defensive indifference. Hays then walked, Austin Hays lined out to center to end the night.

The Orioles had only three hits, two of which came against Reds’ starter Andrew Abbott.

“We had a tough time against Abbott tonight,” Hyde said. “We knew that was going to be a tough one coming in and he was really, really good.”

Earlier in the game, before the rain arrived, Tyler Wells provided the Orioles with another quality start, giving up just two runs in six innings. One of those runs came off a solo home run, which has been his achilles heel this season.

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“Tyler was really good once again,” Hyde said. “I give them credit for getting a couple runs off there.”

danielle.allentuck@thebaltimorebanner.com

Danielle Allentuck covers the Orioles for The Baltimore Banner. She previously reported on the Rockies for the Denver Gazette and general sports assignments for The New York Times as part of its fellowship program. A Maryland native, Danielle grew up in Montgomery County and graduated from Ithaca College. 

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