BALTIMORE -- Dwight Smith Jr. giveth and Dwight Smith Jr. taketh away.
With two outs and a man on in the top of the second inning of a scoreless contest, Chicago's Adam Engel hit a fly ball to deep left that sent Smith sprinting back toward the warning track. In full stride, the O's left fielder rose up and made an acrobatic backhanded grab, reaching over the wall to deprive Engel of a dinger. Despite banging into the padded fence and tumbling to the ground, Smith was able to hold on to the ball for the final out of the inning.
Later, in the bottom of the fourth, Smith hit a towering, three-run bomb over the right-field wall to give the Birds and starter Andrew Cashner a 4-0 lead. Smith's fifth homer of the season had a launch angle of 41 degrees, the highest of any Orioles long ball this season.
"I'm just having fun, playing the way I always played it as a kid," said Smith, who joined Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger and Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario as the only players to pull off the dinger daily double this season. According to ESPN Stats & Info, the feat occurred only eight times all of last season.
"It was a huge catch," Cashner said of Smith's defensive gem, which helped the O's righty to his fourth win of the season, matching his total from last year (4-15). "I made a bad pitch. Changeup down the middle. That's one of the pitches a guy beats you on. Big change in the game."
"I didn't know how far it was going to go," Smith said of the ball that Engel hit, "but as soon as I saw it dropping down, I knew I had a chance at it."
When asked which was the more memorable moment, the 26-year-old outfielder didn't hesitate.
"The robbery," said Smith, with a broad smile. "That was the first of my career. It felt sick."