Baker gets start for Orioles to wrap up series (updated)

Baker gets start for Orioles to wrap up series (updated)

ST. LOUIS – Bryan Baker makes his first career start in the majors as the Orioles commit to a bullpen game to close out their series against the Cardinals.

Baker has made 12 relief appearances, including 11 this season with the Orioles. He’s allowed six runs and 11 hits with 11 strikeouts in 10 innings in 2022.

Baker started 13 times in 174 minor league games.

Manager Brandon Hyde hasn’t used Baker for more than 1 2/3 innings or 24 pitches. Left-hander Keegan Akin could provide bulk innings behind him.

Baker’s last appearance was May 5.

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More on rotation and roster composition as Orioles conclude series

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ST. LOUIS – The moment has arrived when the Orioles must announce their starting pitcher for today’s game and determine whether Ryan Mountcastle or Ramón Urías is available to play. And if not, whether they want to close out their series with a one-man bench, this time catcher Robinson Chirinos, who started last night.

By “moment,” of course, I’m referring to later today. They won’t do anything at this ungodly hour.

Keegan Akin could be pried from the relief role he’s thriving in or work in bulk behind a short-inning guy. Akin hasn’t pitched since the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader.

Marcos Diplán and Denyi Reyes are on the taxi squad.

The Orioles reached their maximum of five players for the taxi squad with infielders Rylan Bannon and Richie Martin arriving yesterday from Triple-A Norfolk.

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Shorthanded Orioles endure long night in St. Louis (updated)

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ST. LOUIS – The Orioles know how easily momentum in baseball can be lost. How it’s defined as the next day’s starting pitcher.

Injuries also can wreck it. They're like black ice for a team attempting to speed toward respectability.

A recent surge left the Orioles only four games below .500 heading into tonight, where they ran into Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas after scratching another player from their lineup.

It proved to be too much for them.

The Cardinals packed a home run and three doubles into the second inning against Spenser Watkins, piled on in the fourth and led throughout in a 10-1 win over the Orioles at Busch Stadium.

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Mountcastle scratched from lineup with sore wrist

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ST. LOUIS - The Orioles apparently will avoid making a roster move prior to tonight’s game, but they might not have a choice by the 12:15 p.m. CST series finale.

Ryan Mountcastle was scratched from the lineup due to soreness in his left wrist. Ramón Urías remains day-to-day with some discomfort in his abdomen, leaving catcher Anthony Bemboom as the only healthy reserve on the Orioles’ three-man bench.

The original lineup included Mountcastle as the designated hitter. He made a brief appearance in one of the doorways in the visiting clubhouse during media access and had his wrist taped.

“Ramón’s feeling better,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “They’re still doing some rehab, some tests on it right now, but he is feeling better today, so that’s a good sign.

“Mounty’s been dealing with a sore wrist the last few days, just kind of battling through it. Woke up with it a little bit more sore today, so out of precaution took him out of the lineup. Trying to get that to feel better, and hopefully he’s ready in the next day or two.”

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Orioles and Cardinals lineups

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ST. LOUIS – Ramón Urías is out of the Orioles lineup for tonight’s game against the Cardinals.

Urías was a late scratch last night due to discomfort in his abdomen, which he noticed in batting practice.

Chris Owings is the shortstop, with Rougned Odor at second base and Tyler Nevin at third.

Jorge Mateo also is on the bench.

Cedric Mullins recorded his 100th career RBI last night and had a season-high four hits. He has three home runs in his last six games and six extra-base hits in his last seven.

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Bemboom on Bautista: "He's got electric stuff"

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ST. LOUIS - Getting seven innings last night from rookie Kyle Bradish kept manager Brandon Hyde from tearing through his bullpen. A three-run lead made it necessary to consider closer options with Jorge López on the bereavement list.

Dillon Tate took the ball in the ninth, confirming that he was the first choice – as Hyde indicated in the dugout during batting practice. Félix Bautista inherited a bit of a mess with two runners on base, two outs and the Orioles clinging to a 5-3 lead.

Bautista struck out Tyler O’Neill for his first major league save in his first opportunity.

It probably won’t be his last.

Bautista will get more chances as Hyde’s confidence in him increases. Bautista has allowed three runs in 12 2/3 innings, struck out 16 batters and surrendered only one home run.

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Bradish brandishes best stuff in 5-3 win (updated)

Bradish brandishes best stuff in 5-3 win (updated)

ST. LOUIS – Temperatures in the 90s, an unexpected change to the lineup, and umpire Ángel Hernández calling balls and strikes.

This wasn’t the sweetest welcome for a team that went 19 years between visits to St. Louis, but the Orioles sure made the best of it.

Kyle Bradish struck out 11 batters over seven innings in his third major league start, Cedric Mullins and Tyler Nevin hit home runs, and the Orioles hung on to defeat the Cardinals 5-3 in their first game at the newest Busch Stadium.

Bradish carried a shutout into the sixth before Harrison Bader’s two-run inside-the-park homer. He earned his first major league win.

Brendan Donovan began the ninth with a home run off Dillon Tate and two more batters reached, but Félix Bautista struck out Tyler O'Neill for his first major league save and the Orioles improved to 13-17. They’ve won three in a row, five of six and seven of 10.

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Urías replaced in Orioles lineup

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ST. LOUIS – Ramón Urías has been scratched from tonight’s lineup for an undisclosed reason. The Orioles will provide more information later.

Urías was supposed to bat sixth and play second base. Chris Owings has left a three-man bench to replace him.

Here’s the new lineup:

Cedric Mullins CF
Trey Mancini DH
Anthony Santander LF
Austin Hays RF
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Tyler Nevin 3B
Jorge Mateo SS
Robinson Chirinos C
Chris Owings 2B

Kyle Bradish RHP

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Orioles and Cardinals lineups

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ST. LOUIS – Austin Hays remains the cleanup hitter and is playing right field tonight at Busch Stadium, where the Orioles open a three-game series against the Cardinals.

Per Orioles public relations, Hays ranks among major league leaders in the following categories since April 15:

* Tied for first in hits with 32
* Second in batting average at .386
* Fourth in OPS at 1.037
* Tied for fourth in total bases with 49
* Tied for fourth in on-base percentage at .447
* Tied for fifth in doubles with eight
* Seventh in slugging percentage at .590

Anthony Santander is in left field tonight.

Ramón Urías is the second baseman and Tyler Nevin is starting at third.

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Orioles place López on bereavement list

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ST. LOUIS – Travis Lakins Sr. is back in the Orioles bullpen for their series against the Cardinals that begins tonight at Busch Stadium.

Reliever Jorge López has been placed on the bereavement list this afternoon due to the death of his grandfather. Lakins was on the taxi squad.

The Orioles optioned Lakins after Thursday’s game to create a roster spot for left-hander Logan Allen but kept him in Baltimore as the 27th man for Sunday’s doubleheader.

López is allowed to be away from the team for three to seven games. The Orioles travel to Detroit after Thursday’s series finale against the Royals.

Lakins hasn’t pitched since May 1 against the Red Sox, when he tossed two scoreless innings, returned for the ninth and served up his second grand slam of the season.

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Orioles begin road trip in unfamiliar territory

Brandon Hyde pointing black away

The Orioles finally made it to St. Louis.

The charter wasn’t delayed, as far as I know. I’m referring to how they haven’t traveled there since 2003 and are getting their first look at New Busch Stadium, which opened three years later.

Games in April 2020 were canceled due to the pandemic, which led to regional travel and a missed opportunity.

Better much later than never.

Manager Brandon Hyde has experienced plenty of baseball in St. Louis while a coach on the Cubs staff. He enjoys the atmosphere and has described it to his players.

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Orioles and Royals lineups in series finale

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The Orioles have reached the end of their homestand. A makeup game today against the Royals, followed by their flight to St. Louis.

Tyler Nevin is starting at third base after playing right field yesterday in Game 2.

Trey Mancini is the first baseman and Ryan Mountcastle is the designated hitter.

Anthony Bemboom is catching.

Cedric Mullins is 13-for-36 (.361) with five doubles and two home runs during an eight-game hitting streak.

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Because You Asked - The Second Story

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The Orioles were supposed to be off today, but Saturday’s rainout has forced a noon game onto their schedule.

I’m off anyway, but only when it comes to ballpark duty. The mailbag is filling up. I can’t ignore it any longer.

Time to take a letter dump.

You ask, I answer, etc. This is the latest sequel to the original. And as you know, sequels usually disappoint.

I’ll try my best to slow the trend.

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Orioles gain split of doubleheader with 4-2 win (updated)

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The Orioles played two games today in first-pitch temperatures of 51 and 57 degrees.

They also heated up.

A disappointing, defense-deficient loss in the opener was followed by a 4-2 victory over the Royals before an announced doubleheader crowd of 19,893 at Camden Yards, with left-hander Bruce Zimmermann notching his second quality start.

The Orioles improved to 11-17 by winning for the third time in four games. They wrap up the series at noon tomorrow, their third game in 24 hours.

Zimmermann allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, with no walks and five strikeouts. He retired 14 of 16 batters before Salvador Perez doubled in the sixth and scored on Hunter Dozier’s single.

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Orioles lose home runs, waste Lyles start and fall in Game 1 (updated)

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The left field wall can’t keep every baseball in front of it. The Orioles have cleared it a few times in defiance of the new measurements, but there are more denials than dugout celebrations.

Ryan Mountcastle thought he hit a game-tying, two-run homer off Kansas City’s Zack Greinke in the fifth inning of the opening game of today's doubleheader, but umpires held him at second base with a run-scoring double. The Orioles lost the challenge, took the lead, lost it and fell to the Royals 6-4 in Game 1 at Camden Yards.

Rougned Odor was a hero in the seventh with his go-ahead, two-run double, but he committed an error with two outs in the ninth by failing to backhand Nicky Lopez’s grounder, Jorge López threw the ball into right field on a pickoff attempt and Michael A. Taylor singled to left.

A dramatic swing in the game and Odor’s afternoon.

Cionel Pérez allowed back-to-back singles, with Salvador Perez bringing home Taylor with an insurance run.

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Notes on Lakins, Allen, Owings, Nevin and Wells

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Reliever Travis Lakins Sr. didn’t leave Baltimore after the Orioles optioned him Thursday night. They knew the forecast left them vulnerable for a doubleheader over the weekend.

Lakins is the 27th man today and will report to Triple-A Norfolk after the nightcap.

“We kept him ready,” said manager Brandon Hyde.

Lakins allowed nine runs and 12 hits in 8 1/3 innings. He surrendered three home runs, including two grand slams.

“I wasn’t pitching well, so I knew there was a chance,” he said of the demotion. “It’s just the business. I wasn’t surprised. I knew it was coming. I’ve got to throw the ball better and put myself in a better position to not get optioned.”

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Orioles and Royals Game 1 lineups

Orioles and Royals Game 1 lineups

The Orioles and Royals will try again today.

The weather has the final word, but it’s much kinder this morning.

Friday night’s game was postponed due to rain and rescheduled as part of a traditional doubleheader. Jordan Lyles is pushed back again to today, and the Royals are countering with Zack Greinke.

Bruce Zimmermann and left-hander Daniel Lynch start the second game of the twinbill.

Lyles has registered a 4.50 ERA and 1.615 WHIP in four starts, with 32 hits allowed in 26 innings. He’s 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA and 0.888 WHIP in five career starts against the Royals, surrendering eight runs in 32 2/3 innings and walking only two batters.

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Talking about Rutschman, Hall, Baumann and more

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Today’s forecast for a traditional, throwback-style doubleheader calls for cloudy skies. Rather than do my usual over-thinking about why we say “skies” when there’s only one, I’ll simply appreciate the dry conditions and celebrate mothers everywhere who perform a job much harder and more important than mine.

The farm system keeps dividing our attention, and in the best possible way.

Adley Rutschman is back at Triple-A Norfolk, with media and fans debating his debut date in Baltimore. Must happen at home, right? Like Matt Wieters on May 29, 2009.

Is May 16 too soon, a Monday when the Orioles open a four-game series against the Yankees? Otherwise, they could select his contract May 20 to begin a weekend series against the Rays.

The Orioles aren’t home again until May 31 against the Mariners, after they play three games in the Bronx and five – yes, five – in Boston.

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Vespi leading bullpen pack at Triple-A eyeing call-up

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The competition is playful but also motivating. Who’s the first to surrender an earned run? Who blinks first?

And eventually, who is the first to join the Orioles bullpen for his major league debut.

Nick Vespi, an 18th-round pick in the 2015 draft, made his 10th appearance with Triple-A Norfolk last night and has allowed three unearned runs and six hits in 11 2/3 innings. He's walked two batters and struck out 17, the numbers that jump highest from his stat sheet.

Cole Uvila, chosen from the Rangers organization in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft, allowed his first unearned run Thursday night with the automatic runner scoring in the 10th inning. He’s permitted only four hits and struck out 14 batters over 12 innings, but also issued seven walks.

“When it comes to the preparation, they’re both as good as it gets,” said Norfolk pitching coach Justin Ramsey. “They come in with a plan every day and they’re always looking through the notes, the scouting reports. They know where we’re trying to go with the guys. They take pride in knowing how they want to attack them. And obviously, the stuff has played very well.”

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Orioles option Lakins (tonight's game postponed)

Orioles option Lakins (tonight's game postponed)

The Orioles optioned reliever Travis Lakins Sr. to Triple-A Norfolk after last night's game to create room on the active roster for left-hander Logan Allen, claimed on waivers yesterday from the Guardians.

Lakins was most vulnerable among the bullpen bunch, surrendering three home runs, including two grand slams, and nine runs total in 8 1/3 innings. The first slam came after he inherited three runners from Chris Ellis in Anaheim.

Allen gives the Orioles four left-handers in their nine-man bullpen, including Keegan Akin, Paul Fry and Cionel Pérez. 

Four relievers combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings last night in a 5-3 win over the Twins.

Allen is wearing No. 61.

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