Orioles hit four home runs in 9-2 win (updated)

mancini touches plate white

The idea of platooning Orioles second baseman Rougned Odor doesn’t seem to carry the same logic as it did earlier in the season.

Manager Brandon Hyde kept Odor in the lineup tonight against Mariners left-hander Robbie Ray. One pitch validated his decision.

Odor jumped on a slider from Ray in the second inning and drove it to the back of the flag court for a three-run homer. And the Orioles were just getting started.

Didn’t matter who was on the mound. Didn’t matter where the ball was hit.

Ryan Mountcastle, Ramón Urías and Trey Mancini homered in the sixth inning after Sergio Romo entered the game, and the Orioles cruised to a 9-2 win at steamy Camden Yards.

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Grayson Rodriguez leaves start with lat discomfort

Grayson

While the Orioles are flashing their power tonight with four home runs, top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings at Triple-A Norfolk and walked off the mound with an athletic trainer after a lengthy conversation that included manager Buck Britton and pitching coach Justin Ramsey.

Rodriguez exited the game against Jacksonville with right lat discomfort, according to the Orioles. He’ll undergo further testing.

There’s nothing wrong with his elbow, which is the good news, but it's too early to know whether his next outing is in jeopardy.

John Means has dealt with a similar issue for several years, at times able to pitch through it and others missing weeks.

The latissimus dorsi is a large muscle covering the width of the middle and lower back.  It connects the bone of the upper arm to the spine and the hip.

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Hyde on roster move, Mullins, Hays and more

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The Orioles were expected to make a roster move this afternoon after left-hander Zac Lowther covered 5 1/3 innings last night. There was no reason to keep him in the bullpen while being unavailable for at least three days.

Lowther was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, with Denyi Reyes returning to the club. Reyes can provide length out of the bullpen.

Manager Brandon Hyde appreciates that Lowther aided the ‘pen last night with an extended appearance, though the final line included six runs (five earned), plus two inherited from Bryan Baker.

“Zac did a great job for us,” Hyde said. “The first couple innings were a little rough. Once the game got to where it was, we really needed him to go as long as he possibly could, and he did that. I told him I appreciated the effort and I appreciated him staying out there for us. It allowed me not to use some other guys that I wouldn’t want to use in that type of situation, and unfortunately that’s just kind of the way the game goes. You option guys down.

“We got Denyi Reyes up here because of what he did in Boston and the things he’s done here to give us some relief help.”

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Orioles recall Reyes and option Lowther

Orioles recall Reyes and option Lowther

The Orioles swapped out pitchers again today, recalling Denyi Reyes from Triple-A Norfolk and optioning left-hander Zac Lowther.

Lowther threw 100 pitches last night in 5 1/3 innings. Reyes was the 27th man for Saturday’s doubleheader in Boston, allowing one run in 3 2/3 innings in Game 2, and remained eligible to be recalled in fewer than 10 days.

Lowther was the first Orioles reliever last night to throw at least 100 pitches since Gabriel Ynoa on May 5, 2017.

Adley Rutschman is on the bench tonight as the Orioles continue their series against the Mariners. He’s 7-for-39 in 10 games.

Trey Mancini is playing first base and Anthony Santander is the right fielder and cleanup hitter.

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This, that and the other

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Pitching again in the majors is the only proverbial carrot that pitcher Zac Lowther needs dangled in front of him. He didn’t get the call until Monday morning. His bags are unpacked but he doesn’t know if he’s in for an extended stay, especially after working 5 1/3 innings last night.

There actually was more to it for Lowther beyond just leaving the minors. He knew from what he observed from a distance and heard from teammates that the Orioles are having a blast, and he wants badly to be included in it.

The fear of missing out can gnaw at a guy.

“You kind of see as a whole how the team has been playing and it’s fun baseball, it’s a different energy,” he said. “Obviously, I wasn’t here, but you can just see it on the field. It’s like, ‘Hey, I want to be a part of that.’ It’s a little more motivation, but you really don’t need anymore motivation than, it’s the big leagues. But when you’ve got guys like (Kyle) Bradish, who have pitching really well down in Triple-A, getting a chance, and then Adley (Rutschman), you knew it was only a matter of time with those two.

“Just being able to get back here with them is great, because they’re good guys, I enjoy spending time with them, enjoy playing with them. It’s a lot of very positive things. You’ve got really good pitchers at Triple-A like Cody (Sedlock) and Nick Vespi, who finally got their chance and they did really good. It was just fun to see.

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Orioles open homestand with 10-0 loss to Mariners (updated)

Bryan Baker looks down white

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde didn’t carry any delusions of a long start tonight by Bryan Baker. He wasn’t raising the bar to three innings. This was strictly an opener arrangement followed by, if it worked as planned and hoped, significant coverage from Zac Lowther until Hyde could begin calling upon some of his high-leverage relievers.

The game didn’t reach the point where a tie or lead needed to be protected. The Orioles were in damage control. Live to play another night.

Baker was charged with three runs in 1 2/3 innings, Lowther let two inherited runners score and six of his own over 5 1/3, one unearned after a Ramón Urías error that assisted the Mariners in sending 10 batters to the plate in the third, and the Orioles began their homestand with a 10-0 loss.

Lowther retired 12 of 13 beginning with the final out in the third inning and got into the seventh at 100 pitches. Marcos Diplán didn't let the Mariners score in 1 1/3, and infielder Chris Owings made his second career pitching appearance in the ninth, allowing one run on two doubles.

Owings was trusted with 1 2/3 innings for the Royals in 2019 and surrendered four runs and six hits, including two homers. He allowed a leadoff double tonight to Eugenio Suárez after starting him with a 49 mph slider, induced a ground ball and shallow fly, and was burned by Taylor Trammell’s double down the right field line.

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Lowther on changed off-day plans and recent improvement

Zac Lowther throws white

Zac Lowther and his family made plans for Memorial Day. Just relax on the beach, enjoy the break that minor league players receive on Mondays.

Then came the phone call at 11 a.m. from Triple-A Norfolk pitching coach Justin Ramsey.

“Normally,” Lowther said, “he’s not the one to call me.”

Lowther was told to get on a flight to Baltimore. The beach would have to wait for another morning.

Bags were packed for Lowther, his wife Brianna and 18-month-old daughter Isabelle. Not the stuff they’d take to the shore.

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Orioles lineup vs. Mariners

Orioles lineup vs. Mariners

Cedric Mullins is leading off and playing center field tonight after getting a rest day for the final game in Boston.

Adley Rutschman is catching and batting fifth, followed by first baseman Ryan Mountcastle.

Ramón Urías is the third baseman again. Rougned Odor gets the start at second base against Mariners right-hander George Kirby.

Bryan Baker is making his second start. Left-hander Zac Lowther was recalled to provide a fresh bullpen arm and provide length.

For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Trey Mancini DH
Anthony Santander RF
Austin Hays LF
Adley Rutschman C
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Rougned Odor 2B
Ramón Urías 3B
Jorge Mateo SS

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Baker gets another start tonight for Orioles (updated)

Bryan Baker throws gray

The Orioles have chosen a bullpen game tonight to begin their series against the Mariners at Camden Yards.

Right-hander Bryan Baker is making his second start. He did the same in St. Louis on May 12 and tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings with one hit, no walks and three strikeouts.

Baker’s last appearance came in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader in Boston. He threw 31 pitches and didn’t allow a run in 1 1/3 innings.

Mariners rookie George Kirby, the 20th overall pick in the 2019 draft out of Elon University, is making his fifth major league start tonight. He’s allowed 10 earned runs (12 total) and 23 hits in 20 innings, with two walks and 20 strikeouts.

A May 8 debut against the Rays produced six scoreless innings with no walks and seven strikeouts. He’s allowed nine runs and 16 hits in his last two starts over 10 innings.

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Bautista keeps coming up big for Orioles

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BOSTON – Félix Bautista is an exceptionally large man with a blazing fastball and a high walk rate in the minors.

That was pretty much the scouting report when Bautista reported to spring training as a new addition to the Orioles’ 40-man roster. A bubble guy who made it based on his plus velocity and strikeout rate.

An arm that the Orioles didn’t want to risk losing in a Rule 5 draft that, coincidentally, didn’t materialize due to the lockout.

Bautista is proving that he deserved the spot anyway.

He broke camp with the team while again on the bubble - which must be pretty thick to hold the guy - and hasn’t allowed a run in his last five appearances, to lower his ERA to 2.25.

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Orioles come out swinging early and Wells is untouchable in 10-0 win (updated)

Orioles come out swinging early and Wells is untouchable in 10-0 win (updated)

BOSTON – The Orioles got loud in the first inning tonight against a soft-tossing left-hander who gave up nothing against them in an earlier game.

Rich Hill was down a couple runs just three batters into his start. The outs also made noise. There was no hangover for the Orioles after the previous day’s lopsided defeat.

Hangovers and loud noises don’t mix anyway.

Ryan Mountcastle hopped out of the batter’s box after crushing a full-count curveball, hoping to land on the other side of his slump. Ramón Urías got into the act in the third with a two-run shot to dead center field measured at 422 feet.

Tyler Wells grabbed lots of attention by shutting out the Red Sox over six innings, the longest scoreless outing of his career, Mountcastle had four hits, and the Orioles defeated the Red Sox 10-0 at Fenway Park.

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Notes on Orioles rotation, Kremer and more

Dean Kremer throw orange spring away

BOSTON – The Orioles are waiting until Tuesday morning to announce their starter for the series opener against the Mariners at Camden Yards. Kyle Bradish starts Wednesday, followed by Jordan Lyles on Thursday in his 300th career game.

A pitcher could come up from Triple-A Norfolk or manager Brandon Hyde goes with another bullpen game to piece together nine innings.

The Tides are off tonight and list DL Hall as Tuesday’s starter.

Grayson Rodriguez isn't going to be promoted to work on short rest.

Left-hander Zac Lowther would be on normal rest if the Orioles summoned him, he’s on the 40-man roster and he held Gwinnett to two runs over five innings in his last appearance. However, he’s sporting a 6.67 ERA and 1.652 WHIP in 10 games and is averaging almost four walks per nine innings.

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Orioles lineup vs. Red Sox

Ryan McKenna Austin Hays jump black road

BOSTON – The Orioles still can claim the five-game series against the Red Sox with a victory tonight that concludes their homestand.

The teams have split the first four games, with the Red Sox cruising yesterday to a 12-2 win.

“We just need to let this one go,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “We’ve been playing good baseball, we’ve played competitively this entire trip.”

Cedric Mullins begins tonight’s game on the bench, with Ryan McKenna in center field.

Austin Hays is leading off and playing right field. Anthony Santander is in left field and batting cleanup.

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Three nagging questions about the Orioles

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BOSTON - With years spent dumping out my mailbag, making snow angels with the contents, reading the questions and spending way too much time searching for movie sequel titles that I haven’t already used, I’d like to switch it up and provide some inquiries of my own.

See how the other half lives.

Nothing about timelines for major league promotions, players to be named later or casseroles. And especially not casseroles to be named later.

Sorry to bore you.

And I’m limiting myself to only three off the top of my head.

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Zimmermann surrenders five home runs in lopsided loss (updated)

Zimmermann surrenders five home runs in lopsided loss (updated)

BOSTON – Bruce Zimmermann spun on the mound again, the sound of the contact telling him where the ball was going to land. He watched anyway. And then he needed to figure out quickly how to eliminate the mistakes and hope the Orioles had more rallies inside of them.

He couldn’t, and they didn’t.

Bobby Dalbec hit a two-run homer in the second inning, and Franchy Cordero drove a slider 448 feet into the center field bleachers before Zimmermann recorded the last out. And a bump turned into a mountain.

Rafael Devers led off the third with a 434-foot shot to right-center, the ball leaving his bat at 110.7 mph, Christian Arroyo and Kiké Hernandez cleared the Green Monster in the fourth, and the Red Sox rolled past the Orioles 12-2 at sun-splashed Fenway Park.

Zimmermann surrendered one home run in his first six starts, but opponents have hit nine in his last two and 12 in his last four.

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Pregame notes on Vavra, Diaz, Hays, Mountcastle and more

Pregame notes on Vavra, Diaz, Hays, Mountcastle and more

BOSTON – Orioles minor league infielder Terrin Vavra has recovered from a hamstring injury and is completing his work at extended spring training.

His next stop is High-A Aberdeen to begin a rehab assignment that eventually will bring him back to Triple-A Norfolk.

Vavra, the No. 14 prospect in the organization per MLBPipeline.com, appeared in 13 games with the Tides and batted .327/.436/.423 with three doubles and a triple in 63 plate appearances.

Outfielder Yusniel Diaz is much farther away from returning to Norfolk.

Diaz injured his hamstring again and hasn’t appeared in a game since May 13. He’s in a progression with the team’s rehab crew in Sarasota, Fla.

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Orioles lineup vs. Red Sox

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BOSTON – Left-hander Bruce Zimmermann is on the mound today as the Orioles try to guarantee a series win at Fenway Park.

The Orioles have won two of the first three games. The series concludes Monday night.

Zimmermann has a 3.78 ERA and 1.217 WHIP in nine starts. He surrendered one home run in his first six, but has allowed seven in his last three games.

Adley Rutschman is the designated hitter after catching last night. He’s 5-for-28 (.179) with a triple in seven games.

Trey Mancini is in left field and Austin Hays is on the bench.

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Santander walking away from impatient past

Anthony Santander swing black road

BOSTON – The question comes at Anthony Santander in English, he smiles and raises both arms in mock triumph.

Santander doesn’t really need the team interpreter, Brandon Quinones, but keeps him close to pass along the responses. Never to relay the question unless it gets real complicated.

This one was easy yesterday morning. Santander nailed it less than halfway through.

“You drew your 23rd walk, which ties your total …”

And so begins the humorous celebration at his locker.

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Odor homers again and Reyes combines with 'pen for Game 2 win (updated)

Odor homers again and Reyes combines with 'pen for Game 2 win (updated)

BOSTON – Denyi Reyes went from a modest signing back in November, a minor league contract that barely drew notice, to his first major league start tonight. Against the team that let him go as a free agent.

These stories can swerve in any direction. A tale of redemption or bitter disappointment.

Reyes had some fun with it, neither vindictive nor victorious.

Jorge López had his own family story and it produced a beautiful chapter, his 9-year-old son Mikael able to watch him pitch, to record a four-out save. 

The night couldn't have gone any better.

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Orioles and Red Sox lineups for Game 2

Orioles and Red Sox lineups for Game 2

BOSTON – Ryan McKenna is in left field tonight for Game 2, whenever it’s able to begin.

The rain is much lighter now, but it's still coming down and there’s more in the forecast.

Adley Rutschman is catching and batting fifth behind first baseman Ryan Mountcastle. Austin Hays is in right field and Anthony Santander is the designated hitter.

Trey Mancini is one of the reserves.

The Orioles are 2-3 on their road trip and 7-17 away from home this season.

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