BOWIE, Md. – The Orioles may be pointing to next Wednesday for right-hander Kyle Bradish to re-enter their starting rotation. He took a liner off his right foot in the second inning April 3 at Texas, went on the injured list and made a rehab start tonight at Double-A Bowie against Akron.
It was a big step for Bradish, who is eligible to rejoin the active roster on Wednesday when the Orioles play the second of a two-game series in Washington against the Nationals.
Bradish was rolling early on tonight, throwing scoreless ball through three innings, but then the RubberDucks hit a three-run homer against him as part of their four-run fourth inning.
For his night he allowed four runs (three earned) on three hits in five innings. He walked one and fanned five on 82 pitches, 51 for strikes. His fastball, per a scout's radar gun, worked between 94 and 96 mph in the top of the first at Prince George's Stadium.
After his outing, Bradish said he had absolutely no issues with his foot tonight and if the O's want his next turn to be with the Orioles, he's ready.
“Absolutely. I’ll be ready whenever they want me back up," he said in the Baysox clubhouse.
Bradish fanned the first two batters he saw and then Akron’s No. 3 hitter popped out to second base in a 15-pitch first inning in which he ran three deep counts, but got all three hitters, throwing eight strikes.
He sailed through the second and third innings and was at 48 pitches through three. Akron’s No. 5 hitter reached on an error charged to Coby Mayo in the second on a hard-hit grounder that got by the third baseman. Akron’s first hit came in the top of the third when leadoff man Raynel Delgado singled on a 3-2 pitch.
“It felt great," Bradish said of his return to a mound in a game. "Had those pregame jitters, which was a little different, just being at a lower level. But felt really good.
“I was pleased with it. I think I could have worked ahead of guys more. But the shapes of all my pitches were really good. Made good pitches. I think the biggest thing would be I carried my velo. Foot feels really good."
In facing Akron, a Cleveland affiliate, Bradish was facing a team and roster that Baseball America ranked as the 10th best in all of minor league baseball.
And that team showed some of that talent in the visitors' fourth, putting runners on the corners with no outs on a leadoff single and an error charged to second baseman César Prieto. After Bradish got a strikeout on a breaking ball, he issued a walk to load the bases and uncorked a wild pitch. Each runner moved up as one scored. On the very next pitch, Akron second baseman Aaron Bracho lined a three-run homer to right to give the visitors a 4-2 lead.
Bradish said his foot is healed and was fine tonight.
"No issues, 100 percent. No more bruising. Doesn't hurt to the touch anymore. We're good to go," he said.
Bowie right fielder Heston Kjerstad had hit a solo homer in the home first, his second homer in two nights and fourth in seven games with Bowie to start his year. He hammered a ball out to left-center off right-hander Ross Carver. Later that inning, John Rhodes’ RBI double gave Bowie a 2-0 lead.
Bradish went on the injured list with a right foot contusion when former O’s minor leaguer Jonah Heim lined a shot back to the box at 104 mph in the series-opener at Globe Life Field in Texas. Bradish had thrown 1 2/3 scoreless innings to that point on 28 pitches, averaging 95.3 mph on his fastball and getting swings and misses off his slider.
Coming into tonight, Bradish has made five starts over the 2021 and 2022 seasons here for Bowie and had thrown scoreless ball over 21 2/3 innings on just eight hits. He walked five and fanned 35 to post excellent starts and results in his previous career games with Bowie.
Right-hander Houston Roth came on to pitch for Bowie after Bradish was pulled.
The final was Akron 7, Bowie 5.
Rhodes added a two-run double for a three-RBI night, Coby Mayo went 2-for-4 and Zach Watson hit a solo homer for the Baysox, now 3-4 for the year. Roth allowed three runs over 2 2/3 innings. Bracho hit two homers and drove in five runs for Akron.