Félix Bautista threw 25 pitches this afternoon to minor league catcher Ramón Rodríguez in his first time facing a hitter. And he didn’t go strictly with fastballs.
Bautista has had a few bullpen sessions and today was another step in the right direction.
The Orioles begin their final homestand of the regular season with their magic number at three to clinch their first division title since 2014.
A win tonight would be the 98th of the season, the most since 1997.
Gunnar Henderson is the shortstop. He needs one more triple to become the eighth player in major league history with at least 25 home runs and 10 triples in their age 22 or younger season, per STATS. The others are Jimmie Fox, Joe DiMaggio (twice), Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Al Kaline and Dick Allen.
Aaron Hicks is in right field and Anthony Santander is the designated hitter. Adam Frazier is playing second base and Ramón Urías is at third.
Adley Rutschman is the only catcher in Orioles history to have more than 150 walks through the first two seasons of his career, per STATS.
Kyle Bradish’s ERA is down to 3.01 in 28 starts and 158 2/3 innings. He was reinstated from the injured list April 19 and earned his first win of the season in D.C., tossing six scoreless innings in a 4-0 victory.
Bradish’s 2.57 ERA at home is the lowest by an Orioles pitcher in a minimum 60 innings since Bud Norris (2.44) and Chris Tillman (2.54) in 2014.
The Orioles swept the Nationals in a two-game series in April by a combined score of 5-0. They’ve posted a 41-27 (.603) record against Washington since the start of the 2010 season.
The Orioles lead the majors with 48 comeback wins and are tied for fewest blown-lead losses with 27.
All-Star right-hander Josiah Gray, acquired from the Dodgers in the 2021 Max Scherzer/Trea Turner deal, is 8-12 with a 4.00 ERA and 1.471 WHIP in 29 starts. He’s allowed six runs and struck out 16 batters this month in 15 1/3 innings.
Gray faced the Orioles on April 18 and allowed one run in five innings in a 1-0 loss.
Gray has a career home ERA of 5.93 and a road ERA of 3.65.
The Nationals (69-88) have lost four of five games, nine of 13 and 19 of 27.
For the Orioles
Gunnar Henderson SS
Adley Rutschman C
Anthony Santander DH
Ryan O’Hearn 1B
Aaron Hicks RF
Cedric Mullins CF
Austin Hays LF
Adam Frazier 2B
Ramón Urías 3B
Kyle Bradish RHP
Double-A Bowie corner infielder Coby Mayo, 21, was named Eastern League Player of the Year after batting .307/.424/.603 with 30 doubles, two triples, 17 home runs, 44 RBIs, 51 walks and 86 strikeouts in 78 games.
Mayo, the organization’s No. 4 prospect per MLB Pipeline, moved up to Triple-A Norfolk and hit .267/.393/.512 with 15 doubles, one triple, 12 homers, 55 RBIs, 42 walks and 62 strikeouts in 62 games.
Mayo is the fourth Baysox player to win the award in the team’s 30-year history, joining Calvin Pickering (1998), Lou Montanez (2008) and Garabez Rosa (2017).