Orioles Claim Burdick from White Sox


The Orioles have made the following roster move:

  • Claimed OF Peyton Burdick off waivers from the Chicago White Sox and optioned him to minor league camp.

Barrera makes the most of rare opportunity with two-hit day


It wasn’t the most graceful of slides. A catcher barreling headfirst into first base, a Velcro strap careening off of his elbow guard. 

But he was safe. Anything for Tres Barrera to get his first big league hit in over a month.

“First, I was trying to run so fast to get to first base,” Barrera said, smiling. “I saw (Braves second baseman Vaughn Grissom) dive, I was like, 'Dang, I gotta get there.' I kinda felt my body weight shift over to the front side, so I was almost trying to keep myself from falling and looking dumb so I just said, 'I’ll go into a headfirst slide' after that.

“It probably still didn’t look very cool, but honestly, that’s what happened.”

Despite being recalled from Triple-A Rochester three weeks ago, Barrera hadn’t received a single plate appearance since Aug. 21, instead watching from the bench as Riley Adams and Israel Pineda caught game after game.

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Meneses’ go-ahead homer helps Nats salvage series finale in Atlanta (updated)

espino fields gray

ATLANTA - Like a library desperate for an overdue rental, the Nationals were making empty threats, lacking the power to follow through. 

Washington had scored just five total runs and gone a combined 4-for-22 with runners in scoring position over the last three games, all losses. 

But Wednesday in Atlanta, the Nats finally broke through, and all it took was one mighty swing from Joey Meneses. 

The 30-year-old rookie mashed a two-run homer onto the second deck in left field in the seventh inning, turning around what was then a 2-1 game and helping the Nationals (52-97) take the series finale over the Braves (93-56) by a final of 3-2. 

"I can't say enough about what Joey's been doing since he came here," manager Davey Martinez said after the win. "He's been hitting doubles, homers, getting on base, playing good defense."

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Gore's impending Nats debut provides optimism before season's end


ATLANTA - Thirty-four Nationals have pitched at least one inning this season, a remarkably high total that includes five rookies and three position players.

The 35th could be the most intriguing to date.

MacKenzie Gore, the former top-100 prospect acquired from the Padres in the Juan Soto/Josh Bell trade, will make another rehab start for Triple-A Rochester tonight as he pushes to make his Nats debut before season’s end.

Manager Davey Martinez expects Gore to throw about 60-65 pitches, hoping to see more consistency from the 23-year-old.

“This is like spring training all over for him,” said Martinez. “We’ll try to give him four ups and see where he’s at.”

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Game 149 lineups: Nationals at Braves

Game 149 lineups: Nationals at Braves

ATLANTA - Last night’s injury to Patrick Corbin shined an even brighter light on the Nationals’ missing pitching depth.

But it doesn’t get to the heart of the team’s central issue right now: lack of run production. 

The Nationals have scored just five total runs over their last three games, including two in each of the first two games of their series against the Braves. They haven’t left the yard since a four-homer game against the Marlins on Sept. 17.

After Joey Meneses’ four-hit day in the series opener Monday, no Nat collected more than one hit in Tuesday’s 5-2 loss. Washington went just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position. 

Atlanta, meanwhile, clinched a postseason berth with last night’s win and the Brewers’ loss to the Mets. 

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Long list of injured pitchers grows with addition of Patrick Corbin


ATLANTA - Cade Cavalli, Sean Doolittle, Stephen Strasburg, Tanner Rainey, Jackson Tetreault, Evan Lee…

Patrick Corbin.

The list of injured Nationals pitchers contains rookies and veterans. It has consumed righties and lefties alike. It seems to grow by the week.

After Corbin exited Tuesday’s game with back spasms, an already lean Nats rotation thinned even more, leaving Josiah Gray, Erick Fedde and Anibal Sanchez as the only bona fide starters. 

Perhaps you could throw Cory Abbott in the mix. Paolo Espino lurks.

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Nats' bats scuffle again, Corbin exits in 3-2 loss to Braves (updated)

Nats' bats scuffle again, Corbin exits in 3-2 loss to Braves (updated)

ATLANTA - Patrick Corbin took an exceptionally long time between pitches. He shuffled his feet, kicked some dirt and adjusted his belt ever so slowly before turning around and motioning to the second base umpire.

Something wasn’t quite right.

Corbin left with back spasms in the first inning of Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Braves after throwing just 12 pitches. After throwing a 76-mph slider high and outside to Matt Olson and fidgeting around the rubber, the lefty was greeted by manager Davey Martinez and head athletic trainer Paul Lessard.

Corbin, who leads the Nationals (51-97) in both starts and innings pitched, stretched his back before taking a slow walk to the visitors' dugout.

"He just threw a pitch and (his back) tightened up on him," Martinez said after the game. "We watched him, he started trying to stretch. We went out there and he said it just cramped up on him. ... As he was getting back on the mound, he said he couldn't get loose, so the smart thing to do is just get him out of there."

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Corbin exits with apparent injury after throwing 12 pitches vs. Braves


ATLANTA - Nationals starter Patrick Corbin exited Tuesday’s game against the Braves with an apparent injury after throwing just 12 pitches in the first inning.

Corbin’s final pitch of the evening was a 76-mph slider up-and-away to Braves cleanup hitter Matt Olson. The lefty was slow to return to the rubber before eventually calling for time.

Corbin, who leads the team in innings pitched, has averaged 82 mph on his slider this season, per FanGraphs. 

He stretched his back while being attended to by manager Davey Martinez and director of athletic training Paul Lessard, then headed toward the visitors' dugout with Lessard. Erasmo Ramirez warmed quickly and replaced Corbin on the mound, completing a strikeout of Olson.

Corbin retired just two batters and allowed a single to Dansby Swanson.

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30-year-old rookie Joey Meneses brings savvy to Nats clubhouse

Joey Meneses swing gray

ATLANTA - When Joey Meneses signed with the Atlanta Braves, he was three days from his 19th birthday. It was May 2011, and Truist Park was six years from being built.

Eleven years later, a 30-year-old Meneses played his first game in Atlanta, wearing the uniform of the Braves’ division rivals. He went 4-for-4 with four singles, raising his batting average to .325 through his first 41 career big league games. 

“The whole time I was playing in the minors to get to this point, to get this opportunity,” Meneses said through interpreter Octavio Martinez after Monday’s game. “I just want to do as well as possible up here and, hopefully, remain here as long as possible.”

Meneses’ Baseball-Reference page can’t be read without scrolling several times. His career includes stops in Mexico, Japan and four major league organizations, spanning 12 years.

There were plenty of good seasons in there. His final season in the Braves organization came in 2017, when he hit .292 with a .763 OPS for Double-A Mississippi at age 25. After signing with the Phillies that winter, Meneses hit .311 with 23 home runs and an .870 OPS for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

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Game 148 lineups: Nationals at Braves

Patrick Corbin throwing gray back

ATLANTA - It’s been an awfully long time since the Nationals have put together a complete offensive game. The Nats haven’t scored more than five runs in a game since a Sept. 8 blowout win in St. Louis. 

A day after Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara tossed a one-run complete game in Washington, the Nats' bats sputtered again in Atlanta last night, plating just two runs on nine hits in a 5-2 loss.

Optimism comes in the form of the opposing pitcher, veteran Charlie Morton, who has been prone to surrendering the longball this season. The 38-year-old has allowed 24 homers in 28 starts, tied for sixth-most in the National League.

Nats starter Patrick Corbin is two spots ahead of Morton on that list, lobbing 27 dingers in his 29 starts. 

Last night’s loss dropped the Nats to 3-11 against the Braves this season and 13-48 against the NL East as a whole.

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With Cruz close to returning, Nats face decision at designated hitter


ATLANTA - Lined with wooden lockers and topped by fluorescent bulbs, the visitor’s clubhouse at Truist Park isn’t the most well-lit room. It’s even darker from behind Nelson Cruz’s sunglasses.

The 42-year-old has donned the shades as he deals with a lefty eye infection that has kept him out of action since Sept. 13. But the specs could be coming off soon.

“He’s better,” said manager Davey Martinez. “The drops are working. It’s very slow but he said he feels better today.”

“It’s good news, so hopefully we can get him back here in a few days.”

Cruz took batting practice with the team before Monday’s series opener, another step towards a return that appears imminent.

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Nats do little with nine hits, fall to Braves 5-2 (updated)

abbott blue @ ATL

ATLANTA - Alex Call raced back to the warning track, found the wall, halted, and leapt upward, kicking up dirt and reaching his glove toward the sky.

He missed.

The ball, hit at a 41-degree launch angle, floated inches above Call’s glove, and Austin Riley’s 37th home run of the season landed in the seats just beyond the left field wall.

Even the Braves’ pop-ups are home runs.

Atlanta (92-55) mashed their National League-leading 221st and 222nd homers of the season in a 5-2 win over Washington (51-96) in the series opener on Monday night. The Nationals, meanwhile, scored just two runs on nine hits, keeping their homer total at a paltry 126.

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Nats' young catchers helping each other navigate life behind the plate


ATLANTA - When the equipment truck loaded up in D.C. and prepared to drive to the Nationals' charter plane, it was crammed with more catching gear than usual.

A total of four catchers have spots in the visitors' clubhouse at Truist Park: Riley Adams, Tres Barrera, Israel Pineda and Keibert Ruiz. Adams starts tonight, catching starter Cory Abbott, while Barrera and Pineda will be on the bench. Ruiz is the surprise addition, as the 24-year-old has recently been cleared to travel with the team.

“He’s feeling better,” said manager Davey Martinez of Ruiz, who has been sidelined since Sept. 8 with a testicular contusion. “He’s still pretty sore, but he obviously is feeling better, he’s able to fly with us.”

Ruiz won’t appear in any more games in 2022, but the Nats have designs for him in the final two weeks of the season.

“We want to keep him around,” Martinez said before Monday’s series opener. “Before the season’s over, he can maybe just kinda work out light and get going so that when the time comes, we feel like he’s ready to get ready for the season, spring training next year.”

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Game 147 lineups: Nationals at Braves

vargas swing @ STL gray

ATLANTA - The Nationals' penultimate road trip of the season begins in Atlanta, with serious National League East implications at play, at least for the home team.

Cory Abbott, hours before his 27th birthday, takes the mound for the Nats as they open a three-game series against the Braves, who sit just one game behind the Mets in the division. Serving a variety of roles for Washington this season, Abbott is looking to improve upon a quietly impressive September, during which the righty has posted a 3.48 ERA in 10 1/3 innings. 

Abbott will face an Atlanta lineup that lacks star second baseman Ozzie Albies, who fractured his right pinkie in Sunday's win over the Phillies. The 25-year-old will be sidelined for the remainder of the regular season. He'll be replaced by rookie Vaughn Grissom, who bats ninth in the series opener tonight.

 Truist Park

Gametime: 7:25 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Sunny, 86 degrees, wind 6 mph out of the north


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Rally comes up short in 4-3 loss to Red Sox (updated)

Rally comes up short in 4-3 loss to Red Sox (updated)

Unlike airline points, runs don’t carry over.

If they did, the Orioles could’ve used a few Saturday. After exploding for 15 runs in a series opening win Friday, the O’s bats went quiet in a 4-3 loss to the Red Sox in front of 34,939 on Saturday.

As has too often been the case recently, the offense waited too long to get going, failing to score off of Michael Wacha in the starter’s 5 ⅔ innings of work for Boston. A seventh-inning rally netted the Orioles just two runs, not enough to overcome what was then a 3-0 deficit.

"We had a tough time getting a rally going against (Wacha)," said manager Brandon Hyde after the game. "Good to see us make a run late like usual but just came up a run short today."

Baserunners were hard to come by for the Orioles, who collected just one walk and went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

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Hyde's resilient group is becoming harder to sink

brandon hyde staring

Leaning against the dugout wall, Brandon Hyde chomped his pink bubblegum, one hand on his hip, his eyes filled with the kind of dissatisfaction Orioles fans were used to seeing from their manager in each of his previous three seasons.

Hyde’s bullpen was floundering. His defense was breaking down. A six-run lead was slipping away like air from a balloon.

But this wasn’t like old times.

After a nightmarish top of the fifth inning for the Orioles, in which two errors were committed and five runs were scored, the team settled down, refocused and followed up with five runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. 

There would be no collapse. The O’s would cruise through the final four innings of Friday’s 15-10 win over the Red Sox.

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Bullpen unravels, offense stagnates in 6-1 loss to Blue Jays (updated)

ryan mountcastle standing gray

TORONTO - Brandon Hyde surely didn’t want to make two treks to the mound in the seventh inning. But he had little choice.

Relievers Joey Krehbiel and Cionel Pérez had allowed five consecutive batters to reach base, and the game that had seemed winnable moments ago was slipping away at a frightening pace.

After starter Austin Voth befuddled the Blue Jays over six shutout innings, the Orioles bullpen crumbled in a 6-1 loss in the series finale Wednesday afternoon in Toronto.

"You win two out of three, it’s tough to be disappointed," said Hyde of the three-game series. "You lose the third one after winning the first two, that’s when it’s disappointing. You split the first two and win the third, everyone’s celebrating. Happy with the series win, unhappy we couldn’t finish it off today."

Orioles relievers had combined to throw 6 ⅓ scoreless innings through the first two games of the series. But the group came crashing back down to earth in a disastrous seventh inning that saw three pitchers used, eight Blue Jays reach base and six runs come across the plate.

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O's young starters learning prudence when attacking opposing lineups

O's young starters learning prudence when attacking opposing lineups

TORONTO - The most important individual result from Dean Kremer’s stellar start against the Blue Jays on Tuesday wasn’t one of his six strikeouts. Nor was it a bases-loaded double play ball off the bat of Matt Chapman in the third inning.

It was the plate appearance before that, a five-pitch walk to Alejandro Kirk that set up that inning-ending double play. It was the only free pass issued by Kremer all night.

It showed the young righty knew who to attack and who to avoid, a recent point of emphasis from manager Brandon Hyde. 

“A handful of starts ago (Hyde) brought a couple of us starters into the office (to say), ‘Ok, where do we go from here now?’” said Kremer after tossing seven innings of two-run ball last night. “(It’s) another stepping stone in our development. We had a meeting about that, kind of realizing situation and who’s at the plate, where you can attack the lineup you’re facing.”

With the Orioles trailing by two runs, a base empty and one out, Kremer pitched around Kirk, avoiding the All-Star catcher in favor of Chapman, who hasn’t hit righties as well this season and is batting just .152 in the month of August.

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Unflappable Orioles come back to beat Blue Jays 4-2 (updated)


TORONTO - Alek Manoah was feeling himself.

The imposing righty skipped off the mound, his 6-foot-6, 285-pound frame floating over the infield grass. He had just picked up his seventh strikeout by getting Ramón Urías swinging on a fastball up and in, capping off his fourth consecutive shutout inning to open the game.

Things were going well.

By the end of his evening, Manoah was plodding slowly toward the third base dugout, having surrendered a two-run lead, while still responsible for the two runners on base in a brutal sixth inning.

Things had gone poorly.

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McKenna continues to contribute as fourth outfielder, "ultimate teammate"

McKenna continues to contribute as fourth outfielder, "ultimate teammate"

TORONTO - Speed. Positional versatility. Microwavable offense. These are the qualities teams usually seek in a fourth outfielder.

Ryan McKenna certainly checks all those boxes. But what has made the 25-year-old such a crucial component of an Orioles team that sits just 1 ½ games out of a wild card spot has been the outfielder’s eagerness to deliver anytime, anywhere.

“When he’s not in the lineup, he’s always got his helmet ready, he’s got his glove ready, he understands his role when he’s not in there, and he’s following along,” said manager Brandon Hyde before Tuesday’s game. “He’s supporting the whole time he’s in the dugout.

“You pull for guys like that. You pull for ultimate teammates like that.”

McKenna’s contributions have become especially important as everyday outfielder Austin Hays has struggled. Hays is out of the lineup Tuesday against the Blue Jays, while McKenna, who collected the first three-hit game of his career last night, gets the start in right field.

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