Santander homers twice and Rodriguez completes seven innings in 6-2 win

Santander homers twice and Rodriguez completes seven innings in 6-2 win

Reliever Jacob Webb mulled the latest injury that threatens to derail the Orioles, the sprained elbow ligament that might lead to surgery for Kyle Bradish, and pointed to a clubhouse full of players who rally in these situations.

“We’re pretty good at picking each other up,” he said.

Can be a starter or reliever. Can be a hitter. Brush it off and go play.

Grayson Rodriguez was the starter, allowing two runs in a season-high seven innings. Anthony Santander was the hitter, homering twice and finishing with four RBIs in the Orioles' 6-2 victory over the Phillies before an announced sellout crowd of 44,555 at Camden Yards.

Bryan Baker retired the side in order in the eighth and Craig Kimbrel struck out three batters in the ninth to improve the Orioles’ record to 46-24 and prevent a three-game losing streak that would have tied their longest of the season.

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Orioles waiting to learn more about Bradish's injury before determining next step

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The Orioles know the source of Kyle Bradish’s elbow discomfort. Next is figuring out what to do about it.

Bradish returned to the 15-day injured list this afternoon with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He exited last night’s game after the fifth inning, underwent tests and received the unfortunate news.

A decision is pending on whether Bradish will undergo season-ending surgery or attempt to rehab the elbow. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection in January and made his 2024 debut on May 2.

“He’s still going to get tests done and see other doctors,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “It’s just the next day, so we’re not jumping to any conclusions, but he’s going to see other doctors and see what happens.”

John Means and Tyler Wells won’t pitch again in 2024 due to UCL damage. Means is wearing a brace on his left arm after undergoing a second Tommy John procedure and Wells is waiting to have his ligament repaired.

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Bradish on IL with sprained UCL, lineups and notes

rodriguez pitching white

The Orioles placed starter Kyle Bradish on the 15-day injured list again today with an ulnar collateral ligament sprain in his right elbow – the same injury that led to a platelet-rich plasma injection in January and delayed his 2024 debut until May 2.

Left-handed reliever Nick Vespi was recalled for the fourth time, giving the Orioles an eight-man bullpen.

The rotation is down to five starters.

Bradish exited last night’s game after the fifth inning with elbow discomfort. He’s undergoing more tests.

I’ll have more on Bradish later today.

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Kimbrel and Westburg venturing into impressive territories

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Craig Kimbrel was unaware of his exact proximity to Hall of Fame closer Lee Smith on one of baseball’s all-time lists until after his most recent appearance.

Kimbrel notched his 16th save Wednesday by retiring the side in order in the ninth inning. He got a called third strike on Atlanta’s Jarred Kelenic, sandwiched by a ground ball and lineout.

Smith ranks third in saves with 478, followed by Francisco Rodríguez with 437 and Kimbrel with 433. But that wasn’t the specific chase.

Kimbrel and Smith were tied for third-most strikeouts by a reliever with 1,225 until an 0-2 heater froze Kelenic.

“Yeah, actually I found out afterward,” Kimbrel said. “Kind of wish I knew before. I would have probably saved the ball.”

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Bradish to undergo tests on sore right elbow

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Another injury has hit an Orioles rotation that drifts toward fuller strength and is knocked back again.

Kyle Bradish exited tonight’s game after the fifth inning with soreness in his right elbow. He surrendered his first two home runs of the season and left with the Orioles down 2-1 in a game they’d lose 5-3 in 11 innings.

“He came to us and said his elbow was bothering him, so we’re going to get further tests on that,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “Nothing, really, else to say except we’re going to get further tests on his elbow. So he had to come out of the game after that inning.”

The possibility of a health setback loomed over Bradish since January, when he was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and received a platelet-rich plasma injection. He began the season on the injured list, made the first of his eight starts on May 2 and entered tonight’s game with a 2.62 ERA and 1.107 WHIP with 49 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings.

Perhaps better than the 2023 version that finished fourth in Cy Young voting in the American League and started Game 1 of the Division Series.

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Bradish leaves game after 74 pitches, Orioles lose 5-3 in 11 innings

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Kyle Bradish jogged out of the dugout, twisted his body sideways while leaping over the first base line and pounded his fist into his glove. The same routine. Like it was any other night.

It wasn’t.

Bradish hadn’t surrendered a home run in his last 10 starts dating back to the 2023 season, but Phillies leadoff hitter Kyle Schwarber sent a 2-1 curveball into the right-center field seats – a 406-foot shot that made the red-clad sections of Camden Yards explode. The decibel level jumped in the same way that the ball left Schwarber’s bat.

Manager Brandon Hyde removed Bradish after only 74 pitches through five innings and the Orioles behind 2-1. Not at all like any other night.

Anthony Santander hit a two-out, game-tying home run off Matt Strahm in the eighth in front of an announced sellout crowd of 43,987 at Camden Yards before rain interrupted play in the top of the 11th. Alec Bohm delivered a two-run double off Jacob Webb in the Phillies' 5-3 victory, but talk of measuring sticks and a possible World Series preview were shoved aside amid concerns over Bradish.

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Orioles pregame notes on Kremer's rehab assignment, hyped series and Holliday's elbow inflammation

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Dean Kremer is ready for his rehab assignment.

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said Kremer will pitch Sunday afternoon for Triple-A Norfolk, which hosts the Memphis Redbirds.

Kremer threw another bullpen session yesterday and has recovered from the strained right triceps that forced him onto the injured list retroactive to May 21.

The length of the rehab isn’t known but Hyde said he’s hoping Kremer can go “four-ish innings.”

“We’ll see how it goes from there. Hopefully it goes well,” Hyde said.

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Westburg leading off and McCann catching in Orioles' series opener against Phillies

westburg city

The Phillies are in town for a three-game series, bringing a 46-22 record that’s the best in the National League. The Orioles are 45-23, second-best in the American League.

A World Series preview? Let’s get past June first.

This is the Phillies’ first visit to Baltimore since 2018, a span of 2,163 days. They haven’t played on consecutive days at Camden Yards since June 15-16, 2015.

The Orioles are 15-16 all-time against the Phillies at Camden Yards and 19-15 on the road. Their last three-game sweep here was in 1997.

Gunnar Henderson is in the cleanup spot tonight. His on-base streak has reached 21 games.

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Bullpen is obvious target for Orioles in trade talks and waiver wire

Chayce McDermott 2024 photo day

Let’s state the obvious, get it out of the way and refuse to treat it as fresh news. Think of it as Chinese takeout in the back of the fridge.

Just don’t bother sniffing it first.

The Orioles are trying to find another reliever, making it clear to other teams that they remain in the market. I say “remain” because they’ve been open to fortifying the bullpen pretty much since the first day of spring training.

Losing closer Félix Bautista to Tommy John surgery led them to veteran Craig Kimbrel, who recorded his 16th save Wednesday and hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 12 appearances. That didn’t alleviate all of the concerns.

They’d like to strengthen the setup portion of the ‘pen, and closing experience would be ideal. Whether they’d express a preference for a left-hander probably depends on the severity of Danny Coulombe’s elbow injury. Anyone who can get outs.

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Stowers' three-run homer only hints at comeback in 6-3 loss (updated)

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Two pitches into his start, Orioles left-hander Cole Irvin had surrendered a single and double to put himself in hot water on an 85-degree day. Both runners scored on his fourth pitch.

Irvin was efficient but couldn’t find complete effectiveness, allowing three earned runs and four total in 5 2/3 innings in the Orioles’ 6-3 loss to the Braves before an announced crowd of 33,700 at Camden Yards.

Kyle Stowers hit a three-run homer off reliever Pierce Johnson in the seventh to reduce the lead to 4-3, but the winning streak ended at six games. The Braves had lost five in a row.

Stowers followed Jordan Westburg’s double and Cedric Mullins’ two-out walk with a 439-foot shot to center field at 108.7 mph. A first-pitch curveball was destroyed, and Stowers had his fourth major league homer and first since Sept. 29, 2022 in Boston.

Also his first since injuring his right wrist in Toronto.

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Stowers returns to Orioles lineup for series finale vs. Braves (with Kremer note)

stowers v BOS

The Orioles will try for back-to-back sweeps this afternoon, raising their total to six, as they close out their series against the Braves at Camden Yards.

Ryan Mountcastle is out of the lineup. Ryan O’Hearn gets the start at first base and Kyle Stowers is the designated hitter. Stowers hasn’t played since Saturday due to soreness in his right wrist.

Cedric Mullins is in center field. He has two multi-hit games in his last four. The Orioles are 7-0 when he has multiple hits.

Colton Cowser is the left fielder after last night’s tie-breaking two-run homer. Jordan Westburg is at third base. Adley Rutschman is catching a day game after a night game.

Gunnar Henderson extended his career-high on-base streak to 20 straight games, the longest by an Oriole since Mountcastle’s 28 games from July 21-Aug. 23, 2023.

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This, that and the other

Craig Kimbrel

Catcher David Bañuelos sat at his locker yesterday like pretty much every other day this season. In the clubhouse but not on the active roster. With the Orioles but only sort of.

Bañuelos is becoming a taxi squad lifer.

The former fifth-round draft pick of the Mariners has appeared in only five games with Triple-A Norfolk, which is carrying catchers Maverick Handley, Blake Hunt and Connor Pavolony. Handley is on the seven-day injured list, which led to Pavolony’s bump from Double-A Bowie.

Hunt was acquired from the Mariners on May 22 for reliever Mike Baumann and catcher Michael Pérez, who spent a brief period on the taxi squad.

Bañuelos hasn’t played for Norfolk since May 16 after appearing in both ends of a doubleheader the previous day. His other games go back to March 30 and April 3.

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Povich's six scoreless innings and Cowser's tie-breaking home run lead Orioles past Braves 4-2 (updated)

Cade Povich

Orioles bench coach Fredi González took maybe one step away from the umpires gathered at home plate for the exchange of lineup cards and left-hander Cade Povich already had climbed the dugout steps and began his walk to the mound for his warmup tosses.

Teammates paused to let the rookie lead them.

He did a fine job of it after the game began.

Making his second major league start and first at home, Povich shut out the Braves over six innings before manager Brandon Hyde turned to a bullpen that wasn’t at full strength. Matt Olson turned on a Keegan Akin four-seam fastball and sent it 423 feet to right field for a game-tying two-run homer.

Akin put his hands on his hips in disgust. Povich wouldn’t get his first win. Colton Cowser wouldn’t waste his only at-bat of the night.

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Coulombe on elbow soreness: "I think we're pretty optimistic about it"

coulombe

The Orioles haven’t received the final results on the imaging and additional testing on Danny Coulombe’s left elbow. However, they aren't reaching for the proverbial panic button.

Coulombe went on the injured list yesterday, a surprising development following his two perfect innings Saturday at Tropicana Field.

“After my last outing, just had some residual soreness when I played catch two days after that. We’re still gathering information on it,” he said this afternoon while surrounded by media at his locker.

“I think we’re pretty optimistic about it.”

Coulombe underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011 as a junior at Texas Tech. He said he’s never experienced this type of discomfort, which actually is a positive sign given his familiarity with ligament reconstruction.

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Westburg and Cowser on bench in tonight's Orioles lineup, Povich makes second major league start

Cade Povich

Austin Hays is in left field again tonight after collecting three hits in the series opener against the Braves.

Hays is slashing .347/.377/.592 (17-for-49) since returning from the injured list on May 13. He has 10 hits in his last 21 at-bats.

Jorge Mateo is batting .353 when ahead in the count this season. He’s at second base again and Ramón Urías is at third. Jordan Westburg goes to the bench.

Cedric Mullins is in center field, putting Colton Cowser on the bench. Ryan O’Hearn is in right field and batting cleanup.

Anthony Santander is serving as the designated hitter.

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Coulombe injury latest obstacle Orioles must clear

Danny Coulombe

The Orioles are tested almost on a daily basis. The opponent is just a fragment of it.

Injuries are rampant throughout baseball and no one is feeling sorry for manager Brandon Hyde’s club, but a hug now and then would be nice.

The Braves are trying to catch the Phillies without outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr., who now has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in both knees in the last three years. The Phillies just lost catcher J.T. Realmuto to right knee surgery and already were missing shortstop Trea Turner and outfielder Brandon Marsh to hamstring injuries.

The Yankees are fighting to stay ahead of the Orioles while waiting for Gerrit Cole to make his 2024 debut. Outfielder Juan Soto missed time with left forearm inflammation. Mariners first baseman Ty France fractured his right heel.

This is just scratching the surface, which feels more like deep cuts.

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Suárez has scoreless start, Mateo mashes in return and Orioles win 4-0 for sixth shutout (updated)

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Albert Suárez turned, watched and wondered. Breath held and heart rate accelerated.

The ballpark was challenged to hold Sean Murphy’s fly ball in the second inning. It had the sound and look of a three-run homer – the expected outcome everywhere except Camden Yards, per Statcast tracking. Instead, Austin Hays retreated to the wall, reached up and made the catch. Couldn’t fit a sheet of paper between him and the padding.

This is where a start and a game can spin.

The Orioles came within inches of falling behind against former All-Star and Cy Young runner-up Max Fried, but 392 feet and 103.9 mph weren’t sufficient. They batted in the bottom half of the inning, the first two Orioles reached and Jorge Mateo marked his return to the active roster by launching a two-strike curveball into the bullpen.

Confirmation that 402 feet and 101.3 mph can get the job done.

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Hyde on Coulombe: “He’s going to get further tests done and we’re hoping for the best"

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The Orioles regained the services of their second baseman today and lost a high-leverage reliever with All-Star credentials.

Jorge Mateo was reinstated from the seven-day concussion list and is in tonight’s lineup against the Braves, with Connor Norby optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. Norby had a locker set up in the clubhouse and didn’t get to use it.

The shocker is Danny Coulombe going on the 15-day injured list retroactive to Sunday with left elbow inflammation.

Coulombe has registered a 2.42 ERA and 0.615 WHIP in 29 appearances. He’s allowed seven runs and 13 hits in 26 innings, with only three walks, 28 strikeouts and three home runs surrendered.

The bullpen has allowed only two earned runs in the last 34 innings and Coulombe is an integral part of its success, including a 3.29 ERA that ranks third in the American League and fourth in the majors.

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Mateo at shortstop tonight, Norby missing from reserves (update: Coulombe to IL)

Mateo at shortstop tonight, Norby missing from reserves (update: Coulombe to IL)

Jorge Mateo is reinstated from the concussion injured list and playing shortstop tonight. Connor Norby isn’t listed among the reserves on the lineup card posted by the Braves, so he’s apparently optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

Gunnar Henderson isn’t in the lineup for the first time this season, as the Orioles begin their three-game series against the Braves at Camden Yards.

Henderson’s next game will be his 250th. His 53 home runs in that span would be the most in club history, ahead of Ryan Mountcastle’s 52 and Jay Gibbons’ and Jim Gentile’s 50, per STATS. Gentile’s total came in 234 games.

A stolen base would give Henderson 20 in his first 250 games, making him the eighth player in major league history to go 50/20 in that span.

Jordan Westburg is leading off. Adley Rutschman is the designated hitter.

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Fuller on rescuing players from "pain cave" and lots more

Austin Hays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Double barrel action in a bullpen is the term used when two relievers are warming at the same time. For Austin Hays, it’s the unfortunate process of receiving treatment for two ailments in the trainers’ room.

Hays didn’t play again last night due to bruised ribs and tightness in his back, but he’s avoided another trip to the injured list. His status remains day-to-day heading into the three-game series against the Braves at Camden Yards.

The ribs didn’t prevent Hays from serving as a defensive replacement in left field Saturday afternoon. However, the back flared up and cost him a chance to start Sunday.

As usual, the timing is rough.   

Hays can set an example for Cedric Mullins, who went into Sunday’s game batting .170 with a .522 OPS and was hitless in his last 25 at-bats before a single and triple provided some relief. Hays’ problems at the plate stemmed more from poor health, dating back to his illness in spring training that caused him to lose about 10 pounds and feel weak. He went on the injured list earlier this season with a calf strain and was day-to-day in the Rays series.

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