Orioles break tie in eighth inning and win 5-2 (updated)

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The Orioles’ streak of scoreless innings ended tonight at 25 after Oakland’s Tony Kemp lined a two-out, bases-loaded single into right field in the fifth to bring home two runs and tie the game.

There was more important work to be done.

Among the wild card tiebreakers, there’s no mention of shutouts or the succession of them.

Adley Rutschman came off the bench with one out in the eighth and coaxed a bases-loaded walk out of Domingo Acevedo, Jorge Mateo singled to left field on the next pitch to plate two more runs, and the Orioles kept rolling with a 5-2 win over the Athletics to begin a 10-game homestand.

Dean Kremer allowed two runs in six innings for his sixth quality start, and the Orioles reached the 70-win mark and moved nine games above .500 for the first time since May 20, 2017.

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Hyde on Rutschman: "We’re watching a young player that’s going to be really special"

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Orioles manager Brandon Hyde knew that he wanted Gunnar Henderson’s major league debut to come at third base, and he intended to rest shortstop Jorge Mateo last night. However, he didn’t plan ahead for tonight’s start at second base. It just unfolded this way, with Hyde having more desirable options that in past years.

“I didn’t know the Oakland rotation until a couple days ago, so then it kind of fell into place from that standpoint,” Hyde said today. “Like we talked about when he got here, I’m going to be moving him around. He’s playing great.”

Henderson is facing a left-hander tonight in rookie JP Sears, which lowered him to eighth in the order but didn’t exclude him. The Athletics are starting right-handers Adam Oller and Adrián Martínez in the last two games of the series.

“I think it’s just going to be a day-to-day thing,” Hyde said. “We’re trying to win every game we can the rest of the way. I’m just going to be matching up the best way I can.”

Hyde takes the same approach with center fielder Cedric Mullins, who’s batting .201/.266/.289 against left-handers this season and is on the bench tonight.

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Henderson starting at second base tonight

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The Orioles can climb nine games above .500 tonight for the first time since May 20, 2017. They’re 1 ½ behind the Blue Jays for third place in the division and for the third spot in the wild card chase.

The latest surge is led by a rotation that posted back-to-back shutouts and registered three during a six-game road trip to Houston and Cleveland. The Orioles allowed nine runs and currently have a scoreless streak of 21 innings.

Last night marked the 13th shutout of the season. It also produced Brandon Hyde’s 200th career win, making him the ninth manager in club history to reach the milestone.

Dean Kremer has allowed four runs in his last three starts over 20 innings, with three walks and 13 strikeouts, to lower his ERA to 3.24. He’s never faced the Athletics.

Gunnar Henderson is starting at his third position in three nights, getting the assignment at second base and batting eighth. He’s the first Oriole to collect three hits in his first two major league games since Cedric Mullins in August 2018.

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Schmidt staying strong in Orioles' minor league plans through 25 seasons

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CLEVELAND - The enormous amount of turnover in personnel within the Orioles’ organization since the rebuild began, departments reshaped or created with a definite slant toward youth and modernized thinking, never reached Dave Schmidt.  

He’s a survivor who turned 65 in April and shows no signs of slowing down.

It’s 25 years and counting for the former pitcher, who jokes about the number of jobs he’s held with the Orioles during that span.

Asked earlier this week about his current responsibilities, Schmidt replied, “My title, if you’re into titles, is ‘Florida rehab pitching coordinator.’”

Schmidt paused to laugh halfway through that sentence. He knows it’s a lot of changes following his retirement as a player, with his last major league season in 1992. He didn’t start after the 1989 “Why Not?” season with the Orioles.

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Orioles jump Bieber early and get seven scoreless innings from Bradish to win series (updated)

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CLEVELAND – The question made manager Brandon Hyde pause for a few seconds this afternoon, only to smile and load up the obvious response.

How big of a challenge does Shane Bieber present to the Orioles?

“It’s a challenge,” he said. “For me, he’s one of the best pitchers in the American League, if not baseball, the last handful of years. We have not swung the bat well against him since I’ve been here.”

The past wasn’t given any respect tonight. A team with a short memory is in the wild card race for the long haul.

Cedric Mullins homered on the first pitch of the game and Anthony Santander homered on the first pitch thrown to him. Two runs on the board in the first inning. Ryan Mountcastle hit his 19th homer in the fourth, the chain in the dugout placed around another neck.

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Hyde on Mateo, Henderson, Aguilar, Mountcastle, Hall, home games and more

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CLEVELAND – Gunnar Henderson is playing shortstop tonight for the first time in the majors, with manager Brandon Hyde wanting to move him around the infield - mainly on the left side. But Hyde also wanted to provide some rest for Jorge Mateo, who hasn't been idle since July 30.

Mateo has appeared in 121 games in his first full season in the majors. He could use a breather.

“It’s just giving Jorgie a game off,” Hyde said this afternoon. “I can’t remember the last time he’s had a game off. We’ve got a long stretch ahead of us and just wanted to give Jorgie a day today.”

Same with outfielder Austin Hays, who joins Mateo on the bench. Nothing related to his health.

Henderson provided a jolt to the offense last night with his home run and single, but Hyde isn’t asking him to carry a heavy load.

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Orioles lineup vs. Guardians

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CLEVELAND - Gunnar Henderson is starting at shortstop tonight as the Orioles conclude their road trip and try to win their series against the Guardians.

He stays on the left side of the infield.

Henderson is batting fifth behind Ramón Urías, who moves to third base.

Jorge Mateo and Austin Hays are on the bench. Jesús Aguilar is the designated hitter in his first game with the Orioles.

Terrin Vavra is in left field and batting ninth, and Anthony Santander is in right.

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Orioles DFA Richie Martin

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CLEVELAND – The Orioles designated infielder Richie Martin for assignment this afternoon to make room on the 40-man roster for first baseman Jesús Aguilar, whose contract was selected after he signed a minor league deal yesterday and joined the taxi squad.

Left-hander DL Hall was recalled today to give the Orioles 28 players in the new month, which begins with them only two games out of third place and two behind the last wild card spot.

Aguilar is the first Oriole to wear No. 99.

Martin, 27, was selected from the Athletics in the 2018 Rule 5 draft. He appeared in 120 games in 2019 as the primary shortstop, but only 50 between 2021-22 due to injuries and his struggles at the plate, where he hit .212/.261/.311.

At Triple-A Norfolk, Martin was batting .244/.338/.360 with 17 doubles, four triples, one home run, 21 RBIs and 20 stolen base in 24 attempts.

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Recapping a busy day for Orioles

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A nine-inning baseball game last night felt like the calmest moment that the Orioles experienced, even in the heat of a pennant race.

Roster moves were distributed to the media as if shot out of a T-shirt gun. The spring training schedule was released, minus report dates and times.

The pace figures to slow today, with just the corresponding 40-man roster move to accommodate first baseman Jesús Aguilar.

Active rosters grow from 26 to 28 players, and we already know that the Orioles are using those spots on Aguilar and left-hander DL Hall.

Rewinding to yesterday’s activity, the biggest surprise might have been the selection of Gunnar Henderson’s contract rather than his placement on the taxi squad, which was the plan Tuesday night.

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Henderson homers and singles in debut and Orioles post 12th shutout (updated)

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CLEVELAND – The Hall of Fame pitcher leaned over the dugout railing this afternoon to shake hands with the 21-year-old infielder preparing to make his major league debut.

A link to the Orioles’ glorious past meeting baseball’s No. 1 prospect and a huge cog in the rebuild that is designed to move them back into contention.

Jim Palmer headed up to the MASN broadcast booth. Gunnar Henderson took batting practice, started at third base and dived into the next phase of his professional life.

Of course, he landed on his feet, and used them to circle the bases on his first major league hit.

Henderson launched a 429-foot home run to right-center field off Tristen McKenzie leading off the top of the fourth inning, deepening a lead that evolved into a 4-0 victory over the Guardians at Progressive Field.

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More on arrivals of Henderson, Aguilar and Hall

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CLEVELAND – Orioles manager Brandon Hyde watched Gunnar Henderson hit on the field hours before batting practice, an early session that confirmed everything he knew about the former second-round draft pick. The tools on display. Some of the reasons why he rates so highly among scouts and talent evaluators.

Why he’s the youngest Oriole to debut since Dylan Bundy in September 2012. And the youngest position player since Manny Machado that same year.

“It’s really impressive,” Hyde said. “It’s so physical, so strong, and it’s exciting to have another one of our top prospects here.”

Henderson is least likely to play first base with Ryan Mountcastle entrenched as the starter and Jesús Aguilar going from taxi squad to expanded roster on Thursday.

“We’re going to play him multiple spots in the infield,” Hyde said after writing Henderson’s name at third base on the lineup card. “It’s something he’s been preparing for down at Norfolk, getting a lot of reps. Recent reps at second base, shortstop, third base. He’ll be day-to-day with where we put him in the infield.

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Henderson makes stated goal become a reality

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CLEVELAND – Gunnar Henderson predicted that he’d reach the majors this year. He set it as a goal before his season began at Double-A Bowie. So confident that he texted it to his girlfriend, Katherine Lee Bishop, who took a screenshot as proof.

Here he is. Perhaps in a location he couldn’t have known about, but on the Orioles roster and starting for them tonight at third base.

“That’s pretty cool to accomplish that,” he said today while standing at his new locker, “but the road’s just starting, so the work keeps on going.”

Henderson had to block out the distractions while concentrating on each at-bat, each ground ball, in order to become the youngest Orioles position player to debut since Manny Machado in 2012.

Tabbed by Baseball America as the No. 1 prospect didn’t exactly quiet the room.

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Henderson in Orioles lineup tonight

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CLEVELAND – Gunnar Henderson is batting sixth and playing third base tonight in his major league debut.

Henderson, the 55th player to appear in a game with the Orioles, is sandwiched between Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays in the lineup.

Ramón Urías is batting fourth as the designated hitter.

Kyle Stowers and Terrin Vavra are on the bench.

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

Jordan Lyles RHP

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Henderson promoted to active roster, Aguilar signed to minor league deal

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CLEVELAND – The Orioles didn’t wait until Thursdays’ roster expansion to select infielder Gunnar Henderson’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk.

They did it early this afternoon, bringing up Henderson and optioning infielder Tyler Nevin to Norfolk.

Pitcher Denyi Reyes was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster.

Henderson, who’s wearing No. 2, could be in tonight’s lineup against Guardians right-hander Triston McKenzie. We’ll find out later.

The first appearance will allow Henderson, 21, to become the youngest Oriole to make his major league debut since infielder Manny Machado in 2012. Machado was a first-round shortstop who switched to third base. Henderson is a second-round shortstop in 2019 who’s played all four infield positions in the minors, gaining experience on the right side this month.

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Leftovers for breakfast

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CLEVELAND - Orioles manager Brandon Hyde spoke with Ryan Mountcastle yesterday afternoon, trying to get his first baseman to relax at the plate. To be the hitter he was a few months ago.

“It’s a young guy pressing. That’s what it is,” Hyde said before the series opener in Cleveland.

“A young guy who’s just trying to do way too much.”

Mountcastle flied to deep right field in the second inning, keeping his hitless streak at 14 at-bats in a row but scoring Ramón Urías with a sacrifice fly.

Lowered to seventh in the order for the first time since 2021, Mountcastle also grounded out and walked.

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Source: Henderson and Hall headed to Cleveland to join Orioles

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CLEVELAND – The Orioles are ready to increase their roster with two of the top prospects in the organization.

According to an industry source, infielder Gunnar Henderson and reliever DL Hall are flying to Cleveland on Wednesday to join the taxi squad.

Rosters can expand to 28 players on Thursday, when the Orioles complete their three-game series against the Guardians and head home.

Henderson is rated as the No. 1 prospect by Baseball America, and his promotion has been anticipated for more than a week. He played second base tonight for Triple-A Norfolk and collected three more hits.

The Orioles had Henderson making starts on the right side of the infield to increase their flexibility when he arrived in the majors. He’s primarily been a shortstop and third baseman since they drafted him in the second round in 2019 out of John T. Morgan Academy in Selma, Ala.

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Orioles manage only one hit in 5-1 loss (updated)

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CLEVELAND – Spenser Watkins retired the first 11 batters tonight and seemed intent on maintaining the recent run of quality starts from the rotation.

To do so, of course, required Watkins to limit the number of runs.

Watkins surrendered two in the fourth inning and three more in the fifth, exiting before the final out, and the offense sputtered again in the Orioles’ 5-1 loss to the Guardians at Progressive Field.

The beginning of another important series for the Orioles produced the third loss to Cleveland in four games this season and lowered their record to 67-61.

Cal Quantrill allowed a leadoff single to Ramón Urías in the second inning, and it was the last Orioles hit. Quantrill retired the last 10 batters he faced after Anthony Santander’s two-out walk in the third.

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Hyde on Wells, roster, Guardians series, Mountcastle and more

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CLEVELAND – Tyler Wells is getting closer to appearing in games and rejoining the Orioles.

Wells threw about 30 pitches today during a bullpen session at high Single-A Aberdeen, and he’s poised to begin an injury rehab assignment with the IronBirds.

Today’s activity followed the simulated game from a few days ago.

“Felt great after, so positive news there,” said manager Brandon Hyde.

“We’re going to get him into some sort of rehab game if he wakes up tomorrow and feels well. We’re taking it just kind of day-to-day with him right now, but as of right now, it went well and we’re going to continue to progress him.”

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Orioles and Guardians lineups (and notes)

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CLEVELAND - The Orioles leave Houston after winning two of three games against the team with the best record in the American League, and now they play three games in Cleveland against the leaders in the Central Division.

Yesterday’s off-day actually cost the Orioles a half-game in the wild card race. They’re two behind the Blue Jays for the last spot.

The Guardians won two of three games from the Orioles at Camden Yards on June 3-5. They’ve lost six of their last 11.

Right-hander Cal Quantrill is 10-5 with a 3.59 ERA and 1.203 WHIP in 24 starts. He’s walked 38 batters and struck out 94 in 143 innings.

Quantrill is having his best month in August, going 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 0.781 WHIP in five starts. He’s tossed six, seven and seven scoreless innings in three of his last four outings, holding the Blue Jays to one hit in seven frames on Aug. 12.

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Cowser's move to next level is felt in Orioles' outfield

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Colton Cowser was supposed to move quickly through the Orioles’ system. They believed it would happen before making him the fifth overall selection in last year’s draft. The advanced, polished bat with its high contact rate. The defensive skills to play anywhere in the outfield.

And that’s exactly what’s happening. Right before our eyes.

Cowser already has reached Triple-A Norfolk, which is hosting Lehigh Valley tonight, after 143 minor league games. Only 32 in his first professional season.

The Tides are his fifth affiliate, counting the seven games played in the Florida Complex League. And he gets a full month with them before the offseason.

The Cowser watch begins next spring. Whether he actually breaks camp with the team or returns to Norfolk and is deemed ready at a certain date.

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