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"

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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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Burnes extends quality streak and Orioles complete first four-game sweep at Tropicana Field (updated)

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Orioles spent their last eight games playing on artificial surfaces, starting in Toronto and shifting to Florida. There’s nothing fake about the overall results. What they did on the mound, at the plate and in the field.

It was real and it was often spectacular.

The first four-game sweep for the Orioles at Tropicana Field was cemented tonight with a 5-2 victory over the Rays before an announced crowd of 14,686. Gunnar Henderson hit another leadoff homer, Ryan O’Hearn drove in three runs, Corbin Burnes held the Rays to two unearned in seven innings and the club improved to 43-22.

The Orioles have won 14 of their last 18 and return home to face the Braves and Phillies in more traditional three-game sets. They’re packing serious momentum.

O’Hearn broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth with a two-run double off Ryan Pepiot. He pulled a changeup down the right field line with two outs, the eighth pitch of the at-bat. He worked reliever Kevin Kelly for nine in the seventh, fouling off six before pulling a sweeper into right field to score Henderson, who came within a triple of the cycle.

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Orioles notes on McCann catching Burnes, injury updates, starters for Braves series

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The choices were down to two. Adley Rutschman would be on the bench tonight or serve as designated hitter.

Both scenarios put James McCann behind the plate again for ace Corbin Burnes.

Rutschman caught the first three games of the series against the Rays, but the Burnes/McCann pairing seemed destined to happen anyway. Tonight marks the fifth consecutive Burnes start with McCann catching.

“It’s actually more coincidence than anything,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “I’m comfortable catching Adley with Burnes, too. It’s not anything about that. It’s just more kind of how it’s fallen, honestly, with kind of how we’ve been matched up opponent-wise and day games, etc. But Mac’s done a great job with Burnsie, also.”

McCann wasn’t ready to do a deep dive earlier today, saying, “I’m probably not the right one to ask.”

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O's partner with T. Rowe Price, tonight's lineups in series finale

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Orioles announced a multi-year partnership today with T. Rowe Price that makes the company “the exclusive investment and wealth management sponsor of the baseball club.”

A patch with the Baltimore-based investment firm’s ram logo will be worn on the right sleeve beginning Tuesday night for the series opener against the Braves at Camden Yards.

“We are ecstatic to enter into this partnership with T. Rowe Price and welcome them as the first organization to associate their name and brand on our uniforms,” Orioles senior vice president and chief revenue officer T.J. Brightman said in a statement. “This partnership acknowledges the strong Baltimore Orioles brand, and we are elated to bring together two Baltimore institutions to positively impact our Birdland community.”

“The future of the Baltimore Orioles and the City of Baltimore is bright,” control person David Rubenstein said in a statement. “We are delighted to welcome T. Rowe Price to Birdland at such an eventful time on and off the field. Our organizations share a dedication to hard work, innovation, professionalism, and integrity, and we have committed our long-term futures to this city. We look forward to a long, successful partnership as we work to bring the World Series trophy back to Baltimore.”

“T. Rowe Price has called Baltimore home since our founding. We are deeply committed to the City — as is the Orioles organization,” Rob Sharps, CEO and president of T. Rowe Price, said in a statement. “We are very excited to invest in our hometown team and our community, and we believe this partnership will help us attract more clients in the years to come.”

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Mullins makes most of his latest opportunity

Cedric Mullins

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Manager Brandon Hyde has tried to cure Cedric Mullins by feeding him a steady diet of at-bats. He’s sat Mullins in consecutive games to provide a reset. He’s studied matchups and made decisions to show his center fielder that confidence isn’t lost, but also, games must be won.

Mullins, in turn, has hit early, watched video and consumed every ounce of data until he’s stuffed.  

No one is outworking him. Every player is outhitting him. But Mullins finally had his day in the dome.

Leading off the top of the second inning yesterday, Mullins swung at a first-pitch slider from Zack Littell and flied to center field. He made the turn around first base and jogged across the infield to the visiting dugout. An all-too-familiar site for a player who was batting .170/.221/.301.

Up first again in the fifth inning, Mullins ripped a splitter into right field at 102 mph after falling behind 0-2 in the count and taking a fastball outside the zone. A single that seemed like a life preserver for a guy with the sinking stats who was 0-for-25 and 1-for-32.

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Rodriguez hitless until sixth, Rutschman sets career high with six RBIs in 9-2 win (updated)

Adley Rutschman grand slam

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Grayson Rodriguez hopped into the driver’s seat today and took his turn cruising the dome. Adley Rutschman rode shotgun.

After watching teammate Kyle Bradish retire 18 batters in a row yesterday, Rodriguez disposed of the first 15 Rays and didn’t allow a hit until Yandy Díaz lined a two-out, full-count single into right-center field in the sixth.

Rodriguez threw a career-high 107 pitches in 5 2/3 innings, the last 10 to Brandon Lowe, who dumped a broken-bat RBI single into right field. He walked off the mound, head bowed, to a standing ovation from another huge turnout of Orioles fanatics.  

Rutschman brought them to their feet again. He called a good game and took over it.

Anthony Santander homered again leading off the top of the fourth inning, Rutschman put the game out of reach with a grand slam in the eighth, and the Orioles moved closer to a series sweep with a 9-2 victory over the Rays before an announced crowd of 20,386 at Tropicana Field.

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Orioles and Rays lineups for third game of series

Grayson Rodriguez

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Kyle Stowers is out of the Orioles lineup this afternoon after leaving yesterday's game with a sore right elbow.

Cedric Mullins gets the start in center field, with the Orioles trying to claim another series against a division opponent. The worst they can do is a split.

Ryan Mountcastle is the designated hitter, with Ryan O’Hearn at first base. Jordan Westburg is at second base and Ramón Urías is at third. Colton Cowser, with his right calf wrapped, is in left field.

Austin Hays remains out of the lineup. He came off the bench yesterday, played left field and doubled.

O’Hearn has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games, batting .326 (15-for-46) with two doubles, three home runs, five RBIs, two walks and nine runs scored.

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