Orioles encouraged by Bradish's start in Bowie, Watkins ready for long relief role

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CHICAGO – The Orioles received positive news on Kyle Bradish’s rehab start last night at Double-A Bowie.

His right foot felt good.

The rest is just numbers, some more favorable than others.

Bradish threw 82 pitches in five innings, so he’s stretched out. He allowed four runs (three earned) and three hits with one walk, five strikeouts and a home run. All of Akron’s scoring came in the fourth.

The Orioles could activate Bradish from the 15-day injured list on Wednesday and give him the start in D.C.

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Orioles and White Sox lineups

Orioles and White Sox lineups

CHICAGO – Adley Rutschman is the designated hitter this afternoon against the White Sox, as the Orioles try to guarantee another series win.

Rutschman ranks second in the American League and third in the majors with a .492 on-base percentage. He’s sixth in the majors with a 1.134 OPS.

Ryan Mountcastle’s 19 RBIs continue to lead the majors.

Gunnar Henderson’s 21 strikeouts are tied for most in the American League, but his 12 walks tie Rutschman for first in the AL.  He’s out of the lineup today.

Kyle Gibson is the first Orioles pitcher in modern franchise history to make three starts in his first three appearances with his new team and win each decision. He has a 3.44 ERA and 1.145 WHIP in 18 1/3 innings.

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Thinking more about Orioles thefts and how Cano came through in clutch

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CHICAGO – Starter Tyler Wells referred to Adley Rutschman last night as “Superman” after the young catcher cleared the bases with a double in the seventh inning that gave the Orioles a lead. The latest hero turn following Thursday afternoon’s walk-off home run.

However, it’s the activity on the basepaths that’s transforming the Orioles into the men of steal.

They almost went the entire game last night without a stolen base, but Cedric Mullins and Ryan Mountcastle swiped bags in the ninth to raise the club’s total to 21 and keep it tied with the Guardians for most in the majors.

Mullins dived into second to beat Yasmani Grandal's throw after a leadoff single. Mountcastle had it much easier after reaching on a fielder’s choice and breaking with two outs. Barely got noticed.

The Orioles have been thrown out once, on a strikeout-caught stealing with Rutschman running on the pitch. Maybe that’s his Kryptonite.

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Wells, walks, bats waking and a 6-3 win for the Orioles (updated)

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CHICAGO – However the Orioles construct their starting rotation, Tyler Wells should have his own room.

Never mind the early talk of piggybacking or maybe sending him down to start in the minors. Demolish it and move on to the next project.

While Kyle Bradish pitched tonight at Double-A Bowie on his injury rehab assignment, Wells cemented his role with the Orioles by recording an out in the sixth inning. By providing more length than others before appearing to tire.

The bar has been lowered a bit, but that’s the material that the Orioles are working with this month.

There wouldn’t be another out for Wells, who left after 5 1/3 with the White Sox scoring twice in the inning. Mike Baumann issued a walk to load the bases before stranding the runners with a pair of strikeouts, Yennier Cano escaped a jam that he inherited, and the Orioles took advantage of Chicago’s wild streaks by scoring four times in the seventh to win 6-3 in the opening game of the series.

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Hyde on Irvin: "We think he’s going to be a huge part of our rotation going forward"

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CHICAGO – The Orioles aren’t sharing their rotation plans beyond their series with the White Sox that begins tonight. However, Kyle Bradish seems certain to jump into it after tonight’s rehab start at Double-A Bowie, likely taking the ball Wednesday against the Nationals in D.C. on the day that he’s eligible to return from the injured list.

“We’re just going to get through this weekend,” said manager Brandon Hyde, “and I’ll let you guys know on Sunday.”

Off-days on Monday and Thursday would allow Hyde to tweak the rotation, but the club is likely to keep its starters in turn and stay with a five-man setup.

Cole Irvin is excluded, of course, after the Orioles optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk following yesterday’s game at Camden Yards.

The decision was made to get Irvin on track and also rescue an exhausted bullpen. One struggling starter would be easier to carry if the others routinely were pitching deeper into games.

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Orioles and White Sox lineups

Orioles and White Sox lineups

CHICAGO – Anthony Santander has returned to the Orioles lineup, serving as designated hitter tonight, after missing the last two games with back soreness.

Gunnar Henderson is the shortstop, Ramón Urías is the third baseman, and Terrin Vavra is in right field.

Ryan Mountcastle is batting .458/.581/.875 (11-for-24) with one double, three home runs, five RBIs, seven runs scored and seven walks during a seven-game hitting streak.

Mountcastle is first in the American League and tied with the Mets’ Pete Alonso for the major league lead with six home runs. His 19 RBIs are tops in the majors.

The Orioles haven’t been charged with an error in seven consecutive games after committing seven in the first six, the longest active streak per STATS. However, there have been mental lapses that don’t show up in the stat sheet.

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Orioles announce roster moves, plus some game notes before tonight's series-opener in Chicago

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CHICAGO – The Orioles have announced their series of roster moves leading into tonight’s game against the White Sox.

Left-hander Cole Irvin was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk following yesterday’s 8-7 walk-off win over the Athletics. Left-handed reliever Keegan Akin was placed on the paternity list.

A taxed bullpen is adding right-handers Spenser Watkins and Yennier Cano from the Tides.

Irvin hasn’t gone beyond 4 2/3 innings in his three starts since the Orioles acquired him from the Athletics in a January trade, and he’s allowed 15 runs and 17 hits with eight walks in 12 2/3 innings.

"I had a really good work week this week, so I felt really good coming in," Irvin said after his ERA yesterday rose to 10.66. "Small adjustments. I'm just shooting myself in the foot - walks, hit-by-pitches, bad pitches in bad locations that I know not to go to. It's small stuff that I really need to continue to clean up.

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Bradish talks Bowie, Gibson gives opinions on Rodriguez, O'Hearn on Triple-A prospects

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The return of Kyle Bradish to the Orioles rotation becomes more of a reality with tonight’s injury rehab start at Double-A Bowie.

Bradish is expecting to be one-and-done in the minors. Build up his pitch count in a low-pressure environment, make certain that his right foot can withstand the workload, and wait for the roster move.

“I’m very excited,” Bradish said yesterday morning. “Felt like I still haven’t thrown since spring training. Yeah, very excited. Hopefully, it all goes well and be back out there next week.”

The days are favoring Bradish, who’s eligible to return Wednesday night in D.C. He’d be on regular rest. But the Orioles are off Monday and Thursday and could mess a little with the rotation.

Bradish has thrown two full bullpen sessions and one touch-and-feel. He thinks one rehab game is sufficient.

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Sources: Orioles optioning Cole Irvin in series of roster moves

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The Orioles are making changes to their rotation and bullpen following their walk-off win this afternoon against the Athletics.

According to multiple sources, left-hander Cole Irvin has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after starting today and lasting only four innings. Left-handed reliever Keegan Akin is going on paternity leave.

In corresponding moves, the Orioles are recalling pitchers Spenser Watkins and Yennier Canó.

Irvin came to the Orioles in a Jan. 26 trade that sent minor league shortstop prospect Darell Hernaiz to the Athletics. He’s made three starts and allowed 15 runs and 17 hits with eight walks and 13 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings.

None of the three starts have lasted more than 4 2/3 innings. Only Kyle Gibson (twice) and Tyler Wells have recorded an out in the sixth inning this season.

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Rutschman walk-off homer gives Orioles series win (updated)


As the rotation continues to deliver shortened starts and the bullpen fights to catch its collective breath, the Orioles must bank on their offense to keep the line moving and the team from shutting down.

Ryan Mountcastle homered again today, Ryan O’Hearn celebrated his return to the majors with two rewarded bases-loaded at-bats in the first three innings, and Adley Rutschman homered on Trevor May's second pitch in the ninth to give the Orioles an 8-7 victory over the Athletics and the series win.

A grind from beginning to end.

Terrin Vavra and O’Hearn singled off Zach Jackson to open the eighth and they moved up on a passed ball, but Jorge Mateo popped up with the count full, Cedric Mullins flied to right field with the count full, and Ramón Laureano threw out Vavra at the plate.

With his team on the verge of extras, Rutschman launched a four-seam fastball over the fence in right-center field, measured at 405 feet, for his first career walk-off.

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Pregame notes on pitching, Santander's back, Henderson's slump, O'Hearn's arrival and more

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Asked what he’s looking for today from starter Cole Irvin, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde didn’t miss a beat. He blurted out a response with an impressive exit velocity.

“Nine,” he said.

Every inning is appreciated.

“I’d love to have Cole go as deep in the game as possible,” Hyde said. “Maybe we can swing the bat and give him some run support and play better defense than we’ve played. That’s been bothering me. We need to play better defense, really how we did last year. We played great defense last year and we’ve got to get back to that.

“I want to see Cole go as deep as he can and give us a chance.”

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Orioles DFA Anthony Bemboom and summon Ryan O'Hearn (with lineups)

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The Orioles are down to two catchers on their active roster.

Anthony Bemboom was designated for assignment this morning, and the Orioles selected Ryan O’Hearn’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk.

O’Hearn, who is wearing No. 32, gives the Orioles a backup first baseman and corner outfielder. He’s another left-handed bat with the club facing at least four consecutive right-handed starters.

O’Hearn was batting .300/.349/.725 (12-for-40) with three doubles, a triple, four home runs, 11 RBIs, three walks and 13 strikeouts in 43 plate appearances with Norfolk. He was lumped in the last roster cuts in spring training after slashing .375/.444/.650 with two doubles and three home runs in 18 games.

Today’s move puts O’Hearn back on the 40-man roster. The Orioles acquired him from the Royals on Jan. 3 for cash considerations and designated him for assignment two days later while claiming Lewin Díaz off waivers.

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Impact of rotation's shortcomings on Orioles bullpen, and Gibson's record-setting starts

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Orioles manager Brandon Hyde kept rookie Grayson Rodriguez on the mound Tuesday for 99 pitches, the right-hander’s highest total in four years dating back to A ball. It wasn’t a test of strength and endurance. It wasn’t intended as a professional life lesson.

The club just needed the length.

“I can’t continue to pull our starters in the fifth inning,” Hyde said afterward.

Rodriguez was gone after walking the bases loaded and retiring only one batter in the fifth, the failure to put away hitters with two strikes coming back to bite him. But the stuff is filthy and the leash is long enough to reach Chicago, where he’ll start again Sunday afternoon.

What happens after that is the mystery, with Kyle Bradish pitching Friday night at Double-A Bowie and lined up for an April 19 return in D.C. if he stays on turn.

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Shortened start and late runs allowed doom Orioles in 8-4 loss (updated)

Shortened start and late runs allowed doom Orioles in 8-4 loss (updated)

Part of Dean Kremer’s rise to effective major league starter last season, with the periods of dominance, was attributed to his stinginess with the home run ball. Eleven allowed in 22 games, fewer than one per nine innings.  

Opponents hit seven against Kremer in spring training this year, mostly solo shots, and have slugged five in his first three outings since the Orioles left Florida.

Brent Rooker, the cleanup hitter in Oakland’s punchless lineup, delivered a three-run shot tonight in the first inning. Kremer turned to watch the completion of the ball’s 420-foot trip to center field, waited for a new one and went back to work. Hopeful that he’d settle in and the offense would pick him up.

A bigger influencer in Kremer’s turnaround has been his ability to limit damage and prevent a game from spiraling out of control. Carlos Pérez led off the fifth with a homer after Kremer retired 11 of 13 batters, and the right-hander was removed with one out and his pitch count already at 90.

The Orioles had Kremer’s back in the same way that they did with rookie Grayson Rodriguez the previous night, scoring twice in the seventh inning to tie the game. But Oakland loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth and scored three times in an 8-4 victory before an announced crowd of 10,181 at Camden Yards.

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Orioles can't hide any longer


The national media attention is swelling around the Orioles, who were largely ignored through the rebuild years.

They had lots of room to conduct their work. No one crowded them.

Ryan Mountcastle had everyone chirping after his nine-RBI night that tied the club record. More rays of favorable light shined on the team. It’s seen or heard on television and radio.

MLB Network ran a segment this morning promoting “Brandon Hyde’s Landscaping Company,” with Mark DeRosa explaining why players belonged on the crew. Mountcastle is mowing lawns, Adley Rutschman handles the stone work, Austin Hays is raking, Kyle Gibson trims the hedges, Félix Bautista is blowing leaves instead of leads, and Jorge Mateo gets dirty as the mulch guy.

Everyone gets a water break, of course.

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Santander absent from Orioles lineup

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Anthony Santander is out of tonight’s Orioles lineup due to some back soreness. Manager Brandon Hyde said the outfielder should be available off the bench.

“It’s really not a huge deal,” Hyde said.

Santander is batting .186/.265/.279 with no home runs in 11 games, and his 17 strikeouts rank among the league leaders.

Cedric Mullins is healthy and also out of the lineup. Ryan McKenna is playing center field and Adam Frazier is in right.

Catcher James McCann is making his 66th start as the cleanup hitter. Adley Rutschman is the designated hitter.

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Lineup shuffling in the cards for the Orioles

Adley Rutschman

The parade of opposing left-handed starters this week has created a new set of lineup challenges for Orioles manager Brandon Hyde.

Gunnar Henderson sat out Monday night’s series opener against the Athletics, but left-handed hitting Adam Frazier started at second base. Only one catcher played. Ryan McKenna made another start in right field.

Last night’s 11th game of the season produced the 11th different order. Frazier moved to the bench. Henderson started at third base. James McCann was the first of four designated hitters used - it felt like a record of some sort - and his first Orioles hit was a tie-breaking double in the fourth inning.

Who knows what tomorrow brings – besides another lefty starter for Oakland?

The streak will run to four southpaws in a row, counting the Yankees’ Nestor Cortes on Sunday. Thursday afternoon’s spot remains TBA, but Oakland is expected to send right-hander Adam Oller to the mound. Oller’s two appearances this season have been in relief.

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Mountcastle upstages Rodriguez with nine RBIs in 12-8 win (updated)


Grayson Rodriguez’s major league tour moved the organization’s top pitching prospect from his home state to his home ballpark.

What are the attachments to Chicago, where he’s pitching over the weekend?

Tonight provided another slice of the dream. Standing on the mound at Camden Yards, five years after the Orioles drafted him in the first round. The white uniform. His parents nervous spectators within a more supportive crowd that wore orange T-shirts with “Welcome to the Show” across the back.

Rodriguez jogged out of the dugout with his teammates, began to warm up and heard the applause. He missed with fastballs clocked at 97.6 and 98 mph, ran the count full and issued his first home walk.

There are always firsts.

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Bradish's start in Bowie, Rodriguez's home debut, Irvin on homer hose, and more

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Kyle Bradish will make an injury rehab start Friday night at Double-A Bowie, perhaps the final hurdle before his return to the active roster.

The Orioles, ideally, would like Bradish to work four or five innings.

Bradish is on the 15-day injured list with a bruised right foot, the result of a 104-mph line drive from the Rangers’ Jonah Heim on April 3. He’s eligible to return on the 19th in D.C., which would be normal rest following his appearance with the Baysox.

“His side (session) went really well,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “He’s feeling a lot better. I just walked past him in the weight room. He looks great, feels good. We got lucky there.”

Grayson Rodriguez makes his second major league start tonight, and his first at Camden Yards. The Orioles have resisted having a six-man rotation, but there’s going to be excess if Rodriguez impresses, as he did Wednesday in his final four innings in Texas.

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Orioles lineup for Rodriguez's home debut

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Grayson Rodriguez makes his Camden Yards debut tonight, sans the gas cans in the stands.

Rodriguez remains in the rotation while Kyle Bradish is on the injured list with a bruised right foot, and he could stay depending on his results and how the Orioles could create room for him. Bradish is expected to begin an injury rehab assignment this week.

The Orioles called up Rodriguez to make Wednesday’s start in Texas, and he retired 13 of the last 15 batters after a two-run first inning. He kept the Rangers scoreless over the last four innings.

Adley Rutschman, who’s homered in back-to-back games for the first time in his career, is catching again tonight. James McCann is the designated hitter.

Austin Hays is leading off, with Cedric Mullins moved down to ninth.

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