Orioles lineup vs. Brewers includes Hays

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The Orioles return home after a 4-2 road trip to Pittsburgh and Boston, sweeping the Red Sox and increasing their run total to 70, the second-most in the American League behind the Royals’ 72.

Jackson Holliday makes his home debut tonight and waits for his first major league hit. He’s playing second base and batting eighth.

Colton Cowser is in right field and batting second in a drastically different lineup.

Austin Hays is in left field after failing to start in Boston. James McCann is catching. Adley Rutschman and Ryan Mountcastle are on the bench.

Cowser has a .917 slugging percentage through 11 games. According to STATS, the only Orioles left-handed hitter with a higher percentage through 11 games in a season is Chris Davis at 1.000 in 2013 (minimum 25 plate appearances.)

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Cal Ripken Jr. appreciates Orioles honoring his father in many ways

Cal Ripken Jr.

BOSTON – Cal Ripken Sr. would have loved this.

The man who created The Oriole Way, who breathed life into it through the years and the many ups and downs, was made for the 2024 team. Or it was made for him.

The last two lineups had seven homegrown players, and an eighth, right fielder Anthony Santander, who was plucked out of A ball in the Rule 5 draft. Also a baseball baby who needed care and nurturing.

“I saw a connection to the spirit of Dad right from the beginning,” said Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. “I don’t know that Dad would have taken his uniform off and given it to somebody, but he might have. If it’s that important to you, here.”

Having Senior’s No. 7 on the shelf since 1992 never seemed that important to the family. The time for reflection came a few days ago, after the club sought approval to pass it along to Jackson Holliday, the sport’s top prospect who debuted last night at Fenway Park.

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Cowser homers twice and Orioles post sixth comeback win (updated)

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BOSTON – The Orioles won’t ever profile as a one-prospect team. Win or lose, they’re going to spread the young talent wealth.

They also let the older guys have their moments, a combination that played out again tonight. It usually works in their favor.

It went absolutely nuts late in tonight's game.

Colton Cowser hit his first two major league home runs, including a three-run shot off Isaiah Campbell in a six-run 10th inning in the Orioles' 9-4 victory over the Red Sox.

The ball traveled 438 feet to right field at 113.6 mph off the bat. He'd love to keep traveling to Boston.

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Orioles pregame notes on Cowser, Hays, Pérez, Kimbrel and more

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BOSTON – Colton Cowser is playing left field again tonight to close out the series against the Red Sox, putting Austin Hays on the bench for the third game in a row and fourth out of six.

Cowser made two impressive catches last night in the eighth inning, slamming against the Green Monster and holding onto the ball while the Orioles protected a 7-5 lead.

“Those were two huge plays in big spots,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “Those balls fall, stuff changes from bullpen usage to other things. I’m excited about the way Colton Cowser is playing right now, just all around. The way he’s playing defense, the at-bats he’s given us, the speed on the bases, everything. He had a really nice game last night.

The Orioles face two right-handers in the weekend series against the Brewers at Camden Yards, which could limit Hays to starting against former teammate DL Hall on Saturday. But Hyde didn’t describe the left field arrangement as a strict platoon.

“Austin’s going to get back in there,” he said. “I think we’re just going to see how it goes, honestly. I like the way Colton’s playing right now, and with Cedric (Mullins) and (Anthony) Santander, we have a lot of really good problems right now. We have four guys on the bench that I wish could be out there, and that’s going to be on a nightly basis.”

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Orioles and Red Sox lineups in series finale

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BOSTON – The Orioles go for the sweep of the Red Sox tonight and they’ve got Jackson Holliday at second base again and batting ninth.

Manager Brandon Hyde is repeating another lineup after avoiding duplicates in 2023.

At 20 years and 128 days, Holliday last night became the fourth-youngest player in franchise history with an RBI in his debut, behind Brooks Robinson, Andy Etchebarren and Ron Hansen.

Jordan Westburg is the third baseman. Colton Cowser is in left field, with Austin Hays on the bench for all three games of the series.

Grayson Rodriguez is 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA and 1.054 WHIP in two starts covering 12 1/3 innings. He’s allowed only three runs and struck out 16.

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Orioles claim Soto on waivers again today

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BOSTON – The Livan Soto shell game was played again this afternoon.

The Orioles claimed Soto on waivers from the Angels Feb. 8, and the Angels claimed him 10 days later.

Soto is on the move again, going back to the Orioles today in a waiver claim. They optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk.

The utility infielder got into in 22 games with the Angels between 2022-23 and went 24-for-64 (.375) with five doubles, a triple and a home run.

Soto, 23, appeared in nine games at Triple-A Salt Lake this year and was 6-for-28 (.214). He’s a left-handed bat that arrives in Norfolk after Jackson Holliday’s promotion yesterday to the Orioles.

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Teammates trust that Holliday can handle pressure

Gunnar Henderson and Jackson Holliday

BOSTON – The reporter approached Ryan Mountcastle’s locker yesterday, asked if he had a minute and explained that only one topic could be covered. The important one. You know it.

Mountcastle turned around, smiled and said, “Jackson Holliday.”

Of course. It wasn’t the best lobster rolls in New England.

Players learned about Holliday’s promotion late Tuesday night. They, too, have sources scattered throughout baseball.

“Somebody sent it to me over a text,” Mountcastle said. “Super excited for him and super excited for the team and fans to have him up. Hopefully, he does well. Super excited to have him here.”

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Holliday gets first RBI, Westburg hits go-ahead home run in 7-5 win (updated)

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BOSTON – Jackson Holliday stretched with his teammates on the field. He took batting practice while father Matt and younger brother Ethan stood behind the cage. He paused to sign some autographs before grabbing his bats and heading back to the clubhouse. Fans yelled his name.

He looked every bit like a major leaguer, except for that youthful face, of course. But he’s used to the reactions and enjoys them. It comes with a boyish grin.

Holliday worked this afternoon to keep his emotions in check. Soak in the experience but don’t let it distract. Understand the fuss but also blend, as he’s always tried to do.

Jackson’s first major league at-bat arrived with one out in the third inning and he struck out on a 2-2 sweeper from Red Sox starter Kutter Crawford while Colton Cowser stole second base. Baseball’s top prospect went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and his first RBI in the Orioles' 7-5 come-from-behind win at Fenway Park.

Jordan Westburg hit a three-run homer in the seventh off Chris Martin after the Orioles loaded the bases for the third time. The Red Sox maintained their sloppy ways with a walk, passed ball, catcher’s interference call and two wild pitches to set up Westburg for his second home run – a 432-foot shot to left-center at 111.2 mph off the bat.

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Hyde on Holliday: "Hopefully he can just relax and play confidently and have fun out there"

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BOSTON – Manager Brandon Hyde prepared for tonight's game against the Red Sox but also relived the “tough decision” made in spring training to reassign 20-year-old Jackson Holliday. Again.

How Holliday was playing a new position, how the first-overall draft pick in 2022 needed more exposure to left-handed pitching.

“Just to get him more Triple-A experience, and he did,” Hyde said this afternoon, before Holliday did some stretching with teammates and took his first major league batting practice.

“He got 10 or so games in there defensively, played really well, took really good at-bats. We watched all of them. And we just felt like at this point, at this time, he was ready to come up.”

Holliday was told last night and flew out of Richmond with wife Chloe. The Orioles made it through the early gauntlet of opposing left-handed starters, facing right-handers in all three games of the Red Sox series. They'll see at least one this weekend against the Brewers at Camden Yards, after former Orioles left-hander DL Hall on Friday night.

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Holliday talks about making it to the majors

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BOSTON – One wall in the cramped visiting clubhouse at Fenway Park has room for five lockers, with nameplates today that sound like their own talent pipeline.

Cowser, Westburg, Rutschman, Holliday, Henderson.

High draft picks by the Orioles, including two first-overall selections and three top overall prospects in baseball. A sight that can't be classified as common.

Jackson Holliday arrived today after rushing to pack up his apartment in Norfolk, making the late-night drive to Richmond with wife Chloe, arriving around 1:30 a.m. and boarding a 6 a.m. flight to Boston. Kyle Stowers and wife Emma are babysitting their dog, Coconut.

“It’s been quite a day,” Holliday said, “but I wouldn’t change it for a second.”

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Jackson Holliday batting ninth in major league debut

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BOSTON – Jackson Holliday is making his major league debut tonight at second base as the Orioles try to claim a series win against the Red Sox.

Holliday is batting ninth. And yes, he’s wearing No. 7, which was unofficially retired to honor Cal Ripken Sr. No one wore it since 1992.

Infielder Billy Ripken was the last player to wear it in 1988, after his father was fired as manager only six games into the season, and into the historic 21-game losing streak.

“Our family is thrilled that @J_Holliday7 will be wearing dad's #7 ... Excited to watch him play!,” Cal Ripken Jr. posted on the former Twitter.

Colton Cowser stays in left field and Jordan Westburg is playing third base. Westburg should get used to it because Holliday is likely to get the bulk of the work at second.

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A dozen immediate thoughts relating to Holliday's debut (move official)

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BOSTON – The Jackson Holliday watch is over, and it’s a relief to fans and media.

Everyone knew it was coming, but when? The waiting is the hardest part. Tom Petty was right.

The Orioles obviously didn’t set an exact date and circulate it in public. Maybe it depended on his at-bats against left-handers and how he performed at second base. A specific number of ground balls or double plays aren’t botched and you get the kid on a plane.

He doesn’t need to be accompanied by an adult. He isn’t that young.

For media, it’s like an anvil hanging overhead. Waiting for it to drop – usually at the most inopportune time.

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Irvin eager for another chance to start in Boston

Cole Irvin

BOSTON – Cole Irvin isn’t afraid to pitch at Fenway Park.

He’s actually a lover of old ballparks.

Irvin appreciates the history. He wants to plant his feet in the middle of it. And he gets another opportunity tonight.

Unlike Corbin Burnes, who made his first career start in Boston yesterday, Irvin is prepping for his second start and third appearance. He’s got a little more feel for it – along with a deep appreciation.

“I think it’s awesome anytime you get to pitch in an original ballfield,” he said. “Being a fan of the game of baseball as a kid and remembering how many meaningful games have been played in this stadium just kind of gives you goosebumps in a good way. It’s pretty cool to think about the amount of players who have been in this stadium. Granted, things have probably changed over those years, but the ground here are just so amazing.

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Source confirms Jackson Holliday's promotion to majors

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BOSTON – The Orioles couldn’t wait any longer.

An industry source has confirmed that infielder Jackson Holliday, baseball’s No.1 prospect, is joining the team in Boston.

The offense pounded out 13 hits in a 7-1 win this afternoon, awakening from its slumber, but Holliday is on his way to provide another jolt.

Holliday was an unpopular cut in spring training after batting .311/.354/.600 in 15 games, with three doubles, two triples and two home runs, including a grand slam. He also struck out 15 times and walked only three.

Reasons ran out to keep Holliday down. He doubled tonight against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre southpaw Edgar Barclay at 105.9 mph off the bat and is hitting .333 with a 1.077 OPS in 10 games. He's walked 12 times and struck out eight. He also made a splendid sliding stop and throw tonight at second base.

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Burnes motors through Red Sox lineup and Orioles' offense is clutch in 7-1 win (updated)

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BOSTON – They came out of the dugout one by one again today, walking up a red carpet and making a hard right along the third base line. The march of the Orioles. Introduced on another Opening Day, their third if we aren’t counting the first spring training game.

Corbin Burnes started that afternoon and again on March 28 at Camden Yards. He stood on the mound at Fenway Park, the only opportunity in his seven-year major league career, with the emotions from Red Sox fans overflowing after the club’s return from a three-city West Coast trip, the 2004 team reunion and tribute to late knuckleballer Tim Wakefield and wife Stacy.

Burnes retired two batters in the first inning, threw a curveball to Tyler O’Neill, heard the contact and walked onto the grass in front of that same mound. He wouldn’t pitch with an early lead, but it was coming.

One run wouldn’t be insurmountable for an Orioles offense that’s been noticeably small in the clutch.

O’Neill belted his league-leading sixth homer, but Burnes allowed only two hits and none after the first, and Colton Cowser drove in four runs in a 7-1 victory before an announced sellout crowd of 36,093.

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Hyde on offensive struggles, Hays' slump, pitching health, closing and more (Bradish update)

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BOSTON – Orioles manager Brandon Hyde thought his club would face three right-handers in the Red Sox series, dictating how he wrote out lineups, but Nick Pivetta won’t pitch on Wednesday due to soreness in his elbow/forearm area.

The substitute for Pivetta hasn’t been announced.

The offense has scored only 23 runs in the past seven games and went 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position Saturday in Pittsburgh. The Orioles are batting .195 against lefties.

“I’m not sure who’s throwing tomorrow, but at least two (right-handers) as of right now,” Hyde said. “We have to do a better job against left-handed starters, honestly. I know our record was good against them last year, but the way our lineup is constructed, we’re going to see everybody’s best left-handed starters, their best left-handed relievers. We haven’t swung the bat the best against them this year. We’ve got to do a better job of it going forward.”

Austin Hays is on the bench today against right-hander Brayan Bello. The mustache is gone, and the slump also needs to disappear.

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Orioles and Red Sox lineups at Fenway Park

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BOSTON – Colton Cowser gets the start in left field this afternoon, when the Orioles begin a three-game series against the Red Sox. Austin Hays is on the bench against right-hander Brayan Bello.

Ramón Urías is starting at third base and Tony Kemp is at second. Jordan Westburg is one of the reserves.

Urías is 1-for-17 to start the season, but he’s a .359 hitter in 20 career games at Fenway Park. Per STATS, the only Orioles with a higher average here through 20 games are Ryan Flaherty (.388), Ron Hansen (.373) and Trey Mancini (.364). Urías is ahead of Hall of Famer Frank Robinson (.338).

Urias has hit .345 overall against the Red Sox in his career, second among active players behind Freddie Freeman’s .369 average (minimum 100 plate appearances), according to STATS.

Ryan O’Hearn is batting fourth today and serving as designated hitter.

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A little reflection on Orioles before opening series in Boston

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BOSTON – The Orioles have an odd attachment to Opening Day – their own and their opponent’s.

They get to hop in the middle of more festivities this afternoon against the Red Sox, who began their season with a West Coast swing through Seattle, Oakland and Anaheim.

No other team or fan base is allowed to complain about the schedule. The Red Sox own the rights.

They also won seven of 10 games to move 1 ½ ahead of the Orioles.

Eyes shouldn’t be strained from reading too much into either team’s start. However, the off-day allowed for some reflection on the Orioles.

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Sustained health keying Santander's success

Anthony Santander

Anthony Santander sprinted into right-center field to run down a fly ball in the first inning of last Monday night’s game and made a diving catch in the fifth to again turn back the Royals and bring the Camden Yards crowd to its feet. His run-scoring single in the fourth that proceeded Ryan Mountcastle’s game-tying home run was more easily forgotten because the defensive gems shined so brightly.

The Pirates’ Edward Olivares thought he had an extra-base hit in the eighth inning Saturday, but Santander hustled toward the line, went airborne again and gloved the ball before it could touch grass.

Santander remained in the lineup Tuesday as designated hitter, shifting the emphasis entirely to a bat that can make thunderous contact from both sides of the plate. He played right field the next four days.

Manager Brandon Hyde wants him in the lineup on most nights, with the occasional breaks provided to keep him fresh and healthy. A challenge that’s waned over the past few of years.

Injuries tore down Santander in multiple seasons and forced a couple of September shutdowns. An ankle sprain in April 2021 impacted his entire summer. But he’s appeared in 152 and 153 games the past two seasons. He feels indestructible.

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Orioles can't keep bats humming and lose again in walk-off fashion 3-2 (updated)

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PITTSBURGH – To awaken the Orioles' offense this afternoon, Ryan Mountcastle took the logical route and made loud noises.

It worked for a brief spell, but he couldn’t prevent another slumber. And it killed the series for the Orioles.

Yennier Cano handled closing duties with Craig Kimbrel unavailable and didn't protect a one-run lead. Ke'Bryan Hayes and Jack Suwinski singled, Connor Joe walked to load the bases. Rowdy Tellez grounded to Mountcastle, who got the out at the plate, and Edward Olivares sent a bouncer up the middle that Gunnar Henderson smothered with a diving stop.

With the hint of a game-ending double play in the air, Henderson tapped the bag with his hand and fired the ball past Mountcastle, letting two runs score and giving the Pirates a 3-2 win and back-to-back walk-offs at PNC Park. Henderson was trying to rise from his prone position and execute the latest gem today in the field.

"I usually make that play 99 times out of a hundred, and it just so happens that the throw got away from me right there," Henderson said. "That was pretty unfortunate."

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