Orioles' rotation in Boston and today's lineups (updated)

Kremer pitching gray

PITTSBURGH – Corbin Burnes moves up a day in the rotation and starts Tuesday afternoon’s series opener against the Red Sox in Boston.

The Orioles are flip-flopping Burnes and Cole Irvin, who’s bumped back to Wednesday night. Grayson Rodriguez starts Thursday night before the club returns home.

Burnes would have worked on six days’ rest if he remained on his normal turn.

Today’s lineup in Pittsburgh is a duplicate from yesterday, with the same names and order. James McCann is catching. Jordan Westburg is playing third base. Jorge Mateo is at second.

Manager Brandon Hyde hadn't written out the exact same lineups - names and positions - in consecutive games since Aug. 5-6, 2022 against the Pirates.

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Cano's hot start, Santander's milestone game, Norfolk's latest offensive outburst


PITTSBURGH – After pitching four times in a span of six games, Orioles reliever Yennier Cano stayed in the visiting bullpen yesterday until Oneil Cruz's walk-off single in a 5-4, 11-inning loss to the Pirates.

Cano is in All-Star form again in the early stages of the 2024 season. He’s tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings with five strikeouts in his usual high-leverage role.

“Very impressed,” said Tim Cossins, who works as the Orioles field coordinator and catching instructor but is in the bullpen for games. “It’s kind of a continuation of what we saw last year. And the way he prepares and the way he goes day to day, it’s not surprising. He’s just one of those guys that’s super routine-oriented and super locked in.”

The finest work might have come in Cano’s most difficult outing.

The Royals put runners on second and third base with no outs Monday in the eighth inning of a tie game. What followed was a groundout with the infield in, an intentional walk, a popup and a called third strike on Nick Loftin.

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Heasley surrenders walk-off single in 11th inning in Orioles' wild 5-4 loss (updated)


PITTSBURGH – Maybe it was the sunshine and dry conditions that flustered the Orioles. They couldn’t get Pirates starter Bailey Falter to live up to his name. They needed him to leave. Nothing good would happen until he was back inside the clubhouse.

The game still ended poorly, but at least there were flickers of hope. Too bad they'd get burned in extra innings.

Danny Coulombe escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the 10th, but the Orioles failed to score in the top of the 11th and Oneil Cruz singled off Jonathan Heasley to plate Henry Davis for a 5-4 walk-off win at PNC Park.

Cedric Mullins made a sensational diving catch to rob Ke'Bryan Hayes, but Cruz lined a first-pitch sweeper into right field and the Pirates stormed the field.

The Orioles went 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position. They scored on a ground ball, two fly balls and a fielder's choice. But they still had a chance.

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Hays on health, Hyde on slumps, Kimbrel on first Orioles save


PITTSBURGH – Austin Hays said his health has improved after he fought through another illness that isn’t the same as his spring training stomach virus.

“It’s something a little different,” he said this afternoon. “Just wasn’t feeling great yesterday. We tried to get a little extra rest and some meds in me. I was feeling better as the day progressed. Felt like I was capable of coming into the game. That’s why I didn’t start, but I ended up coming in later.”

Nothing can speed up a recovery like playing baseball in snow, sleet and hail.

“Yeah, it’s the first game I’ve ever played while it was snowing,” he said, “so it’s kind of funny how that works out.”

Hays played in his 500th career game last night. He went 0-for-2 and is 2-for-20.

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Hays returns to Orioles lineup today vs. Pirates

Hays returns to Orioles lineup today vs. Pirates

PITTSBURGH – Austin Hays is in today’s Orioles lineup at PNC Park, playing left field and batting sixth.

Hays began yesterday’s game on the bench because of an illness but batted twice, striking out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and grounding out in the eighth. He’s 2-for-20.

James McCann is catching and Adley Rutschman is the designated hitter. Jordan Westburg is playing third base, moving Ramón Urías to the bench.

Tyler Wells allowed three earned runs and four total in six innings against the Angels in his first start. He walked none and struck out seven.

Wells faced the Pirates on May 13, 2023 in Baltimore and tossed seven scoreless innings with one hit allowed and eight strikeouts.

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Santander's explanation for the glasses, Norfolk's latest offensive barrage

santander check swing gray

PITTSBURGH – Anthony Santander raced toward the right field line in the second inning yesterday, trying to keep his eyes on the baseball through a hail storm, slammed on the brakes before he overran it and jumped to make the catch. He was camped under it but wasn’t taking any chances.

Santander laughed as he recorded the out. And thankful that he prepared for the elements beyond the frozen precipitation.

Perhaps you’ve noticed it a few times this season, Santander wearing glasses in right field at Camden Yards and PNC Park. His reasons aren’t related to failing vision.

“When it’s windy and it’s cold, my eyes get wet, like crying, and I can’t see really good. It really bothers me,” Santander said.

“Sometimes I use them for hitting, especially when we’re playing in Oakland. There’s a lot of wind and it gets in my eyes. It’s tough to see. So, I’ve got them in my locker just in case.”

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Orioles brave elements and beat Pirates 5-2 (updated)

Grayson Rodriguez

PITTSBURGH – Baseball in Baltimore can bring five-hour rain delays. In Pittsburgh, they bundle up and tailgate in parking lots while it snows and hails, looking like they’re waiting for the opening kickoff.

Being the Pirates’ home Opening Day was a minor detail. Fans weren’t punting the celebration.

The weather gods added rain and sunshine to the spastic mix. Grayson Rodriguez brought his own repertoire and laser focus.

A heavy jacket and hood also were recommended.

Rodriguez held the Pirates to two runs over 6 1/3 innings, Ryan O’Hearn, Gunnar Henderson and Cedric Mullins hit solo homers, and the Orioles won 5-2 before an announced sellout crowd of 38,400 at PNC Park.

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Orioles pregame notes on Hays, Castillo trade, weather, Double-A moves and more

Austin Hays running gray

PITTSBURGH – Austin Hays wasn’t in the visiting clubhouse today during media access, and Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said the outfielder is “a little under the weather."

“Maybe the weather will warm him up,” Hyde joked, as snow flurries swirled around PNC Park.

“He’s just getting a little extra rest right now but he’ll be here at game time.”

Hays was 4-for-29 (.138) in spring training, when he came down with a stomach virus, and had two hits in 18 at-bats on the homestand. He’s struck out six times.

“He’s pressing a little bit,” Hyde said. “Had that one big hit (Saturday). When Haysie swings at strikes, good things happen. Right now it’s more approach-driven than anything else.”

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Orioles and Pirates lineups in Pittsburgh

rodriguez @BOS

PITTSBURGH – Colton Cowser is in left field for today’s series opener against the Pirates at PNC Park.

Austin Hays is on the bench.

Ryan O’Hearn is the designated hitter. Jordan Westburg is playing second base, and Ramón Urías is the third baseman and looking for his first hit.

Grayson Rodriguez held the Angels to one run in six innings and struck out nine batters in his first start.

The Orioles have allowed four runs or fewer in their first six games, tied for their second-longest streak to begin a season. They did it in seven in 2002.

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Cowser on covering left field at Camden Yards, Kemp on his Carroll County connection

Cowser and Urias celebrate

With the Pirates starting left-handers in the last two games of their weekend series, this afternoon provides Orioles manager Brandon Hyde with a chance to get Colton Cowser in the lineup for the second time in the young season. Or Cowser could sit on the bench, and his .500 average in eight at-bats, and wait for his next chance to play.

It happened every day or night on the homestand, including Wednesday, when Cowser pinch-hit for Jorge Mateo in the eighth inning, delivered a leadoff single and scored on Gunnar Henderson’s sacrifice fly.

Hyde put Cowser in center field as Mateo’s replacement, a difficult assignment in wet and windy conditions but nothing he can’t handle. He’s already acting like he’s mastered left, and that’s the stiffest test in Camden Yards.

Cowser ran down balls Tuesday night near the line, the wall and the 90-degree angle at the bullpen. Footing was tricky again. The temperature at first pitch was 52 degrees, without the wind chill reading.

Hyde praised Cowser’s improved defense in spring training and again after Opening Day. How much more confident he seemed, his value in being able to back up at all three spots.

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Because You Asked - The Rise of Red

Jordan Westburg

The Orioles are leaving the cold and rain of Baltimore and flying into the cold of Pittsburgh. But no rain.

Daytime highs for the three games are 43, 48 and a balmy 56 degrees. But a new concession item at PNC Park is “The Renegade,” a foot-long hot dog draped in potato pierogis, pot roast, pickles and onions.

Let me start by saying cheddar potato pierogis are the best. I’d eat a box of 12 for dinner back in the day – boiled and slathered in melted butter. Better than pan-fried crispy. I want to pasta texture.

I’ll also say that the pickles are unnecessary and unwanted on this item. Save ‘em for a burger or barbeque sandwich.

And finally, this is a long-winded way of setting up the mailbag.

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Late rally compensates for early silence in Orioles' 4-3 walk-off win (updated)

James McCann walkoff

A game that starts five hours late because of rain, with Major League Baseball determined to squeeze it into a window that could slam shut again, is bound to contain some abnormalities. It was born that way.

Corbin Burnes allows one hit over six innings on Opening Day and surrenders three tonight in the top of the first. An out is recorded at the plate in a 1-2-5-1-2-3 rundown, giving Burnes a chance to touch the ball twice and Royals manager Matt Quatrano to pop out of the dugout and argue.

Jorge Mateo can’t make a diving catch on Bobby Witt Jr.’s liner into right-center that goes down as a one-out double, Burnes snares Vinnie Pasquantino’s 98.5 mph comebacker to start the bizarre putout, Pasquantino keeps running until he reaches third base and Burnes gives up a run-scoring single to Salvador Pérez on a 63.1 mph blooper to left.

Weird already had taken the controls before MJ Melendez doubled, with Mateo needing a second try at a clean pickup, and Hunter Renfroe froze on a cutter for the final out. Burnes threw 27 pitches, with several hundred fans watching from the lower bowl.

A young boy in front of the press box wore a Mateo jersey and kept yelling for Witt to look at him, hollering, “I know you can hear me!” Everyone could be heard.

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Orioles lineup and Pérez update at rainy Camden Yards (6:05 p.m. start)

Cionel Perez throwing orange road

The Orioles will attempt today to win back-to-back series before embarking on their first road trip of the young season.

They’re at the mercy of the weather. Rain continues to fall at Camden Yards and manager Brandon Hyde said the club is in “wait-and-see” mode.

Asked what he’s hearing about a window, Hyde said, “That they close, also.”

“It doesn’t look great,” he said.

Jorge Mateo is starting in center field today. Jordan Westburg is in the lineup for the sixth consecutive game, moving up to fifth in the order.

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Taking swings at some premature Orioles hot takes

Craig Kimbrel

The rotation has taken one full turn. The first homestand reaches its conclusion this afternoon, leading to an off-day and the first road trip to Pittsburgh and Boston. Can't outrun the cold.

We remain in the extremely early stages of the 2024 season, which won’t allow hot takes on social media to begin cooling. The steam is swirling.

Let’s address a few while I keep checking the weather apps and wondering how long the Royals will wait before screaming for their bus to take them to the airport. It’s a travel day. They host the White Sox on Thursday.

They don’t come back to Baltimore unless today’s game is postponed and the teams find a mutual off-day. Never a fun endeavor.

Colton Cowser is getting the Kyle Stowers treatment.

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Orioles can't find offense in 4-1 loss (updated)

GettyImages-2133951562 cole irvin white

The grounds crew rolled up the tarp and prepped the Camden Yards field, with instructions that tonight’s game would begin at the appointed time. A light rain fell. The Orioles tried not to do the same.

They were down by three runs again tonight but didn’t have a dramatic rally in them. The performance fit the dreary setting.

Cole Irvin allowed four runs in five innings, the shortest start from the rotation in its first complete turn, and the offense managed only three hits in a 4-1 loss to the Royals before an announced and extremely dedicated crowd of 9,404.

The homestand concludes this afternoon if the weather allows it. Storms are forecast throughout the day. Two tarps might not be sufficient.

The three hits tonight definitely were not.

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Orioles pregame notes on weather, rotation, Cowser, Kemp and more

kemp athletics kemp athletics

The Orioles don’t know if they’re going to start tonight’s game on time. They don’t know if play will be interrupted.

All they can do is try.

Manager Brandon Hyde was asked whether he gets “anxious” during these moments. If he worries about his pitching and other potential complications.

This isn’t his first lousy forecast.

“Well, you can only control what you can control. I can’t control the weather,” he replied, trying to suppress a grin.

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Cowser and Kemp crack Orioles lineup

GettyImages-2028432854 colton cowser white

Colton Cowser gets his first start tonight if the weather allows the Orioles to continue their series against the Royals at Camden Yards following last night’s walk-off homer from Jordan Westburg.

Cowser is playing left field. Austin Hays goes to the bench.

Westburg stays in the lineup, starting at third base. Tony Kemp gets his first start at second.

Jorge Mateo and Ramón Urías are on the bench with Hays.

Nice depth around here.

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Answering a few of my own Orioles questions

John Means

Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias informed the media on the first day of spring training that John Means probably would begin the season on the injured list because the left-hander was a month behind the other starters. The Orioles delayed the start of his throwing program after elbow soreness denied him a roster spot in the Division Series. There weren’t enough days and innings in camp to get him ready and no reason to be reckless and rush him.

The circumstances made it a little awkward when lumping Means in articles with Kyle Bradish, who was diagnosed in January with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Bradish was injured. Means was behind. But they were going on the IL.

The Orioles set their Opening Day roster on Thursday and listed Means as having a left forearm strain. They had to put down something, of course, because it would have seemed strange for the IL list in the game notes to read:

Félix Bautista (right UCL injury)
Kyle Bradish (right UCL sprain)
John Means (behind other starters)

I wondered about the forearm, whether that was the cause of the elbow discomfort in October. Or was it forearm discomfort and we kept reporting it incorrectly.

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Westburg hits walk-off homer in 6-4 win after Mountcastle beats left field wall (updated)


Jordan Westburg rounded first base tonight, looked back at the dugout, pumped his fist and yelled.

This is what a walk-off home run feels like.

This is what a good, young hitter looks like.

Cedric Mullins singled with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning against Royals right-hander Nick Anderson, Westburg fell behind 0-2 on a pair of curveballs and launched a fastball over the right field fence, and the Orioles won the series opener in dramatic fashion, 6-4, before an announced and chilled crowd of 12,666.

"I was a little antsy that first pitch and chased a curveball down," Westburg said, "and I figured he was going to try to go back to the heater up, so I took that nice curveball right down the middle."

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Hyde on Cowser: “I think you’re going to see him in there the next couple days, possibly a start tomorrow”

Colton Cowser gray

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde posted his fourth lineup this afternoon and it’s still missing Colton Cowser.

The young outfielder has appeared in three games and received two at-bats. He replaced Anthony Santander in right field on Opening Day and didn’t get to the plate, did it again Saturday and stroked a double to right field in the eighth inning, and pinch-hit for Jordan Westburg yesterday in the eighth and grounded out on the first pitch to strand a runner.

Santander, Austin Hays and Cedric Mullins have started in the outfield in every game. Westburg, Ryan O’Hearn and Adley Rutschman have been used at designated hitter, with O’Hearn getting the assignment again tonight against right-hander Michael Wacha.

The Orioles saw two left-handed starters in the Angels series and get southpaw Cole Ragans Wednesday in the series finale against the Royals.

“It’s easier as the season gets going and you get a chance to give guys days off and rotate a little bit,” Hyde said. “I think you’re going to see him in there the next couple days, possibly a start tomorrow.”

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