Jackson Holliday batting ninth in major league debut


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)


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


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)

burnes pitching gray

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)

hays tagged out white

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

Burnes pitching white

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

Yennier Cano

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)

Santander swinging gray

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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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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