More chatter about Orioles' bullpen

Yennier Cano

NEW YORK - Kyle Bradish gave the Orioles five innings last night. Manager Brandon Hyde gave the ball to his relievers to cover the last four.

Mychal Givens retired the Yankees in order in the sixth, on a strikeout and two ground balls. A nice little reminder that he can be a weapon during any stretch of the game.

Also, a reminder that Hyde doesn’t want to use him for more than one inning. Givens threw nine pitches and stayed in the dugout until the handshake line.

Yennier Cano put runners on base in the seventh and eighth and got out of jams. Stranded and straddled.

Félix Bautista struck out three batters in the ninth, but a 12th save eluded him thanks to Aaron Judge’s game-tying home run with one out. A poorly located splitter. Was supposed to be low and on the outside corner.

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Timeline recap of Orioles' 6-5 loss to Yankees (updated)

Timeline recap of Orioles' 6-5 loss to Yankees (updated)

NEW YORK – A road trip that is supposed to knock down the Orioles didn't make a dent for the first half of it. Didn't leave a mark.

They just kept winning, in comeback fashion or after taking an early lead. Sometimes, they do both.

Give them a problem and they find a solution – unless it's Aaron Judge, of course.

Adam Frazier had a two-run double in the first inning tonight off Gerrit Cole, Cedric Mullins homered in the third and Gunnar Henderson homered in the fourth. A fast start but not untouchable, with the Yankees storming back to tie the game in the fifth.

The response was immediate. The Orioles twice loaded the bases in the sixth while disposing of Cole, settled for a go-ahead run on Terrin Vavra’s ground ball and turned to their bullpen. A formula that usually works, except Judge homered off Félix Bautista with one out in the ninth to send the Orioles into extras for the third straight game.

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Orioles updates on Urías, Tate and more

urias fielding white

NEW YORK – Orioles infielder Ramón Urías is beginning his injury rehab assignment Wednesday night at High-A Aberdeen.

Urías is serving as the designated hitter, according to Orioles manager Brandon Hyde.

The IronBirds are hosting a seven-game series against Jersey Shore, which includes Wednesday’s doubleheader that resulted from an April 22 postponement.

Urías is on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain. He hasn’t played since limping off the field following a ninth-inning single on May 8.

Hyde didn’t specify how many days Urías would spend at Aberdeen. Urías has targeted a weekend return to the Orioles, when they host the Rangers.

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Orioles and Yankees lineups in the Bronx

mullins and santander orange

NEW YORK – The Orioles will try to improve on their 13-2 record in series-opening games tonight when they visit the Yankees in the Bronx. They trail the first-place Rays by three games.

Terrin Vavra gets another start in right field, with Anthony Santander serving as designated hitter.

Adam Frazier is batting fifth again and starting at second base, followed by left fielder Austin Hays.

Pretty standard lineup.

Kyle Bradish’s final start in 2022 came at Yankee Stadium, where he held New York to an unearned run and three hits in five innings but also walked five batters.

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Taking a closer look at Orioles' latest challenge


The next mountain for the Orioles to climb is in the Bronx.

You just don’t see it in the skyline. Got to check the schedule and the standings.

The Yankees climbed out of last place in the division and are in third, three games behind the Orioles. They’ve won four in a row, six of seven, eight of 10 and 11 of 14.

In other words, they’re the Yankees again.

The 2023 version of the Orioles is even more impressive at 31-16, the second-best record in baseball. They just swept the Blue Jays in Toronto and have won 22 of their last 31 games.

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Orioles series sweep in Toronto seems like statement


Orioles manager Brandon Hyde strolled to the mound yesterday in the bottom of the 10th inning, had a lengthy chat with Austin Voth, and gave the reliever an encouraging slap on the butt. A teammate smacked his chest.

The Orioles were battering Voth more than the Blue Jays.

Whit Merrifield followed Matt Chapman’s strikeout with a run-scoring single into center field to tie a game that would last through the 11th. A game that might be the defining moment in the 2023 season.

The visitors erupted for five runs in their next turn and won 8-3 to complete the sweep, the first in a three-game series in Toronto since 2005.

So special because it’s a division rival with one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball.

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A scout's take on Orioles and their prospects


The Orioles finish their series in Toronto this afternoon, enjoy an off-day in New York before playing three games at Yankee Stadium, and don’t return home until Friday, when infielder Ramón Urías hopes to be reinstated from the injured list with the Rangers in town.

Scouts will be watching. Never too early to file reports that could spur a trade or at least initiate talks. And the group will grow in the coming months,

A veteran scout who’s familiar with the Orioles said recently that the infield defense without Urías “is not the same.”

Further evidence that Urías’ value can’t be overstated.

Perhaps a silver lining to losing a Gold Glove winner is the regular starts that Gunnar Henderson is receiving at third base.

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Mailbag leftovers for breakfast


The mailbag record for most repeated topic was shattered this weekend.

Relinquishing the top spot is, “How did you get this job?” Followed closely by, “How do you keep this job?”

Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson are in the majors. Baseball’s back-to-back No. 1 prospects. Top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez also arrived. Future No. 1 overall prospect Jackson Holliday won’t make the jump from High-A, but it isn’t the most outrageous idea.

Colton Cowser and Jordan Westburg are the new obsessions.

Why aren’t they here? When will they get here? What’s it going to take to get them here? How many fake reports does it take to get them here?

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Because You Asked - I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer

Jorge Mateo running gray

The Orioles are in Canada this weekend and my mailbag returned to the U.S. after getting held up in customs.

That’s why you won’t find me there.

Here’s my vow to you: I’ll go back to Toronto when the Orioles have playoff games at Rogers Centre. Or if Steve Melewski is sick. Or if I’m needed in the MASN broadcast booth, which happened last summer.

But that’s it.

Let’s dive into the mail and risk the paper cuts. You ask and I answer. It isn’t complicated, except for time spent searching for movie sequel titles that I haven't used since this started in 2008.

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Orioles' attempts at winning series short-circuited in 6-5 loss (updated)

wells white

The Orioles aren’t running away from home. A charter flight to Toronto is coming later today, a much faster mode of transportation. But they’re going to dive back into division competition and miss the splash zone and charged atmosphere at Camden Yards.

They can do without the two Angels superstars who tried to ruin their chance at another series win, and the bullpen breakdowns later in the game, but the rest of it is cherished.

Shohei Ohtani, quiet since flirting with the cycle on Monday, homered off Tyler Wells in the first inning and Mike Trout lined a two-run shot over the left field wall in the third. The Orioles offered no response until tying the game in the fifth, capped by Anthony Santander’s two-run homer.

Had to get the place loud again.

It erupted in the seventh, after Adley Rutschman took a big cut at Chris Devenski’s fastball and watched it soar to the flag court with Austin Hays at first base to give the Orioles a lead. The groans were audible when an inherited runner scored against Austin Voth in the eighth, and Ohtani broke the tie by reaching on an infield hit with the bases loaded.

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Givens could accompany Orioles to Toronto (plus lineup)

mychal givens

The Orioles are attempting today to win their 11th series before flying to Toronto and beginning a two-city road trip.

Mychal Givens threw his bullpen session today and could be activated by the weekend. Manager Brandon Hyde was going to check on Givens after completing his media obligations.

Asked if Givens could accompany the Orioles on their trip, Hyde said, "It is possible. We'll see how it goes today and make a decision on what we're going to do."

A bullpen with the lowest ERA in the majors at 2.89 is gaining a proven veteran setup man.

"Just adds some experience and a guy that's been in the back end of the bullpen for a while now," Hyde said. "We know what Mychal can do. Looking forward to getting him back."

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Exploring a few Orioles decisions this week


The Orioles finish their 10-game homestand this afternoon and fly to Toronto, returning to division competition that also includes a series in the Bronx.

Let’s start our morning by reading too much or too little into some of the Orioles’ recent decisions.

One of these days we’re gonna get it just right.

Anthony Santander at first base.

It happened in back-to-back games before he was used last night as the designated hitter. Santander hasn't been in right field since Saturday.

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Bradish quiets Angels in 3-1 win (updated)

bradish white

A scout who includes the Orioles among the teams he tracks regards Kyle Bradish as a starter capable of winning on a consistent basis in the majors. He grades Bradish highly and agrees to disagree with others in the profession who aren’t quite as sold. They’ve debated it. No two reports are exactly alike.

“He has something,” the scout said this week.

Bradish had more than the Angels could handle tonight.

Facing the team for the first time that drafted and traded him, Bradish allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings in a 3-1 victory over the Angels before an announced crowd of 15,702 at Camden Yards.

Austin Hays homered in the fifth to expand a lead, and the Orioles improved to 28-15 with a chance to win the series Thursday afternoon.

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Orioles updates on Mateo, Givens, Tate and more

mateo white

Jorge Mateo is on the bench again tonight to rest his legs before the Orioles finish their homestand on Thursday and hit the road for series against the Blue Jays and Yankees.

Mateo is 5-for-43 this month after batting .347/.395/.667 in his first 23 games.

“It’s nothing about offense,” manager Brandon Hyde said when explaining Mateo’s absence from the lineup. “It’s more of he’s just dealing with that little bit of leg soreness that he’s battling for the last couple weeks. And with a day game tomorrow, he’ll be in there. Just want to make sure with two big series coming up, also.

“It’s mainly about the day game being tomorrow. I didn’t want him to play a day game after a night. So, giving (Joey) Ortiz a start tonight.”

Hyde doesn’t know whether Mateo’s prolonged slump is related to his health.

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Ortiz in tonight's Orioles lineup

ortiz fielding orange

Joey Ortiz is starting at shortstop tonight as the Orioles continue their series against the Angels at Camden Yards.

Jorge Mateo is on the bench after stopping an 0-for-19 skid last night. He’s 5-for-43 this month.

Terrin Vavra remains in right field. Anthony Santander is the designated hitter.

Ryan Mountcastle returns to first base after coming off the bench last night and contributing a double and home run.

Ryan McKenna is 3-for-6 as a pinch-hitter this season.

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This, that and the other


Don’t be fooled by the smile.

Logan Gillaspie knows when it’s appropriate to be a nice guy. Like, for instance, when teammates, club employees and reporters walk over to his locker. When he’s around his family or is approached by a fan.

Pretty much anytime except when he’s pitching.

The Orioles recalled Gillaspie from Triple-A Norfolk Monday morning and gave him another chance in their bullpen. They kept him busy after taking him north, with appearances made on March 30 and April 1, 4, 7, 9, 11, 12 and 15.

Gillaspie didn’t allow a run or hit in his first three games over 1 2/3 innings. Four of the next five were harsh, including his final outing in the 10th inning in Chicago. The automatic runner scored, and so did pinch-runner Seby Zavala after back-to-back singles by Jake Burger and Oscar Colás.

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Kremer overcomes high-pitch first, O'Hearn and Mountcastle homer in Orioles' 7-3 win (updated)

kremer pitching white

The swing and the sound provided everything that Dean Kremer needed to know about Mickey Moniak’s at-bat leading off the top of the first inning.

Kremer stood motionless with his arm extended, eyes fixed on home plate, and waited for a new baseball. The one Moniak hit landed 408 feet away in the right-center field bleachers.

The inning must have felt like it was moving in slow motion. Kremer threw 31 pitches, his stay extended when Taylor Ward’s two-out ground ball at 105 mph slammed off Gunnar Henderson’s chest and rolled toward shortstop.

The overall damage to Kremer was minimal, with just the one run scoring. But the game within the game became how quickly he could dispose of the Angels and avoid a short outing after rookie Grayson Rodriguez lasted only 3 1/3 last night.

Kremer earned two wins. He came within a ground ball single of completing the sixth, lessening the strain on the bullpen, and the Orioles defeated the Angels 7-3 before an announced crowd of 13,244 at Camden Yards.

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Hyde addresses Irvin's return to Orioles (and other notes)

cole irvin white

Cole Irvin is in Baltimore to serve as a long reliever. Nothing else to it.

The Orioles don’t have immediate plans to reinsert Irvin into the rotation, but manager Brandon Hyde said, “He’s going to start for us down the road at some point for sure, I just don’t know when that’s going to be.”

“We see him as a starter,” Hyde added, “but right now we needed some length out of our bullpen and he was fully rested. We wanted to bring him back up here at some point anyway.”

Irvin gives the Orioles a long man with Austin Voth unavailable after pitching in back-to-back games. Mike Baumann has done the same and also is down.

“Where the game ended last night, we had to cover quite a few innings out of our bullpen, and we just wanted to bring up somebody that gives us a length option out of the ‘pen,” Hyde said.

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Orioles lineup vs. Angels

Orioles lineup vs. Angels

Anthony Santander gets his second consecutive start at first base tonight against the Angels at Camden Yards.

Santander hadn't played the position in the majors until last night, his experience confined to nine games in A-ball in 2016. He handled every chance flawlessly against the Angels.

Terrin Vavra stays in right field. Ryan O’Hearn bats ninth as the designated hitter.

Austin Hays is in left field and batting cleanup. Jorge Mateo is eighth.

Dean Kremer will try to stay on a roll after allowing one run over 12 combined innings against the Braves and Rays.

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Orioles recall Irvin and option Gillaspie

irvin orange

Cole Irvin is returning to the Orioles.

The left-hander’s stay at Triple-A lasted a month and cost him a spot in the rotation. However, he’s back in the home clubhouse for tonight’s game against the Angels at Camden Yards.

The Orioles announced that they recalled Irvin from Norfolk and optioned reliever Logan Gillaspie, who barely had time to unpack his bags before leaving.

Gillaspie was informed of the decision last night after allowing a run, plus an inherited runner from Grayson Rodriguez to score, in 1 2/3 innings in a 9-5 loss. The Angels collected four hits and a walk.

Irvin was a surprise demotion on April 14 after making only three starts. His strike-throwing reputation took a hit, with Irvin posting a 10.66 ERA and 1.974 WHIP and averaging 5.7 walks per nine innings.

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