Orioles lineup vs. Nationals

Orioles lineup vs. Nationals

WASHINGTON – The Orioles will attempt to complete their two-game sweep of the Nationals tonight after losing back-to-back series. They’re five games behind the Rays and Mariners for the last wild card.

Their 74 wins are the most for any team in the modern era (since 1900) after losing at least 110 games the previous season.

Cedric Mullins and Rougned Odor are on the bench against left-hander Patrick Corbin.

Austin Hays is leading off and playing left field. Ryan McKenna is in center field and batting seventh.

Jesús Aguilar is batting sixth as the designated hitter.

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Hyde managing life on the other side of the rebuild

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If it wasn’t such an overused and clichéd phrase, the series between the Orioles and Nationals could be touted as a prime example of two teams heading in opposite directions.

You can think it. Just don’t print it.

The Orioles are contending in 2022 after beginning their teardown under the previous regime by trading away their best players in July 2018. The farm system under the new front office is ranked No. 1 in baseball.

A scout from another organization fussed over it during a recent conversation, marveling at how far the organization has come under executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias. And how the Orioles nailed the most recent draft, beginning with shortstop Jackson Holliday and continuing with outfielder Dylan Beavers, third baseman Max Wagner and outfielder Jud Fabian.

He was especially high on Beavers, saying the former University of California standout, the 33rd overall selection, could be better than 2021 first-rounder Colton Cowser.

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Orioles begin another important series with 4-3 win in D.C. (updated)

Orioles begin another important series with 4-3 win in D.C. (updated)

WASHINGTON – The televisions inside the visiting clubhouse today were tuned to Game 1 of a doubleheader between the Blue Jays and Rays. It wasn’t just background noise. Players didn’t walk past and glance at the screen.

They sat in chairs and on sofas and tracked every pitch as the Jays tried to rally in the ninth inning. Two teams ahead of them in the wild card race. The indoor version of scoreboard watching.

What does manager Brandon Hyde root for in this instance?

“A ton of bullpen usage,” he said.

“I think you hope that they kind of beat each other or split or whatever. But we’ve got to take care of what we do. None of that’s going to matter if we’re losing series.”

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Notes on Odor, Voth and more

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WASHINGTON – Orioles second baseman Rougned Odor has his right hand wrapped after being hit by a pitch Sunday and leaving the game. However, Odor said he probably could pinch-hit tonight and expects to be in Wednesday's lineup.

Odor still has some soreness in the hand. Ramón Urías is starting at second base.

“A lot better today,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “When he came out of the game a couple days ago, it was really swollen, but a lot of treatment on it today, an off-day yesterday was really helpful, and should be available off the bench tonight.”

Austin Voth won’t start against his former team in this two-game series, but he’s available out of the bullpen.

Off-days yesterday and Thursday enable Hyde to adjust his rotation, and Voth is being skipped. Voth will jump back into it for his next turn.

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Orioles lineup vs. Nationals

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WASHINGTON – The Orioles begin a two-game series tonight against the Nationals with Gunnar Henderson playing third base, Kyle Stowers in left field and Austin Hays in right.

Rougned Odor, who left Sunday’s game with a bruised right hand, is on the bench. Ramón Urías is playing second base.

Anthony Santander is the designated hitter.

Hays had his first multi-hit game Sunday since Aug. 27 in Houston.

Dean Kremer has never faced the Nationals.

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Orioles must bring bats to D.C. or risk another bad outcome

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The Orioles are coming out of yesterday’s break in the schedule and hoping that their offense, which got a head start on it, shows up tonight in D.C.

They were shut out Sunday on three hits, the only slice of good news being how Austin Hays accounted for two of them.

Six of the last eight games ended in defeat, and the last two series have been lost. The Orioles started out 2-0 on the homestand and finished 4-6. They're going in the wrong direction - much like myself later today trying to find the parking garage.

Much of the blame lies with the bats. The Orioles struck out 14 times Sunday and suffered their ninth shutout. They’ve been held to three hits in two of their last four games. They're putting way too much pressure on the pitching staff to be perfect or darn close.

“We have really big swings and we need to get back to staying in the middle of the field,” manager Brandon Hyde said after the game, adding that his club is prone to getting into bad counts.

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Three early reflections on 2022

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The Orioles are off today and again on Thursday, and they don’t return home until next Monday. They’re 5 ½ games behind for the last wild card after losing back-to-back series.

We live in the present, think ahead to what’s coming and occasionally glance back at the past.

I’m doing all of it simultaneously, which can be dizzying.

There will be two drives into D.C. this week that I dread. The traffic, the 10-mile walk from the parking garage, where media pays over $40, to the ballpark. Followed by the 10-mile walk to the press box, which sits so high that I spend nine innings watching the game on a monitor and dodging airplanes.

At least I’ll get my steps.

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Baumann recalled, Orioles lineup vs. Red Sox

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The Orioles need to flush yesterday’s 17-4 loss to the Red Sox and get ready for today’s series finale.

They have plenty of water to do it. Rain is in the forecast all day.

The Orioles surrendered 10 runs or more for the eighth time. The 17 runs and 21 hits were both season highs.

Mike Baumann was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk this morning. The Orioles optioned Yennier Canó after his debut with the team yesterday resulted in seven runs, six hits and three walks in 1 2/3 innings.

Baumann started Game 1 of Monday’s doubleheader as the 29th man. He’s a fresh arm that could provide length if needed behind starter Kyle Bradish.

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Rutschman lives up to billing

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One of the more jarring proclamations that I hear relating to rookie catcher Adley Rutschman is how he’s only going to get better. He isn’t a finished product. He’s just scratching the surface.

He’s left indelible marks.

Rutschman is the ninth player in major league history to record at least 40 extra-base hits and 50 walks in his first 89 career games. He’s the first catcher.

That last part is a doozy.

Think about all of the great catchers who passed our way, the Hall of Famers and others with credentials that warranted inclusion. Rutschman is the first.

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Orioles and Red Sox lineups

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Jordan Lyles has recovered from a stomach virus and is making this afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, his first since Aug. 31 in Cleveland.

One of Lyles’ shortest outings this season came against the Red Sox on Aug. 19. He allowed four runs and nine hits in four innings, and the Orioles won 15-10.

Lyles also faced the Red Sox twice in May, allowing one run in six innings at Camden Yards and three runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 at Fenway Park. He’s made seven career starts against Boston and registered a 5.66 ERA and 1.857 WHIP in 35 innings.

Gunnar Henderson is playing third base and Jorge Mateo returns to the lineup as the shortstop.

Henderson reached base three times last night, including his two-run, tie-breaking single in the sixth inning, for the first time in his career.

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Who's deserving of Most Valuable Oriole?

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The Orioles will close out the regular season, and perhaps play their last games in 2022, with a home series against the Blue Jays on Oct. 3-5.

The math that’s done today suggests that those games could determine whether the Orioles make the playoffs for the first time in 2016. It’s still on the table.

If it crashes to the floor, the only drama left will be the big reveal of Most Valuable Oriole. The successor to 2021 winner Cedric Mullins.

Mullins was a slam dunk as the first 30/30 player in club history. He followed Anthony Santander, who followed Trey Mancini.

Whose hand will I shake during this year’s on-field ceremony?

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Orioles score three runs in sixth and use Tate to close out 3-2 win (updated)

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Kyle Stowers drifted back to the right field fence tonight, leaped for Xander Bogaerts’ fly ball and held up his glove after his feet again touched dirt. It was empty.

The Orioles couldn’t afford to experience that feeling hours later as they filed into the clubhouse.

A team that prides itself on its resiliency, confidence and closeness needed to tap into the supply. The games are going away. The Orioles are fighting to stick around.

Rookie Brayan Bello carried a shutout into the sixth inning before the Orioles rallied for three runs to take the lead, which they protected with a backup closer in a 3-2 victory over the Red Sox before an announced crowd of 16,451 at Camden Yards.

Dillon Tate inherited a runner from Bryan Baker with two outs in the eighth and overran Kiké Hernández’s slow roller for an error. He struck out pinch-hitter Reese McGuire, returned for the ninth and recorded his fourth save after Alex Verdugo reached with one out on an infield hit.

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Notes on Lyles' progress from illness, rules changes and more

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Jordan Lyles felt good after yesterday’s bullpen session, did some light throwing today and seems ready to start Saturday afternoon against the Red Sox.

Lyles was scratched from Monday’s doubleheader due to a stomach virus.

“I’m hoping,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “He’s feeling better every day, so I’m hoping he’s able to start tomorrow.”

“I hope so,” Lyles said. “I’ll let Hyder discuss the plans going forward, but I feel much better, and hopefully I can get out there soon.”

Shortstop Jorge Mateo is out of the lineup. The shortstop was hit on the leg two days ago while covering second base on a steal attempt, but Hyde said he’s just “rotating guys around.”

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Orioles and Red Sox lineups

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The Orioles resume their homestand tonight with Gunnar Henderson starting at shortstop against the Red Sox, Austin Hays batting eighth and playing left field, and Kyle Stowers batting ninth and starting in right.

Ramón Urías is the third baseman and batting sixth behind Henderson.

Jorge Mateo is on the bench.

Catcher Adley Rutschman is 10-for-24 during a six-game hitting streak, with three doubles, two home runs, six RBIs, three walks and five runs scored. His 29 doubles this year lead major league rookies and are tied for second-most among Orioles catchers in club history with Matt Wieters in 2013 and Ramón Hernández in 2006.

His 29 doubles also are tied with Hall of Famers Eddie Murray (1977) and Cal Ripken Jr. (1982) for most by an Orioles rookie in franchise history.

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Busted series against Blue Jays leads to big weekend vs. Red Sox

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This is where the Orioles get up, brush off the dirt and go back to work.

The first two steps probably were completed before today. Otherwise, an off-day was wasted.

The last-place Red Sox are in town for three games, an unexpected 5 ½ behind the Orioles in the division standings. They lost three in a row, won five straight and just got swept in a three-game series at Tropicana Field.

The Orioles are 7-5 against the Red Sox this season, going 4-2 at home. They took two of three on April 29-May 1, and on Aug. 19-21.

The last game was played in Williamsport, Pa. for the annual Little League Classic, but it counts on the home side of the ledger.

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Orioles managing to play meaningful games in September and maneuvering in new ways

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The regular season is down to 25 games. Six against the Blue Jays, who lead them by 4 1/2 in the wild card race.

What the Orioles do over these last four weeks will be an entertaining watch.

It’s about more than results on the field, though, who isn’t dying to find out what happens? Baseball really matters in Baltimore while the Ravens get set for their opener on Sunday. Hasn’t been like this in a while.

Also fascinating is how the games and rosters are handled in the heat of a pennant race. How the organization reacts to it while venturing into an area that’s been restricted since the teardown started.

Brandon Hyde managed with his hands tied in Monday’s doubleheader, unable to use veteran Jordan Lyles and seeking volunteers for Game 2. Mike Baumann’s first major league start was scheduled for the nightcap, but he got bumped up to Game 1. Keegan Akin sprinted to the bullpen to warm after Lyles was scratched, with the short notice preventing Bruce Zimmermann from taking the assignment.

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Tandem of Wells and Kremer can't keep Orioles from losing series to Blue Jays (updated)

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The plan was devised late last night or early this morning, depending on whether the clock struck midnight. Manager Brandon Hyde called Dean Kremer into his office to inform the right-hander of the club’s decision to use him in relief tonight behind Tyler Wells, who learned that he’d be removed from his rehab assignment, activated from the injured list and start against the Blue Jays.

Building up a starter’s pitches and innings is hard to do in the majors, but so is catching a team in the wild card chase and completing the improbable run from 110 losses to the playoffs.

The leash was transparent. Hyde said he wouldn’t extend Wells much past the 31 pitches thrown at High-A Aberdeen. Too soon for it.

Wells backloaded them tonight, with four in the first and 30 in the second before Kremer was tagged into the match.  

The wrinkle in an otherwise smooth plan was the Blue Jays breaking a tie in the fifth inning and winning the series with a 4-1 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards.

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Hyde explains plan for Wells (plus other notes)

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The Orioles are building up Tyler Wells to be a starter again.

But they’re doing it in the majors.

The decision was made late last night to activate Wells from the 15-day injured list and start him tonight against the Blue Jays. The alternative was to keep him on a rehab assignment in the minors.

A few more important points:

* Dean Kremer is pitching in relief tonight, but it’s a one-and-done. He goes back into the rotation. This isn’t a piggyback situation because Wells isn’t stretched out to do it, and the club wants Kremer starting again.

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Orioles lineup vs. Blue Jays

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The Orioles conclude their four-game series tonight with the Blue Jays by starting Kyle Stowers in left field and using Gunnar Henderson as the designated hitter.

Austin Hays is on the bench.

Tyler Wells was reinstated from the 15-day injured list and gets the start instead of Dean Kremer. This is Wells’ first game with the Orioles since straining his left oblique on July 27.

No word on what happens to Kremer.

Wells has made seven career appearance against Toronto, the first six in relief last summer, and allowed nine runs and 16 hits in 12 2/3 innings. He held the Jays to one run in six innings in a June start at Rogers Centre.

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Tyler Wells comes off IL to start tonight's game

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The Orioles are making more changes to the rotation, this one based on a pitcher’s good health.

Tyler Wells has been reinstated from the 15-day injured list and is handling tonight’s start against the Blue Jays to conclude a four-game series at Camden Yards.

Spenser Watkins has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk to create room on the active roster. He was scheduled to start Saturday afternoon against the Red Sox at Camden Yards.

Additional details on the rotation haven’t been announced, but Dean Kremer was supposed to start tonight.

Jordan Lyles is recovering from flu-like symptoms that knocked him out of Monday’s doubleheader. His status has been day-to-day, and it’s unknown whether he’s an option for the weekend.

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