Update on Hays' finger injury, Mateo batting leadoff tonight in Atlanta

jorge mateo swings grey

ATLANTA – Austin Hays is out of the Orioles’ lineup again tonight while waiting for the gash to heal on his right middle finger. He’s wearing a soft splint on it.

“It’s improved a little bit more,” he said. “We’re still just trying to be careful with it so we don’t turn it into something worse. But the same, day-to-day. Just trying to give it that little bit of extra time and make sure it’s fully ready to go. But still available off the bench if opportunity shows up where I need to be there.”

Hays was hit on the finger by Corey Kluber’s 88 mph sinker, and a cut opened on the inside knuckle beneath the bruise. The Orioles had it cleaned out Wednesday.

A blood blister formed when the ball caused the finger to get pinched against the bat, and the cut was discovered.

“There was just no way to know that it was there before,” Hays said. “At that point, we couldn’t put stitches in it. It’s not something that needs to be stitched. It just needs to heal and close up a little bit. But it’s right there.”

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Orioles option O'Hearn to make room for Torrens

Luis Torrens Cubs

ATLANTA – Catcher Luis Torrens has joined the Orioles in Atlanta and is added to the 26-man roster for tonight’s series opener against the Braves.

In a corresponding move, first baseman Ryan O’Hearn was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

O’Hearn appeared in nine games and went 5-for-19 (.263) with a .634 OPS, one double and six RBIs.

Torrens, who’s wearing No. 13, gives the Orioles a third catcher and reduces the risk of putting Adley Rutschman and James McCann in the same lineup. He’s also a right-handed bat for the bench.

Rutschman and McCann could pair up again tonight with Atlanta starting left-hander Max Fried.

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More to digest with Orioles before they try to devour another series

frazier slides grey

The Orioles are two-thirds through their road trip and keep winning more than they lose, which seems like a solid plan the rest of the way.

Is it always pretty? Not even close to that, but what matters is the final score and a 21-10 record.

They didn’t win their 21st game last season until May 30 in Boston. They had 29 losses and nobody was predicting playoffs.

If there really is a soft spot in a major league schedule, the Orioles zipped past it. They play the first-place Braves, with the second-best record in baseball, in a three-game series before returning home and facing the first-place Rays, who possess the best record at 26-6 and have a plus-114 run differential.

The Orioles won two of three games at Truist Park in 2018. The opener lasted 15 innings and the Orioles prevailed 10-7 after they scored six runs in the top of the ninth and Zack Britton was charged with four in the bottom half to send the game to extras. Manny Machado homered in the 15th.

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Hays out of lineup again as Orioles finish series in Kansas City (updated)

rodriguez home debut

The Orioles are sending Grayson Rodriguez to the mound this afternoon in Kansas City while trying to claim their seventh series.

Rodriguez is working on regular rest after starting Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader in Detroit and earning his first major league win with a career-high nine strikeouts. He hasn’t allowed a run in 14 straight innings going back to Chicago.

Austin Hays is out of the lineup again today. He also didn’t pinch-hit last night, with manager Brandon Hyde choosing Ryan McKenna to bat for Kyle Stowers.

Hays recently returned after bruising his right middle finger on an attempted bunt.

Stowers is in left field again today. Adley Rutschman is the designated hitter.

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Navigating some Orioles numbers and roster rumblings


The Orioles close out their series in Kansas City this afternoon and board a charter for Atlanta, where they won two of three games at Truist Park in June 2018.

They claimed the series opener, which is their go-to move in 2023.

A win Friday night would make the Orioles 11-0 in the first game of a series, already the longest streak in club history to begin a season, according to STATS.

The old record was seven in April 1974, followed by five in April 1996.

Let us dig a little deeper.

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Orioles acquire Torrens from Cubs (updated)


The Orioles made a roster move before tonight’s game in Kansas City, and it didn’t involve calling up one of their minor league players.

Catcher Luis Torrens was acquired from the Cubs in exchange for cash considerations, the team announced. He didn't report to the Orioles today, and manager Brandon Hyde may provide more information to the assembled media.

Torrens, who turned 27 yesterday, was batting .250/.318/.300 (5-for-20) with one double and three RBIs in 13 games. He signed with the Cubs as a minor league free agent in January.

The Orioles are Torren’s fifth organization. The Reds selected him from the Yankees in the 2016 Rule 5 draft and traded him that day to the Padres for a player to be named later who became infielder/outfielder Josh VanMeter. San Diego traded him to the Mariners in August 2020 in a seven-player deal.

Torrens has appeared in 264 major league games and batted .227/.289/.352 with 19 home runs and 78 RBIs in 799 plate appearances. He played in 108 games with Seattle in 2021 and finished with 16 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs and 47 RBIs.

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Orioles and Royals lineups in Game 2 of series

kyle stowers swing black

The Orioles will try tonight to claim their seventh consecutive series, two short of the club record set in 1968.

They fell behind 3-0 last night and registered their 10th comeback victory of the season to improve to 20-9, the second-best record in the majors. They’ve won five of their last six games, 12 of 14 and 16 of 20.

Austin Hays and Gunnar Henderson are out of tonight’s lineup.

Kyle Stowers is playing left field and batting fifth. Ramón Urías is the third baseman, with Adam Frazier at second base.

Ryan Mountcastle is the designated hitter after homering twice last night, and Ryan O’Hearn is playing first base.

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This, that and the other

Jorge Mateo running gray

The Orioles ranked third in bullpen ERA after Yennier Cano registered the save Sunday afternoon in Detroit. They assembled at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City yesterday ranked first.

Success finds the Orioles even when they are away from the field.

The Yankees’ Albert Abreu allowed six runs in one inning Sunday in Texas, and Nick Ramirez surrendered two in 2 1/3. The Rays were in Chicago blowing a 9-5 lead in the ninth, with Jalen Beeks charged with five runs and Garrett Cleavinger two.

What the Orioles did that day at Comerica Park was more typical. Kyle Bradish lasted only 4 2/3 innings, fading after four scoreless, but Cionel Pérez, Austin Voth, Danny Coulombe and Cano shut out the Tigers on one hit over 4 1/3.

Before starter Tyler Wells stepped on the mound last night, Orioles relievers were 10-4 with a 2.86 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and .208 average against in 110 innings. The innings total was tied for sixth in the majors.

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Orioles and Royals lineups for series opener in Kansas City

jorge mateo swings grey

The Orioles will try to improve to 10-0 in series openers tonight when they visit the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Manager Brandon Hyde is keeping Austin Hays in the leadoff spot against a left-hander, with Cedric Mullins lowered to ninth.

Jorge Mateo is batting fifth again. James McCann is the designated hitter. Gunnar Henderson is the third baseman.

Mullins has a .458 average with runners in scoring position that ranks seventh in the majors among batters with a minimum 15 plate appearances.

Mateo is trying to become the first Oriole to score a run in eight straight games since Mullins in 2021, according to STATS. Mateo’s 21 runs this season are the most through the first 23 games since Trey Mancini scored 22 in 2019.

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Taking more inventory before Orioles open series in Kansas City

Yennier Cano

The Orioles moved past their off-day and are resuming their three-city road trip tonight in Kansas City. The last stop is in Atlanta.

They haven’t moved past the “soft” part of their schedule. The Royals are 7-22, the second-worst record in the majors. They’re in last place in the American League Central, with a minus-64 run differential in 29 games and a 1-12 record at home.

Can’t let down against anyone, but the Royals are scuffling with 13 losses in their last 16 games.

The teams met seven times last summer, with the Orioles going 4-3. They split a four-game series at Kauffman Stadium.

The Orioles are 128-128 all-time against the Royals in Kansas City, with their last three-game sweep in 2007.

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Taking early inventory of Orioles season after April

Ryan Mountcastle

DETROIT – The Orioles played their 28th game yesterday and completed the first full month of the season. The 17th win on Saturday was a franchise record for April. They have 19 total.

A lot of season is left on the schedule. At last check, they still play 162.

Too early for analysis, predictions, trends and numbers consumption? Of course not. That can commence after Opening Day.

Gentlemen, start your search engines.

Here are just a few of the many:

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Orioles win sixth series in a row with 5-3 victory over Tigers (updated)

jorge mateo swings grey

DETROIT – Kyle Bradish is tearing into a variety pack of starts in 2023.

A line drive smacks into his right foot in Texas and puts him on the injured list. He returns with six scoreless innings in D.C. The Red Sox rock him for seven runs and eight hits in 2 1/3 innings in his home debut.

Bradish hadn’t faced the Tigers until today. Hard to know what they had in store for him.

Four scoreless innings were followed by catcher Jake Rogers’ two-run homer, Javier Báez’s run-scoring double, a hit batter and a couple of long and loud outs in the fifth. Bradish couldn’t finish the frame.

A lead shrank but didn’t disappear.

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Stowers talks about his return to Orioles

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DETROIT – Kyle Stowers was removed for a pinch-hitter last night in Charlotte and had no idea why.

Stowers found out later that the Orioles were promoting him.

“Just really excited,” he said this morning. “Obviously, happy to be back up here. It’s obviously a great group in Norfolk and a great group up here, so it’s just fun that there’s a lot of winning going around. Definitely excited to be back up here.”

The Orioles optioned Stowers on April 9 to get more regular at-bats. He responded by batting .293/.427/.569 (17-for-58) with a double, five home runs, 17 RBIs, 13 walks and 17 strikeouts in 17 games.

“I think obviously reps are key, and so it’s good to get back to playing every day and just kind of get in a rhythm,” he said. “Hopefully, I can continue to build off what was going on down there.”

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Stowers rejoins Orioles and is batting cleanup

kyle stowers swing black

DETROIT – The string of opposing left-handed starters ended at three today, and so did Joey Ortiz’s time in the majors.

Ortiz was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, with outfielder Kyle Stowers rejoining the Orioles for their series finale in Detroit. Ortiz went 2-for-8 with four RBIs while making three starts at second base.

The Orioles optioned Stowers on April 9 to give him more consistent at-bats. He was 0-for-4 with two walks in three games.

Stowers was batting .293/.427/.569 (17-for-58) with a double, five home runs, 17 RBIs, 13 walks and 17 strikeouts in 17 games with the Tides.

Manager Brandon Hyde is batting Stowers fourth today and playing him in right field. Ryan O'Hearn is the designated hitter.

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Leftovers for breakfast

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DETROIT – The win-now and develop-now attitude of the 2023 Orioles was on display again yesterday at Comerica Park.

DL Hall had a locker inside the visiting clubhouse and a relief role in Game 1 of the doubleheader. One of their top prospects removed from Triple-A Norfolk’s rotation and plopped into a major league bullpen, where he isn’t supposed to belong.

The Orioles are developing Hall as a starter. Didn’t want to switch his role again breaking camp. Couldn’t stretch him out any other way than by optioning him.

But there he was, replacing Dean Kremer yesterday in the bottom of the sixth inning and covering the last three in a 7-4 loss. He allowed two runs but struck out seven batters.

“We’re trying to win games,” said manager Brandon Hyde, repeating a line that might be worthy of the next T-shirt giveaway.

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Rodriguez earns first major league win and Orioles split doubleheader (updated)


DETROIT – Grayson Rodriguez got on an impressive roll today in Game 2, the kind he hasn’t experienced in his limited exposure to the majors, and he knows who provided a nudge.

Shortstop Jorge Mateo demonstrated his range and athleticism after Rodriguez allowed the leadoff batter to reach for the fifth time in five starts. An important early out was recorded, Rodriguez flummoxed the Tigers with his changeup while tossing five scoreless innings with a career-high nine strikeouts, and the Orioles earned a split of the doubleheader with a 6-4 victory over the Tigers.

The final game of the series is 1:40 p.m. Sunday, with the Orioles carrying an 18-9 record and trying again to move 10 above .500 for the first time since 2022.

Former Orioles infielder Tyler Nevin hit a three-run homer off Mike Baumann in the sixth after the right-hander inherited two runners from Keegan Akin, and after Mateo committed an error, a reminder of baseball’s fickle nature. But Bryan Baker, Danny Coulombe, Yennier Cano and Félix Bautista covered the last three innings.

The game ball goes to Rodriguez, who earned his first major league win after holding the Tigers to two hits and a walk. Six of the nine strikeouts came on his changeup, but the whiffs raised his pitch count to 91.

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Orioles can't rally past Tigers in Game 1, Hall strikes out seven in return to majors (updated)


DETROIT – Austin Hays wasn’t fooling around with a perfect game bid. Not today. Nip it in the bud.

Hays lined a double down the left field line on the first pitch from Tigers starter Eduardo Rodriguez, who didn’t allow an Orioles baserunner for 6 2/3 innings Sunday in Baltimore. Hays was stranded but also successful in his return from a bruised right finger.

James McCann homered off Rodriguez in the second, another shot at his former team. Rodriguez obviously was more vulnerable this afternoon in Game 1 of a doubleheader.

He just wasn’t beatable, and the Orioles couldn’t manufacture a 10th comeback win.

Rodriguez was removed after 5 2/3 innings and only one run allowed. Meanwhile, Dean Kremer surrendered a career-high 11 hits through the fifth, and the Orioles lost to the Tigers 7-4 at Comerica Park.

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Hays back in Orioles lineup, Hall returns to majors, and more

Austin Hays gray swinging

DETROIT – Orioles outfielder Austin Hays swung the bat yesterday and said he would have been a game-time decision if rain hadn’t forced a postponement.

“I don’t think I would have been able to be in there,” he said.

He’s in there today, leading off in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Tigers.

The right middle finger is badly bruised after Hays was hit on the hand by Corey Kluber’s sinker Tuesday night while trying to bunt.

“We’ll just make sure we wrap it up good and make sure it’s protected and be good to go,” he said.

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Orioles Game 1 lineup, Hall recalled as 27th player

Joey Ortiz greys

DETROIT – Heavy rain yesterday rearranged the four-game series between the Orioles and Tigers, with the teams forced into a split doubleheader today.

The first game begins at 12:10 p.m., with the second game at 5:10 p.m.

The Orioles have won nine of their last 10 games, 11 of 13 and 13 of 16. They improved Friday night to 9-0 in series openers.

A victory today in Game 1 would put them 10 above .500 to match their high in 2022.

Adley Rutschman is out of the Game 1 lineup for the first time this season. Joey Ortiz starts again at second base.

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Mountcastle hitting into more bad luck

mountcastle 9 rbi night

DETROIT – What is the exact date and time when it begins to even out?

Rough estimates are accepted and appreciated.

Isn’t that the reminder preached to frustrated hitters who don’t think they’ll ever catch another break? The latest tough out, so cruel at times that it physically hurts, is balanced by soft singles and streaks built on kinder fortune.

Ryan Mountcastle tries to laugh about it. The trademark grin is the most he can muster at this point.

The lucky hits need to catch up.

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