O's game blog: Kyle Bradish returns to face Washington

Kyle Bradish throws gray

WASHINGTON – The Orioles (10-7), winners of six of their past eight games and with a record of 3-1 on this road trip, can sweep this two-game series if they win tonight at Nationals Park.

Washington (5-12) allowed just a run and five hits in Tuesday’s 1-0 loss. The Nats, who began this series averaging just 3.88 runs per game this season, were held to three runs or fewer for the ninth time, and they are 0-9 in those games.

The Nats have lost five of six games, are 2-8 at home and are 0-4-1 in five series in 2023.

Right-hander Dean Kremer and three relievers teamed on the Orioles' second shutout of the year, joining their 2-0 win April 3 at Texas. Kremer, now 1-0 with a 6.16 ERA, went 6 2/3 innings, allowing just four singles and no walks while notching six strikeouts on 95 pitches, 66 for strikes. He threw first-pitch strikes to 21 of 25 batters in the series opener.

Speaking of series openers, the Orioles are now 6-0 in such games this year.

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O's pregame notes on Givens, Tate, Bradish and more from Washington


WASHINGTON – The Orioles are getting closer to gaining reinforcements for their well used bullpen. Manager Brandon Hyde said today he is hopeful that both Mychal Givens and Dillon Tate can begin rehab assignments sometime next week.

Both right-handers have officially been on the injured list since Opening Day. Givens is out due to left knee inflammation. He pitched in four spring games, allowing one unearned run in four innings. His last spring game was March 16. Tate, on the IL with a strained right forearm, did not pitch at all during spring.

Some already thought that Givens was a bit ahead in his rehab and might push up his return date, but now it appears both pitchers could return sooner than anticipated.

“Hopefully, both of those guys are going to go out at some point next week for rehab assignments,” Hyde said.

Hyde said timelines for the return of both are “pretty similar and it’s all going to depend on how they feel. And we’re hoping to get them both out of Sarasota sometime next week.”

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Kremer overcomes early frustrations and Cano strong again in O's shutout

Dean Kremer

WASHINGTON – When it was over, right-hander Dean Kremer said what everyone must have thought about his start to the 2023 season.

As the Orioles pitcher took the mound in Washington last night, the same night that demoted starter Cole Irvin was pitching at Triple-A, Kremer’s ERA stood at 9.49.

“Of course there are frustrations, anytime you come out on the bottom side and you see your ERA blow up,” he said.

For the first time this year he did something about it last night. Or maybe we should say for the first time he got the results he was looking for, throwing 6 2/3 scoreless on four singles as the Orioles held on to beat Washington 1-0.

The Orioles were averaging nearly six runs per game coming into this series, but you can’t outslug teams every night.

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Dean Kremer rights the ship as O's blank Washington (updated)

Dean Kremer gray jersey

WASHINGTON – With an ERA of 9.49 and WHIP of 1.784 through his first three starts, O’s right-hander Dean Kremer was pitching nothing like he had yet during the 2022 season.

But on a night when he needed to turn around his season and give the pitching rotation a boost, he did both in the opener of a brief two-game series at Nationals Park.

Kremer pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings as the Orioles beat the Washington Nationals 1-0 at windy and chilly Nats Park in front of 18,747 which featured a big number of Orioles fans.

In the first three starts this year, Kremer had an ERA of 9.00 and opponent OPS of 1.015 in the first inning of his starts. But tonight was different as he got a double play to end the inning after a one-out bloop single. He needed just nine pitches to get three outs.

That was a good sign and the night continued to be a big plus for him.

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O's game blog: O's and Nats series begins at Nats Park

Rutschman baumann grays

WASHINGTON – The Orioles road trip, which started with them going 2-1 against the White Sox in Chicago, continues tonight at Nationals Park when they play the first of a two-game series with the Washington Nationals.

The Orioles beat Chicago 8-4 Sunday after falling behind 4-0 after the first inning. But after scoring six runs there on Friday and Saturday, they added eight more Sunday and have scored 49 runs the last seven games and six runs or more nine times on the year.

The Orioles are 9-7 overall with a plus-7 run differential and they have won back-to-back series against Oakland and Chicago. They are 4-3 at home and 5-4 on the road and trying to go three games over the .500 mark for the first time in 2023.

The Orioles' .563 win percentage, if maintained over a full season, would result in 91 wins.

In the series at Chicago, they scored 20 runs on 30 hits with six doubles, two triples and two homers and they went 10-for-43 with runners in scoring position.

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Pregame notes on Urías, Kremer and Mateo on his offense

Urias white

WASHINGTON – Orioles infielder Ramón Urías, who was hit in the left side of his head Saturday by a 96.2 mph pitch, is no longer in concussion protocol. He is not starting tonight, but could play in the series opener against the Washington Nationals.

“He’s cleared everything and that’s unbelievable,” said manager Brandon Hyde before today’s game. “From what that looked like and how that sounded. Such a scary moment. Passed all the tests, wants to be in there and is ready to go. I just want to make sure he feels right and he says he does. I won’t hesitate to use him off the bench, in a pinch-hitting moment or for defense late.”

The Orioles have still not announced a starter for Wednesday’s game. Right-hander Kyle Bradish is eligible to come off the injured list tomorrow and still seems likely to get that start.

“We need a starter tomorrow and we’re going to see what our options are after the game today,” said Hyde.

Hyde said "no" when asked if the Orioles would use a current starter out of the bullpen. 

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O's hitting coach on hot bats and some of the players raking right now

mountcastle 9 rbi night

If two hitting coaches can help the Orioles, maybe three can do even more. So far that is proving correct as the co-hitting coaches Ryan Fuller and Matt Borgschulte are in their second seasons together on the Orioles staff. This year they were joined by Cody Asche, named before this season as offensive strategy coach.

The “three-headed monster” as Fuller calls it, must be putting in some great work as the Orioles offense is among the best in the game to start this year.

Fuller was a pregame guest Sunday on the Orioles Radio Network.

“Great start,” Fuller said of the offense on the broadcast. “Obviously comparing it to last year we got off to a slow start. We hit balls hard but they were right at people. Felt really unlucky. But this year we get off to a good start, and have a winning record, that is what we wanted to do. Start fast and go throughout the year. We’re really happy but at the same time there are still guys we are looking to get more production out of. Hard to get all nine guys going at once but that is what we are trying to do.”

And the numbers are impressive for an O’s offense that scored 20 runs over the weekend in three games in Chicago and has scored 28 runs the past four games and 49 over the last seven. In 16 games to date, the Orioles have scored six runs or more nine times.

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A look at Heston Kjerstad's start for Double-A Bowie (plus O's notes, roster move)

kjerstad picture day

Once Heston Kjerstad started hitting, he didn’t stop.

The No. 2 overall pick by the Orioles out of Arkansas in the 2020 MLB Draft, a player that went 27 months between his last college game and first pro game, he has been making up for lost time since late last season.

The myocarditis diagnosis he dealt with kept him on the sidelines for a long time and it took him time last year – he played his first game for Low Single-A Delmarva on June 10 – to get his stroke back. But now it is back with full force.

He was starting to really swing it late last season for High-A Aberdeen, then was named MVP of the Arizona Fall League. In the first O’s spring training game in March, he homered twice and then he went on to produce an OPS of 1.219 in big league spring training. And now Kjerstad, 24, has quickly, become a handful for Double-A Eastern League pitchers.

“Really, really exciting,” Bowie manager Kyle Moore told me Friday at Prince George’s Stadium. “Got off to the same start that he did in spring training and as he did in the Fall League. It carried over. He looks like a middle of the lineup big league bat. Knows the strike zone as well as anyone I’ve ever seen. That’s exciting.”

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O's game blog: The series finale in Chicago

santander and hays

After taking the game on Friday night via a comeback win, the Orioles had leads four times in Saturday’s game in Chicago against the White Sox. But they lost 7-6 in 10 innings after gaining leads of 1-0, 4-2, 5-4 and 6-5.

The Orioles (8-7) have been at the .500 mark six times this year at 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5 and 6-6, and it would become seven times should they lose today.

The Orioles are 0-2 in rubber match games, losing 9-5 to Boston on April 2 and 5-3 to the New York Yankees on April 9.

The Orioles have scored six runs in each of the two games in this series. They have scored 20 runs the last three games, and 41 runs the past six games. They have scored 86 runs in 15 games for an average of 5.73 runs per game. They have scored six runs or more eight times this year.

The O’s hit two homers on Saturday as Jorge Mateo and Anthony Santander connected on solo shots. It was No. 3 for Mateo and No. 1 for Santander. Mateo went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and is now batting .350/.413/.625/.1.038. He is one of four Orioles with an OPS of 1.000 or better, led by Ryan O’Hearn (1.371), and also including Adley Rutschman (1.075) and Austin Hays (1.045).

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Adam Frazier is settling in with his new team, plus other notes

adam frazier hit gray

Adam Frazier has proven to be a nice addition to the Orioles through a couple weeks of the new season. He’s providing some veteran leadership for a young clubhouse and his bat has taken a step up from last year through this early stage.

After posting an OPS of just .612 last season with Seattle, he is batting .256/.347/.395/.742 through Saturday with three doubles, two steals, oner homer and five RBIs. He has proven to be an above average contact hitter as his track record shows, with just three strikeouts in 39 at-bats through Friday. And the 6.8 strikeout rate at that point was the third-best in MLB.

“I feel good. Swing is in a good place. Feel like I’ve really been bringing the pitchers into the zone so, yeah, as long as I can stay where I am I’ll be fine,” he said during the recent homestand.

And as for the team’s offensive potential, Frazier said he sees good things.

“I think we’ve seen it a little bit so far. It’s dangerous. Any night we can put up a 10 spot. I think one through nine we really challenge the pitcher. Not like we have any holes. Everybody can put the ball in play and most of these guys can go deep at anytime. Lot of tools," Frazier said. 

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O's game blog: Looking for another win in Chicago


After their 6-3 comeback win over the White Sox Friday night, a victory today in the windy city would give the Orioles a series victory over Chicago and a chance to sweep the Sox on Sunday afternoon.

Adley Rutschman’s bases-loaded double on an 0-2 pitch in the seventh inning, turned a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead and the Orioles went on to win to improve to 8-6.

The AL East standings today

Tampa Bay at 13-1
Toronto at 9-5
Orioles, New York Yankees at 8-6
Boston at 6-8

The Orioles are two games over the .500 mark for the first time this season and have won four of five games. They are 4-3 in road games and are now 5-0 in series-opening games.

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Rutschman comes up big again and Bowie notes on Bradish and McDermott


BOWIE, Md. - Adley Rutschman was the clutch man again for the Orioles.

The Orioles are now 5-0 this year in series-opening games after posting a come-from-behind 6-3 win over the White Sox in Chicago. Rutschman’s bases-loaded double to left center field in the seventh inning provided Baltimore a 4-3 lead and the O’s bullpen combined for 3 2/3 scoreless after Tyler Wells exited.

Nice start to a road trip and the Orioles, at 8-6. are two games over the .500 mark for the first time. They have won four of five games.

Rutschman now in his career with the bases loaded is 3-for-8 with two doubles and nine RBIs.

“Adley just doing what he's been doing, just getting huge hits for us," said manager Brandon Hyde. "Getting an 0-2 mistake and putting the ball in the gap."

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Kyle Bradish goes five tonight, pronounces rehab game for Bowie a success

bradish pitch white

BOWIE, Md. – The Orioles may be pointing to next Wednesday for right-hander Kyle Bradish to re-enter their starting rotation. He took a liner off his right foot in the second inning April 3 at Texas, went on the injured list and made a rehab start tonight at Double-A Bowie against Akron. 

It was a big step for Bradish, who is eligible to rejoin the active roster on Wednesday when the Orioles play the second of a two-game series in Washington against the Nationals.

Bradish was rolling early on tonight, throwing scoreless ball through three innings, but then the RubberDucks hit a three-run homer against him as part of their four-run fourth inning.

For his night he allowed four runs (three earned) on three hits in five innings. He walked one and fanned five on 82 pitches, 51 for strikes. His fastball, per a scout's radar gun, worked between 94 and 96 mph in the top of the first at Prince George's Stadium. 

After his outing, Bradish said he had absolutely no issues with his foot tonight and if the O's want his next turn to be with the Orioles, he's ready.

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O's game blog: The road trip begins against the Chicago White Sox

Tyler Wells pitching gray

After their first road trip was followed by their first homestand of the 2023 season, the Orioles are back on the road starting tonight. They play three games at Chicago against the White Sox this weekend and play two games in Washington next Tuesday and Wednesday at Nats Park.

Baltimore went 3-3 on that first trip, going 1-2 at Boston and 2-1 at Texas.

The White Sox are 5-8, after going 81-81 last year with a second-place finish in the American League Central. Right now they are trailing Minnesota (9-4) and Cleveland (7-6) in the standings in third place.

They began the year going 2-2 at Houston and since have gone 1-2 versus San Francisco, at Pittsburgh and at Minnesota, where they lost the last two games of that series by 4-3 and 3-1 scores on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Chicago ranks third in the AL in team batting (.263) and eighth in OPS (.728). Their team ERA of 5.79 ranks 13th in the AL. The White Sox rotation ERA stands at 5.00 (which is 10th), while their bullpen ERA of 7.01 is the worst in the league.

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O's notes on Adley, Gunnar, Bautista's whiff rate and more after Oakland series

rutschman walk-off

Orioles' pitching allowed 23 runs in the last three games of the Oakland series, but the Baltimore offense was such that they were able to win two of those games by 12-8 and 8-7 scores.

But the Orioles know they are going to need to tighten up the pitching and fast. Somehow they are 7-6 and they did take three of four against Oakland despite the leaky pitching. The starters the last three days combined to allow 15 runs in 12 2/3 innings. And in those games, the bullpen was used for more innings than the starters, needed to cover 14 1/3 innings.

The O’s have already had two streaks of three straight games allowing seven runs or more this year. They didn’t have one such streak in 2022.

O’s starters have thrown five innings or less 10 times in 13 games, including in each of the last three games. That won’t be good enough to stay over .500 over the long haul. But right now the Baltimore offense is making it work and the Orioles have scored seven runs or more six times.

In the Oakland series, the Orioles scored 29 runs on 38 hits and hit eight homers. They batted .351 with runners in scoring position (13-37) and got some clutch hits against A’s pitching.

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O's game blog: The series finale with Oakland

Mullins Hays white

The Oakland Athletics scored four late runs last night to break a 4-4 tie and beat the Orioles 8-4 at Camden Yards. The Orioles have taken two of three in this four-game series, which wraps up this afternoon.

O's pitching has allowed eight runs to Oakland in back-to-back games after Monday's series-opening 5-1 win.

Baltimore's team ERA of 5.37 ranks 12th in the American League right now and is well behind last season's mark of 3.97. The O's rotation ERA of 6.39 ranks 12th in the AL, with the Orioles ahead of just Detroit, Boston and Oakland. 

Through 12 games, the rotation has covered 56 1/3 innings and the bullpen has been needed for 49 1/3. O's starting pitchers five thrown five innings or less in nine games and allowed four runs or more in six games. 

The last two nights, Grayson Rodriguez and Dean Kremer have combined to pitch 8 2/3 innings versus Oakland, allowing 11 hits and nine runs.

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O's early season homers show on-field talent and dugout creativity

mountcastle homers in texas

Manager Brandon Hyde called them “SeaWorld” acts this week. The Orioles have a few different ways to celebrate producing solid offense in their dugout, and fans at Oriole Park, throughout Birdland and now even around baseball are starting to see this is a team with a strong collective personality.

And they are doing just what their manager wants.

They are celebrating player and team success while bonding as a group. A couple of players I talked to this week say that not only are the various celebrations fun for the team, but might they lead to more wins too.

They are showing their talents when they hit the homers or other extra-base hits, and different ways to celebrate after a key hit. They are showing that they are a young, creative and maybe a little brash at times group that has a strong personality and is not afraid to show it off.

“Just shows how creative our pitching staff can be. They’ve come up with some creative celebrations this year,” outfielder Austin Hays said.

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O's game blog: Dean Kremer faces Oakland in series Game 3

kremer delivers white

After wins by 5-1 and 12-8 the last two nights, the Orioles look to take Game 3 of their four-game series with the Oakland Athletics this evening at Camden Yards. Ryan Mountcastle tied the team single-game RBI record, driving in nine runs in Tuesday’s win in Baltimore.

Mountcastle’s fast 11-game start has him leading the majors in RBIs and tied for the lead in homers. He is batting .289/.320/.711/.1.031 with four doubles, five homers and 18 RBIs. He ranks fifth in the American League and ninth in the majors in slugging. He's tied for 10th in the AL and 22nd in the big leagues in OPS.

Three O’s batters rank among the top 10 in the American League in OPS today, with Adley Rutschman fifth (1.118), Austin Hays ninth (1.058) and Mountcastle 10th.

Two pitchers who have struggled in their first two starts take the mound tonight. Right-hander Dean Kremer (0-0, 10.13 ERA) pitches for Baltimore and lefty Ken Waldichuk (0-2, 14.45) goes for Oakland.

Last season Kremer went 8-7 with a 3.23 ERA, but this season he has allowed five runs in three innings at Boston and four runs in five innings at home to the New York Yankees. So over eight combined innings he has allowed 11 hits, nine runs and 1.875 WHIP.

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Brandon Hyde: "What Mounty did last night was incredibly special"

mountcastle 9 rbi night

To consider how special Ryan Mountcastle’s performance was last night as he tied a team record driving in nine runs, consider just how rare that was. Since moving to Baltimore in 1954, the Orioles have played more than 10,800 games. Just three times has a player driven in nine runs.

Just three times has a player driven in exactly eight (Cal Ripken Jr., Chris Hoiles and Frank Robinson) and just 15 times has a player knocked in seven runs in a game. Jim Gentile hit two grand slams in producing the first-ever O’s nine-RBI game at Minnesota on May 9, 1961. Then Eddie Murray hit a slam in driving in nine at the California Angels on Aug. 26, 1985.

Last night, Mountcastle drove a sac fly to center in the first and tied the game 2-2 with his RBI single to center in the third. His three-run homer in the fifth cut the O’s deficit to 7-6. His grand slam in the seventh added to a Baltimore lead, making it a 12-7 edge. A 3-for-4 night with two homers and nine RBIs.

“What Mounty did last night, that was incredibly special,” manager Brandon Hyde said this afternoon. “I don’t know if I have ever seen anyone have that many RBIs. Been asked a few times and I can’t remember. Just a huge game, offensively.

"Love watching some national stuff today and people around the country get to see him because of the highlights. He’s turning into a really, really good hitter and showing the power he has. I love the base hit up the middle with two outs early in the game. Being able to stay on a ball like that and it shows the barrel control he has.”

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An O's first: Mountcastle is first Oriole to drive in nine runs in a home game


It was a first in Orioles history. Never had a player driven in nine runs in one home game until Ryan Mountcastle did it last night at Camden Yards as the Orioles beat Oakland 12-8.

What a night for Mountcastle who joins Eddie Murray and Jim Gentile as the only Orioles in team history – which dates to 1954 of course – to have a nine-RBI game. Gentile hit two grand slams when he drove in nine on May 9, 1961 at Minnesota. Murray hit one slam when he did it Aug. 26, 1985 at the California Angels.

Mountcastle’s night began with a sac fly in the first inning. He added an RBI single in the third, three-run homer in the fifth and grand slam in the seventh. He went 3-for-4 and his slam went 456 feet. He produced his seventh career multi-homer game and second career grand slam.

The first three batters in the Baltimore order – Austin Hays, Adley Rutschman and Mountcastle – went a combined 9-for-12 with two doubles, three homers, eight runs and 11 RBIs.

Through 11 games, Mountcastle is batting .289/.320/.711/1.031 with four doubles, five homers and 18 RBIs. No other player on the team has more than three homers and no one has more than eight RBIs except for him.

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