Now fully healthy, 'pen lefty Danny Coulombe is ready for stretch run

coulombe pitches white

He hasn’t pitched for the Orioles since Aug. 5, but they will be thrilled to have one of their high-leverage relievers back tonight. Lefty Danny Coulombe (left bicep tendinitis) was activated off the 15-day injured list and Nick Vespi was optioned back to Triple-A.

Coulombe has been a great addition for the Baltimore bullpen, going 3-1 with a 2.77 ERA in 47 games. Over 39 innings he has allowed 34 hits with nine walks to 48 strikeouts and with a 1.103 WHIP.

Late in a long season, getting a few days to rest his arm was not necessarily a bad thing.

“I think the bicep tendinitis thing, it was probably something I only needed a few days for," said Coulombe this afternoon. "But honestly at this point, it was one of those things we felt it was best to give me the 15 days and be ready for the stretch run. I think it’s going to be good. Just really exciting to get going now this last month and a half two months."

Coulombe made one rehab appearance and threw a hitless and scoreless inning with two strikeouts Tuesday night for Triple-A Norfolk.

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A chance tonight for another AL East series win and taking pride in the O's farm

Dean Kremer vs. TOR

The Orioles have now gone 80 consecutive series dating to May of 2022 without being swept in a series. Their win by 7-0 over Toronto last night pushed their incredible streak to 80.

No sweep for the Blue Jays and maybe even no series victory if Baltimore can win tonight.

The Orioles (78-48) are leading the AL East by two games over Tampa Bay and by 8.5 over Toronto. They have won four of five, seven of 10, 15 of 22 and 29 of their past 42 games.

Dean Kremer, now 12-5 with an ERA of 4.31 threw six scoreless on 94 pitches for his third scoreless start of the year. Over his past nine outings, Kremer is 4-1 with a 3.06 ERA.

O's starters have allowed three earned runs or less in 21 of their past 24 games. In those 21 games, the rotation ERA is 2.71.

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O's game blog: Looking to even the series with Toronto

kremer v HOU

The Orioles have gone 10 straight American League East series without losing one since April – going 8-0-2 - but they have a challenge to win their current series with the Toronto Blue Jays.

After Toronto’s 6-3 win Monday in 10 innings, the Orioles now need two straight wins to take another division series. The Orioles are now 24-15 for the year in AL East games and are 22-11 during the unbeaten 10-series run within the division.

Brandon Belt’s two-run homer in the 10th off Mike Baumann - who was optioned to Triple-A today - gave Toronto a 5-3 lead. That lead grew to three runs when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. doubled and scored on a wild pitch.

That double was Guerrero’s first extra-base hit this year off Baltimore pitching. After getting three hits last night he is now batting .200 (8-for-40) with a .529 OPS in 11 games this season versus Baltimore, with one double and two RBIs.

Toronto (70-56) is in third place and moved to within 7 1/2 games of the division-leading Orioles. The Blue Jays are now 38-29 on the road and 18-7 in their past 25 road games. They are 12-23 versus AL East teams and 8-7 in extra innings.

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Austin Voth on rejoining the Orioles today

Austin Voth

When last seen pitching for the Orioles in mid-June, right-hander Austin Voth had allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings over a five-game stretch with a .391 batting average against.

That led to a trip to the injured list with right elbow discomfort, and just today Voth has returned to the Orioles' active roster. He was activated from the 60-day IL as Mike Baumann was optioned to Triple-A and Keegan Akin transferred to the 60-day IL with lower back discomfort.

Through his June 13 appearance, Voth went 1-2 with a 4.94 ERA and 1.581 WHIP over 31 innings in 23 games.

He said today he feels healthy and ready to rejoin and help this team.

“For the most part, yeah. Definitely took a little bit longer than I wanted to," Voth said. "But definitely glad to be back.

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For O's Gunnar Henderson ROY talk is nice, playoffs though is the goal

Gunnar Henderson smiling

The Orioles have not had an American League Rookie of the Year since pitcher Gregg Olson won it in 1989. Last year Adley Rutschman finished a distant second to Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez, who got 29 of the 30 first-place votes by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

But this year Gunnar Henderson is a strong candidate to end a long stretch where the Orioles have not had a ROY.

Their first was Ron Hansen in 1960, followed by Curt Blefary in 1965, Al Bumbry in 1973, Eddie Murray in 1977, Cal Ripken Jr. in 1982 and Olson. If he gets it, Henderson would be the seventh O’s ROY.

Henderson leads AL rookies in WAR at 4.0 and leads among FanGraphs WAR for AL rookies at 3.1.

I asked him in the Baltimore clubhouse before the start of the series with Toronto if Rookie of the Year talk is flattering for him, distracting, or none of the above?

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O's game blog: An AL East series as the homestand begins against Toronto

mateo slides white

They played nine straight games on the West Coast, going 6-3 and tonight the Orioles begin a stretch of nine straight games at home. They will host the Toronto Blue Jays, Colorado Rockies and Chicago White Sox for three games each through Aug. 30.

The Orioles (77-47), now a season-best 30 games over the .500 mark, lead the AL East by three games over Tampa Bay, by 8.5 over Toronto, by 11.5 over Boston and by 17 games over the New York Yankees. Tampa Bay begins a series tonight at home versus Colorado.

The Orioles were off on Monday after a 12-1 win at Oakland Sunday to complete their seventh three-game sweep of the season. They scored 28 runs in the Oakland series after scoring 17 runs in the first six games of the road trip.

The Orioles are 24-14 on the year against AL East teams. And, since losing their first two division series of 2023, they are 8-0-2 over their past 10, going 22-10 in the 32 games in those series.

They are 8-2 this year and have outscored Toronto 60-31, going 3-0 at Toronto in May, 2-1 at home in June and 3-1 at Rogers Centre in a series that ended Aug. 3.

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Gunnar Henderson on cool bat followed by hot bat heading into Toronto series

henderson celebrates white

It was just recently where Gunnar Henderson went through a seven-game period when he was just 2-for-25 (.080) at bat with seven strikeouts. And it wasn’t that long ago.

From the last game of the New York Mets series on Aug. 6 through three games in Seattle to start the West Coast swing where Henderson went hitless, he had just those two hits, both singles and just one RBI in that span.

But now he is coming off a game where he produced four extra-base hits and is just the 11th Oriole to have four in one game – something that had not been done since Aug. 17, 2008 when Melvin Mora did it.

Gunnar can be hard on himself and noted both his hot series in Oakland and a slower stretch that preceded it when asked about his swing today heading into this Toronto series.

“Feeling pretty good. Had a little bit of a (slow) stretch there. But feeling good at the plate the whole time. Just stuff didn’t fall. But now looking forward to keeping this going,” he said.

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A look at a solid recent pitching run, plus plenty of other notes and stats

Kyle Bradish white jersey

A few stats, thoughts and opinions as the first-place Orioles, a team that has not lost an AL East series since April 9, gets ready to host third-place Toronto tonight. For the O’s it is the start of a nine-game homestand against the Jays, Rockies and White Sox.

* The O’s pitching has been pretty darn good for well over 40 games now. After allowing just one run on Sunday, the O’s team ERA is 3.62 since July 1. And they are 29-15 (.659) in 44 games in that time.

As of Sunday, that was the fourth-best ERA in the AL in that stretch and sixth-best in MLB. And the O’s starters had thrown the third-most innings of any team in that span.

So yeah, pretty good.

And while the team ERA for the year is 4.08 to rank eighth in the AL, it’s much better in this span of games which is over a month and not just a good series or a good few weeks. It’s the kind of pitching they would probably need to win October games and the kind they got in the last two games at Seattle where they beat a hot team 1-0 and 5-3 back-to-back in ten innings.

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Heading home after a series sweep to end the road trip

Kyle Bradish vs. OAK

The Orioles will certainly take some momentum into their AL East series at home tomorrow night against third-place Toronto. 

They blasted Oakland 12-1 on Sunday to produce their seventh three-game sweep of the year. For those that love run differential, the Orioles outscored the Athletics 28-7 over the weekend.

Gunnar Henderson had four extra-base hits to tie a team record and he became the 11th Oriole in club history to have four in one game. His day included a double in the third, triple in the fourth, solo homer in the seventh and another double in the eighth. He drove in a run with that two-bagger when a single would have given him the cycle.

The other Orioles to have four extra base hits in a game were Charle Lau in 1962, Don Baylor in 1973, Dave Duncan in 1975, Cal Ripken Jr. in 1983, Brady Anderson in 1994 and 1998, Will Clark in 1999, Albert Belle twice in 1999, Chris Richard in 2000, Miguel Tejada in 2004 and 2005 and the last to do it was Melvin Mora on Aug. 17, 2008 against the Tigers with two doubles and two homers.

The Orioles went 6-1 in the season series and scored 57 runs versus Oakland pitching.

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O's game blog: Looking to end the road trip with a three-game sweep

bradish and rutschman

The Orioles' West Coast road trip began with an impressive series win at Seattle against a red-hot Mariners team, and they won the last two games of the series in 10 innings. They lost two of three at San Diego, but a win today would give them a three-game sweep at Oakland to end the trip.

A winning road trip is already secured and so is a series win at Oakland. But they will end the trip at 6-3 with a victory this afternoon.

The Orioles (76-47) have a chance to go 30 games over the .500 mark today and take a 2 1/2 game lead over the Tampa Ray Rays atop the American League East. Toronto is 8 1/2 games back with Boston 11 behind and New York 16 games out.

The Orioles scored eight runs in three games in Seattle, scored nine runs in three at San Diego and have scored 16 runs in the first two games at Oakland. They have 25 hits in this series with five doubles, a triple and three homers.

They have gone 8-for-22 (.364) with runners in scoring position this series after going 8-for-34 (.235) with RISP the first six games on the trip.

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Road trip shows how important Cedric Mullins is for the Orioles

Cedric Mullins black jersey

This just in: Cedric Mullins is pretty important to the Orioles.

While his bat has not yet consistently heated up as he returned to the active roster to start the road trip last weekend in Seattle, he won a game against the Mariners with an incredible late-game performance. And that reminded us just how good he can be and just how big having him in the lineup is to this club.

A club that is looking to win the AL East for the first time since the 2014 season and has had to endure two long stretches with its center fielder on the injured list.

Mullins first went on the IL in late May with a right groin strain and returned June 24. But on July 19 he was back on the 10-day IL with a right adductor groin strain. He played four rehab games for Double-A Bowie, going 3-for-20 before rejoining the club as the road trip began in Seattle.

"We're excited to have him back," manager Brandon Hyde said then. "He feels good and joined us on the trip last night. He's had a couple of stints on the IL and we are hoping to he can stay healthy for us the rest of the year. He's a big part of our club and makes a huge impact for us offensively and defensively." 

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O's game blog: Looking for a series victory in Oakland

O's game blog: Looking for a series victory in Oakland

With a 4-3 record on their West Coast road trip, a win tonight by the Orioles would produce both a series victory in Oakland and ensure the club has a winning road trip with one game to play on Sunday.

The Orioles (75-47) beat the Athletics 9-4 last night as they produced 16 hits - six for extra-bases - and went 6-for-14 with runners in scoring position. The O's scored nine runs in three games in San Diego.

That was the 15th time this year the Orioles have scored nine or more runs in one game and not surprisingly, they are 15-0. It was the fourth time they had 16 or more hits - the season high is 20 on July 6 at New York - and they are 4-0. Their season high for runs is in a 15-2 win July 9 at Minnesota.

The O's offense now ranks fifth in the league in batting average (.252), seventh in OBP (.318), fifth in slugging (.421) and seventh in OPS (.738). The O's average 4.86 runs per game, which is tied for fourth in the AL and is tied for seventh in MLB.

The Orioles avoided a third straight loss Friday night. They have now won four of six, 12 of 18, 18 of 28 and 26 of their past 38 games.

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Young catcher Samuel Basallo gets on a tear at Aberdeen (O's win in Oakland)

Courtesy: Baltimore Orioles Courtesy: Baltimore Orioles

It’s time to take a moment to appreciate the heater that young catcher Samuel Basallo is on these days for High-A Aberdeen. Basallo is now a Top 100 prospect and in March in our second rankings of Orioles international prospects, he was ranked No. 1 after coming in second on the list in 2022.

Basallo, who turned 19 last Sunday, was signed by the club for $1.3 million, their top bonus from the class of 2021. He then produced a .762 OPS in his first two pro seasons, playing 41 games in the Dominican Summer League in 2021 and 43 last year in the Florida Complex League. 

From scouts, Basallo gets strong grades for both his big power and for his strong arm.

“He is going to mis-hit some homers, he is that strong,” said Koby Perez, the Orioles senior director of international scouting in a March interview for our international rankings series. “He may feel he popped it up or didn’t get it all, but it will go over some of these fences. His arm is also well above average, looks elite at times. He is still working on his blocking and overall concentration, but he should catch a whole lot this year and continue to grow at the position.”

Basallo started this year as the O’s No. 15 prospect via Baseball America and is now their No. 5 prospect in the team top 30 ranking and No. 48 in their Top 100. On the list he moved from No. 12 preseason to No. 5 now in the team ranking and is No. 50 on their top 100 list. He’s flown up both boards.

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O's game blog: Kyle Gibson faces Oakland in the series opener

kyle gibson pitching gray

After an off-day, the Orioles' road trip moves on to Oakland tonight for the start of a three-game weekend series. 

The Orioles (74-47) lead the American League East by two games over Tampa Bay, which also plays on the West Coast tonight against the Los Angeles Angels. 

The Orioles lost their last two games at San Diego. But over longer stretches they have won four of seven, 11 of 17, 17 of 27, 25 of 37 and 26 of 40. Playing .612 ball, the Orioles have the best record in the AL and third-best in MLB behind the Braves and Dodgers. 

Oakland (34-87) has had a miserable season pretty much since the start of the year. They began the season going 3-16 and 5-23.

It has gotten a bit better recently, with Oakland going 22-37 (.373) over the last 59 games dating back to June 6 after going 12-50 (.194) over the first 62 contests. Oakland is playing .281 baseball after 121 games. At this pace they would finish the year at 46-116. The last two Major League teams to finish with a winning percentage under .290 are the 2003 Tigers (43-119, .265) and 1962 Mets (40-120, .250).

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Jackson Holliday improves work with scouting reports to keep producing big numbers

Jackson Holliday futures

BOWIE, Md. – Jackson Holliday, shortstop at Double-A Bowie and the No. 1 ranked prospect in baseball, is working hard in the hours leading up to game time so that when first pitch arrives every night, he is ready to unleash his considerable talent and skills on opponent pitchers.

In a recent interview at Prince George’s Stadium, Holliday said he continues to learn better how to use the extensive scouting reports he gets on the pitchers he will see. He is learning to better use information not just on what a pitcher may throw, but how he prefers to use his pitches and what locations he most uses those pitches to get outs.

Getting better at this process not only helps Holliday now, but in the future when he gets to the big league level where the scouting and pre-game planning is most extensive. 

“I really enjoy looking at the pitcher’s plots and scouting reports,” he said. “Feel like I’m doing a good job of knowing what I am getting myself into each at-bat. I try to use that as much as possible to create a game plan. For the most part you have never faced these guys, so I want to know what I am getting into. Feel like that is going well so far.

“Every single guy has a different percentage of what he throws on different counts. So, to be able to eliminate pitches to help myself have a better chance of getting a hit can be big. But for the most part you also need to be looking for fastballs.

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Noelberth Romero's graduation was a proud day for O's organization

Photo of Noelberth Romero

When catcher Samuel Basallo of the Dominican Republic, who just turned 19, recently moved into the top 50 of a couple of top 100 prospects lists, it was an important milestone for the Orioles’ international program.

He is the first player from the international program since Mike Elias and his front office took over to make a top 100 and now a top 50. A strong accomplishment for the international program.

But recently at Low Single-A Delmarva, there was another big night that was pretty important as well and had meaning for a lot of people. Noelberth Romero, 21, from Caracas, Venezuela, became a high school graduate.

It was a proud moment for Romero, his family and the Orioles organization. Dressed in cap and gown, he was presented his diploma by Shorebirds manager Felipe Alou Jr. There was a clubhouse celebration for Romero in addition to an on-field ceremony.

Among the first to sign up for the O’s education program in 2020, Romero becomes the first to make it to the finish line – graduation. He now becomes a role model for others who want to join him in the O’s Latin American program.

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O's game blog: Orioles and Padres play the rubber match game tonight

Kremer throwing

After a 4-1 win Monday night and a 10-3 loss on Tuesday, the Orioles wrap up their series at San Diego tonight. The winner this evening will take this series.

The Orioles (74-46) ended play Tuesday three games ahead of Tampa Bay for the American League East lead.

The O's are 10-6 in rubber-match games. Should they win this game, they will improve to 24-12-3 in series play in 2023, and to 13-5-2 in road series. 

The Orioles, even after the loss yesterday, have won four of six, eight of 12, 11 of 16, 15 of 23 and 25 of their past 36 games. They are 38-23 on the road, 9-5 in August and 20-11 in the second half.

Heading into Tuesday's game, the Baltimore rotation had allowed three earned runs or fewer 16 times in the previous 17 games. The rotation ERA was 3.56 in that span. And if you took away Kyle Gibson allowing nine runs last Friday, the rotation ERA was 2.88 in the 16 games with three earned runs or fewer.

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The Anthony Santander-Félix Hernández connection and Santander's pitching days

Anthony Santander Venezuela

When the Orioles were in Seattle last weekend, several of their players and coaches watched intently the pregame ceremony on Saturday night when former team great Félix Hernández was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame. 

A career winner of 169 games with 2,524 strikeouts – all with Seattle over a 15-year career – it was a special night at T-Mobile Park.

He’s known simply as the “King” in Seattle. He was a six-time All-Star who won the 2010 AL Cy Young Award and was a runner-up twice. He pitched a perfect game against Tampa Bay on Aug. 15, 2012.

When he took the mound at home, the “Kings Court” would fill the leftfield stands with gold shirts and K cards. 

Like Hernández, the Orioles’ Anthony Santander is a native of Venezuela. When Santander was tearing it up this spring in the WBC, Hernández was a visitor to the Team Venezuela clubhouse. When he was 13, scouts compared a young teenager pitcher Santander to Hernández. In the spring of 2021, Hernández signed a minor league deal with the Orioles and the two countrymen were briefly teammates.

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O's game blog: Jack Flaherty faces San Diego in series Game 2


Having allowed just four runs in the past three games, the Orioles have a three-game win streak on their West Coast road trip. The trip began with a 9-2 loss Friday at Seattle, but they have since won 1-0 and 5-3 over the Mariners, both in 10 innings, and by 4-1 last night at San Diego.

The Orioles (74-45) are a season-high 29 games over the .500 mark and lead the Tampa Bay Rays by three games atop the American League East.

Best records in MLB:

.644 - Atlanta (76-42)
.622 – Orioles (74-45)
.607 – Los Angeles Dodgers (71-46)
.597 – Texas (71-48)
.595 – Tampa Bay (72-49)

The Orioles improved to 26-13 in series-opening games with Monday's victory, and to 15-5 when the series opener is on the road.

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Ryan Mountcastle on recent hot hitting and more, plus another win on the road trip

Ryan Mountcastle

Getting to play pro baseball has always been important to the Orioles Ryan Mountcastle. Even long before they drafted him No. 36 overall in the 2015 MLB Draft out of Paul J. Haggerty High School in Florida.

Back then he had designs on being a big league player and that dream came true for him for the first time in August of 2020.

But Mountcastle’s love for the sport perhaps grew even stronger recently when he dealt with vertigo and watched his stats suffer and then missed time on the injured list.

“New appreciation for baseball, life, everything,” he said during the Seattle series. “That was a tough three weeks for me mentally and just to be back I’m super grateful.”

When the Orioles beat Seattle 1-0 in 10 innings Saturday, it was Mountcastle who drove in the game’s only run. He hit a 101-mph pitch from Seattle’s Andres Munoz to center field. It left his bat at 109.5 mph.

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