Tough night for the pitching: O's dig early hole in loss in Anaheim

Grayson Rodriguez

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Maybe Orioles right-hander Grayson Rodriguez was due for a poor outing. He had ended last year pitching to an ERA of 2.26 his last 12 regular-season starts and then started the 2024 season going 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA over four starts.

That run ended big time Tuesday night at Angel Stadium when the home team took a 7-0 lead in the fourth and then the Los Angeles Angels held off a Baltimore rally to win 7-4.

The Orioles began the day in first place by a ½ game but ended it in second by a ½ game as they lost and the New York Yankees won.

With the Orioles down big early, Rodriguez came out for the fifth inning with his pitch count at 71 but was removed for Dillon Tate with one out and one on. Manager Brandon Hyde explained to a reporter who asked if he kept Rodriguez in to try and build his confidence, that it wasn’t about that at all.

“Not really worried about his confidence," he said. "That was more about we had a long way to go in the game and our bullpen has been pretty taxed, so tried to get through that fifth inning.”

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Rodriguez allows seven runs as Angels even series (updated)

Grayson Rodriguez

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Maybe this was a reverse-lock game. A night after the Orioles moved into first place, they put their 15-7 record and three-game win streak on the line with right-hander Grayson Rodriguez and his 2.63 ERA on the mound. He had not allowed more than two runs in any start this year.

The Angels had scored just nine runs during a five-game losing streak, were 2-5 at home and their pitcher, right-hander Griffin Canning, began his night with an ERA of 8.05.

What could go wrong? O's would have this one, right?

Well, the Angels got a Mike Trout leadoff homer and kept swinging it with loud contact in the early innings off Rodriguez as they beat the Orioles 7-4 at Angel Stadium.

Down 7-0 in the fifth, the O’s pulled within three runs but took the loss. They are now 15-8 for the year and 7-4 on the road, and return Wednesday to the ballpark looking for a series win in the rubber match game.

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O's game blog: Looking for another victory in Anaheim

Grayson Rodriguez

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Orioles are 4-0 this year in games started by right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (3-0, 2.63 ERA). If they can run that tonight to 5-0, the Orioles will have another series win secured.

The Orioles beat the Angels 4-2 last night to improve to 15-7 with three straight wins, seven wins in their last eight games and 10 in the past 13. They are now 7-3 in road games and 6-2 in series-opening games. Baltimore last night improved to 7-2 in games decided by two runs or less.

Beginning play today, the Orioles lead the only division in the majors with five teams playing .500 or better ball. With their win and a Yankees loss to the Athletics on Monday, they moved to a half-game ahead of New York atop the American League East. Boston and Toronto are both 13-10 and 2 1/2 games back, and Tampa Bay is 12-12 and four games out beginning play this Tuesday.

The Orioles continue to lead the majors in homers with 35 and in homers per game at 1.59. They lead the major leagues averaging a home run every 22.09 at-bats. There are 23 teams who are at 30 or more at-bats between home runs.

The Orioles have hit 25 homers their past 11 games. They have hit two or more 12 times already and are 11-1 in those games.

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Hyde pregame on Kjerstad, Mountcastle, Bradish and more (plus Kjerstad quotes)


ANAHEIM, Calif. – Outfielder Heston Kjerstad, officially activated earlier today, is in tonight’s starting lineup for the Orioles batting eighth in right field. 

Ryan Mountcastle, who missed last night’s game with a sore left knee, could be back in that lineup very soon.

“Ryan is way better today,” manager Brandon Hyde said this afternoon in the visiting dugout. “He will definitely be available if we need him.”

As for Kjerstad, who is ranked as the No. 29 prospect by MLB Pipeline and No. 42 via Baseball America, he was tearing it up in 21 games with Triple-A Norfolk. He was batting .349/.431/.744/1.175 with four doubles, 10 homers and 30 RBIs. He went 8-for-16 his last four Tides games with three homers.

“Off to an unbelievable start in Triple-A. Huge power numbers,” said Hyde. “Hitting the ball hard to all fields. Just want him to come up here and try and contribute. We have a good lineup, but Heston has big-time power, so hopefully he can impact us offensively."

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In the end, it came down to Craig Kimbrel vs. Mike Trout with the game riding

Craig Kimbrel

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Even after right-hander Albert Suárez provided the Orioles with another scoreless outing and after they got homers from James McCann and Colton Cowser and after Adley Rutschman drove in two and after the bullpen bent but didn’t break in the seventh and eighth, there was still heavy lifting to do.

Real heavy, as in right-handed closer Craig Kimbrel needing to get three-time MVP Mike Trout out with two outs, bases loaded and the O’s clinging to a 4-2 lead.

Trout was all that stood in the way of the Orioles winning Game No. 15, moving into first place and Kimbrel recording his 423rd career save to pass former teammate Billy Wagner for seventh all-time.

Just get out the guy that had already hit eight homers this season and has a .992 career OPS.

As Trout moved to the plate, he was 1-for-3 with two career walks and a single versus Kimbrel. If he produced another single, he would likely tie this game. If he did bigger damage, the Angels could have a walk-off win and the Orioles a devastating loss.

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Suárez rolls again as O's win series opener (Kjerstad to be recalled)


ANAHEIM, Calif. – After going 2,395 days between major league outings coming into this season, this time right-hander Albert Suárez had only a four-day wait.

He held Minnesota scoreless over 5 2/3 innings Wednesday in Baltimore – his first game in the majors since Sept. 26, 2017 – and was back out tonight for the O’s in their series opener in Los Angeles.

And he had another outstanding outing.

He also had another scoreless outing, again over 5 2/3 innings, as the Orioles beat the Angels 4-2 in front of 26,081 to start a three-game series.

The Orioles, who moved into first place in the American League East by a half-game over the Yankees, improved to 15-7 and to 6-2 in series-opening games. They are 7-1 their past eight games and 10-3 the last 13. 

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O's game blog: The series opener in Anaheim

Albert Suarez

ANAHEIM, Calif. – With their latest series win secured via a 5-0 shutout of the Royals on Sunday, the Orioles' two-city road trip has reached California where they play the next three games in Anaheim against the Angels. 

The Orioles are 14-7 and have won six of their last seven and nine of the their past 12 games, scoring 75 runs in those games. The Orioles have won back-to-back series and are 5-2 in series for the year.

The 2024 O’s came up two games short of the 1966 World Champion Orioles, which started the year 16-5 – the club’s best-ever 21-game start.

The Orioles are 6-3 in road games and 2-1 in road series.

With the Yankees loss this afternoon to the Athletics, the O's and Yanks are tied in the games behind standings, but the O's have the American League East lead by percentage points at .667 to .652. A win tonight would give Baltimore the division lead by a half-game.

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Hyde updates Mountcastle and Hays before Angels series opener

austin hays swinging bat black

ANAHEIM, Calif. – As the Orioles face lefty Reid Detmers (3-0, 1.19 ERA) in tonight’s series opener with the Angels, they will be a missing a couple of key right-handed bats.

At least to start the game.

First baseman Ryan Mountcastle is dealing with knee soreness and outfielder Austin Hays went on the 10-day injured list with a left calf strain this afternoon.

The Orioles were seeing some positive signs with Hays’ bat. He is just 5-for-45 for the year, but had some loud outs recently and produced two hits his last four at-bats.

But any further progress will have to wait.

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O's held off K.C. Saturday night, shut them out Sunday and now are on a 108-win pace

Cole Irvin

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Orioles road trip will be in SoCal tonight for the beginning of a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels. They headed west Sunday with some momentum after outlasting the Royals on Saturday night and beating them 5-0 yesterday.

A most welcome strong start from lefty Cole Irvin led to the latest series win, it was just the third outing this year of 6 2/3 or more innings by an Oriole. The Orioles recorded their first shutout of the year after posting 12 last season.

Irvin provided the club its second scoreless start of the new year after Albert Suárez had one Wednesday versus Minnesota. This was just the second quality start by an Oriole in the last 11 games and their eighth on the year. Grayson Rodriguez has three, Corbin Burnes two and now with one each are Irvin, Tyler Wells and Dean Kremer.

Irvin’s outing was versus a K.C. team that had won nine in a row at home until Saturday’s loss. A Royals club that had scored 16 runs in the first two games of this series and began play Sunday averaging 5.14 runs per game – third-best in the AL.

It was an impressive outing, and an impressive series win against a K.C. club that is 2-4 versus the Orioles, but 11-5 against everybody else.

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O's game blog: The series finale at Kansas City

irvin pitches orange

The Orioles and Royals today play the last game of their three-game series at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium. After this one, the Orioles move on to Aneheim for three games with the Angels.

The clubs have split two games, with the Royals winning 9-4 on Friday and the Orioles holding off a furious K.C. rally, 9-7 last night.

It was a wild one where the Orioles scored seven runs in the second inning to knock lefty Cole Ragans out of the game. But a 7-0 lead almost got away. When K.C. scored four in the last of the seventh, they had pulled within 8-7. Anthony Santander's third double of the night gave them a 9-7 lead in the eighth.

Craig Kimbrel pitched a 1-2-3 last of the ninth on nine pitches, getting Bobby Witt Jr., Vinnie Pasquantino and Salvador Perez as the Orioles got the win. It was his 422nd career save to tie Billy Wagner for seventh place on the all-time list. 

The Orioles ended the Royals' nine-game home win streak.

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A look at some batters off to strong starts at Double-A Bowie (O's win wild one)


Earlier this week when I was in Bowie, Md., to cover Kyle Bradish's first injury rehab start, I spent some time with Double-A Bowie manager Roberto Mercado to discuss his team's solid start to the new season.

It has been some weekend in Bowie with the Baysox winning Friday 5-4 over Altoona on a walk-off on John Rhodes' single in the 10th. Last night, Jud Fabian's grand slam in the last of the ninth was a walk-off winner 6-2. It was Fabian's second homer of the season and he's now batting .310 with a .944 OPS.

Bowie drew 7,159 fans on Friday and 7,988 on Saturday to Prince George's Stadium. 

Between the 2022 and 2023 seasons, the Baysox's increase in average home attendance was among the best in all of the minors and they are off to a good start at the turnstile this year.

Bowie is now 8-6 and through Friday's games had a plus-12 run differential ranked third-best in the 12-team league thus far. Bowie led the league with 77 runs scored and also with an .817 OPS. Bowie's team ERA of 4.34 was eighth-best in the Eastern League.

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O's game blog: Right-hander Corbin Burnes faces Kansas City

burnes pitching gray

After a rough Friday for O’s pitching – especially the bullpen – the Orioles send ace right-hander Corbin Burnes (2-0, 2.28 ERA) to the mound tonight to try and restore order and even the series in Kansas City.

When right-hander Dean Kremer walked back-to-back batters in the last of the sixth with one out, he was allowed to get one more out and then pulled for lefty Keegan Akin with the O’s down 1-0 in the series opener.

A couple of groundballs found holes to plate three more runs and Kansas City was on its way to a five-run sixth and three-run seventh to post a 9-4 win over the Orioles.

The Royals (13-7) lost their first two home games of this season and have now won nine in a row at Kauffman Stadium. They have outscored their opponents 70-26 on the year at home and by 68-17 during the nine straight home wins.

Kansas City and Cleveland are tied for the MLB lead on the season with a plus-45 run differential.

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O's Cedric Mullins gets off to good start at the plate

mullins white

The Orioles series with the Twins this week at Camden Yards was a reminder of the 2021 season when Cedric Mullins produced the only 30-30 season (doubles and homers) in O’s history and finished ninth in the MVP voting.

That player may still be in there somewhere, whether he is flying across the outfield one night to make his Superman-like diving catch or hitting a walk-off homer two days later.

Mullins can make impactful plays on offense and defense and even last year, a year he produced just a league-average OPS of .721 and dealt with groin injuries, we saw examples of that.

Last Aug. 13 at Seattle, in an important series between two playoff contending teams, Mullins became the first player to both rob and hit a home run in the ninth inning or later of the same game over the last 10 seasons. And according to ESPN Stats & Info, that game marked his first career go-ahead homer in extra innings.

Also last year, during what was for him a down year, he hit for the cycle, had a five-hit game and hit two grand slams.

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O's game blog: The road trip begins at Kansas City

kremer @CLE

The Orioles begin a two-city road trip to Kansas City and Anaheim, Calif., tonight with three games versus the Royals and then three with the Angels starting Monday night.

The Orioles (12-6) are 4-2 on the road. They begin today ½-game behind the New York Yankees for the American League East lead. New York (13-6) will host Tampa Bay (11-9) this weekend.

Wednesday’s 4-2 win over Minnesota, via a Cedric Mullins’ two-run, walk-off homer, gave the Orioles a series sweep. And a four-game win streak in which they have outscored the opposition 28-13. The Orioles are 7-2 their past nine games.

In the season’s second series, the Orioles took two of three from the Royals at Oriole Park. They took the first and third games of that series with three-run comebacks for walk-off wins. The first on Jordan Westburg’s two-run homer and the next on James McCann’s two-run single.

The Orioles scored 22 runs in the series with Minnesota and have scored 57 runs the last nine games.

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A look at the O's early-season power surge

Mullins and Santander celebrate hr

The Orioles are mashing some home runs to start the 2024 season. Through Wednesday’s games, they ranked as the most homer-happy team in all of Major League Baseball.

They led the majors in homers and homers per game and actually, and yes, it’s very early, they are a record pace for Orioles homers.

The most any O’s team ever hit was the 1996 Birds with 257. At their current pace, if maintained, this team would hit 270.

And sure, maybe that pace won’t be maintained. But last year the O’s scored a lot of runs thanks in large measure to outstanding runners in scoring position hitting stats. 

By the way, this O’s group is faring well there too, third in the AL as of yesterday with a team average of .293 with RISP.

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Over six years later, Albert Suarez was back in the bigs, pitching the Orioles to a win

O's celebrate win

It has been an eventful home season for the Orioles. They began it by scoring 11 and 13 runs their first two games this year at the Yard. They had two walk-off wins at Camden Yards heading into yesterday’s game.

Now Oriole Park is home of the mound where 34-year-old right-hander Albert Suárez returned to the big leagues. He was last in the majors in 2017 with San Francisco and yesterday made his first big league appearance in 2,395 days.

Yes, it had been a minute, if over six years is that.

This game was special for Suárez, who spent time the last five seasons pitching in Japan and Korea. The Orioles signed him last Oct. 12 and he would get another shot to once again make a big league roster.

He had some impressive moments for the club in spring training and showed velocity he didn’t show with the Giants in 2016, when his fastball averaged 92.0 mph and a year later when it was at 93.5.

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O's game blog: Looking for a series sweep against Minnesota


With their 11-3 win over the Minnesota Twins last night coupled with Toronto’s 5-4 victory over the New York Yankees, the Orioles (11-6) moved to within ½ game of first place in the American League East.

After winning their first game of the year on March 28, the Orioles were tied for first place. They have not been in the AL East top spot since, but would be later today with a win and a New York loss at Toronto in a game beginning at 3:07 p.m.

The Orioles have one series sweep this year, when they won three in a row at Boston, and could match that today against the Twins. This would be Baltimore's first sweep of Minnesota since a three-game set at Target Field from July 7-9, 2023. The Orioles haven't swept the Twins at Oriole Park since a three-game set from April 4-7, 2016.

The Orioles had a season-high 15 hits last night and have had 11 hits or more in four consecutive games. In those games the team batting average is .342 with an OPS of 1.003 and Baltimore has scored 29 runs.

In the last eight games, the Orioles have scored 53 runs on 87 hits. The Orioles have hit 11 doubles, a triple and 18 homers in that span with a team batting average of .297 and .880 OPS. The O’s, who are 6-2 in this stretch, are scoring 6.6 runs per game during the run.

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Kyle Bradish rolls in first minor league rehab game (O's roll too)

Kyle Bradish

BOWIE. Md. – Orioles right-hander Kyle Bradish, who had not pitched in a game since the American League Division Series in October, took the mound beginning his minor league rehab assignment for Double-A Bowie against Altoona last night.

He said he would treat the rehab assignment like his spring training as he comes back from a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow that required a platelet-rich plasma injection.

Bradish’s “spring” is off to a great start.

He was dealing from his first pitch at Prince George’s Stadium. Touching 95 and 96 mph on the stadium radar gun, he allowed one line drive single and no runs in three scoreless innings. He walked no one and fanned four. He threw 44 pitches, 26 for strikes. He threw all of his pitches, getting strikeouts with three different offerings and got, by my count, 11 swinging strikes.

He looked in mid-season form.

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Kyle Bradish looks strong in scoreless rehab outing tonight at Bowie


BOWIE, Md. – It’s a significant step tonight for Orioles right-hander Kyle Bradish, who finished fourth last year for the American League Cy Young Award. He is making his first start in a game in 2024 on a minor league rehab assignment outing for the Double-A Bowie Baysox against Altoona, a Pittsburgh affiliate.

And in this outing, he looked like the 2023 Kyle Bradish, the pitcher we last saw in a game in the American League Division Series in October. He pitched three scoreless innings, allowing one hit, a single, with four strikeouts and no walks and touched 95 and 96 mph on the stadium radar gun.

Maybe even the Orioles could have not have expected much more or for Bradish to look this good, this fast. But he did.

His last start in a game was when he gave up two runs over 4 2/3 innings last Oct. 7 in Baltimore in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Texas Rangers.

Diagnosed in January with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, Bradish had a platelet-rich plasma injection to try to get himself back into the O’s rotation.

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O's game blog: Rodriguez on the mound as O's host Minnesota


After a 7-4 win over the Minnesota Twins Monday at Oriole Park, in a game in which the Orioles never trailed, they host Minnesota again tonight with a chance to win this series. 

The Orioles (10-6) are on a pace to win 101 games, matching their 2023 total, at this early stage of this season. The O’s begin play today 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the American League East lead. They are 6-4 at home and 5-1 in series-opening games.

The Orioles hit three homers last night. They have hit nine in their past three games, 14 in the last five games and 24 on the season. That is a total that leads the AL and is one behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for the major league lead. The Birds average 1.5 homers per game, second in the majors to Milwaukee's 1.6

The Orioles hit two or more homers eight times this season and they are 7-1 in those games.

The Baltimore offense is starting to pick up. In winning five of their past seven games, the Orioles have scored 42 runs while hitting 15 homers. In those games the team batting average is .283 with a .343 OBP, a .504 slugging and .847 OPS.

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