Bradish tosses seven no-hit innings and Rutschman and Cowser homer to complete four-game sweep (updated)

CHICAGO – Get the rain delay out of the way first, this one lasting 1 hour and 40 minutes. Send Kyle Bradish to the mound. Try to complete the first four-game sweep against the White Sox since 1995.

Try to do it before the weather takes another nasty turn.

Who knew that Bradish would be nastier?

Bradish didn’t allow a hit for seven innings, but the combined attempt at history failed when Danny Mendick came off the bench in the eighth and belted a leadoff home run against Danny Coulombe.

The Orioles didn’t get their seventh no-hitter. No matter. They left town with a 4-1 victory over the White Sox before an announced crowd of 14,992 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Bradish, who finished four in Cy Young voting in the American League last season, matched his career high with 11 strikeouts. He also was the first Oriole to throw 103 pitches, and that count led to his removal.

"No choice there, unfortunately," said manager Brandon Hyde. "Just with, it's 103 pitches. He hasn't got that far, and coming off an elbow strain early on and the whole thing. That's difficult because you want to see him stay out there and he's thrown the ball so great. He was absolutely fantastic and it's great to get a sweep here."

"I kind of figured coming off 103 pitches or whatever, especially coming off an elbow injury," Bradish said. "I think once you get to the 100-mark, finishing an inning is where you're at."

Coulombe retired the next two batters and Yennier Cano put away the only one he faced to pass the lead to Craig Kimbrel, who retired the side in order and registered his 12th save this season and 429th in his career.

John Means tossed the last no-hitter on May 5, 2021 in Seattle. Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson combined on one July 13, 1991 in Oakland. Jim Palmer no-hit the Athletics on Aug. 13, 1969, Tom Phoebus no-hit the Red Sox on April 27, 1968, Steve Barber and Stu Miller combined to no-hit the Tigers on April 30, 1967, and Hoyt Wilhelm no-hit the Yankees on Sept. 20, 1958.

Means didn’t allow a hit for 6 2/3 innings on Sept. 23, 2023 in Cleveland, and no other Orioles pitcher came that close until today. Jason Hammel was the last right-hander with a no-hit bid of seven or more innings on April 8, 2012 versus the Twins.

All the more impressive is how Bradish began the season on the injured list after his January diagnosis of a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He didn’t make his first start until May 2 and hadn’t gone more than five innings in four outings.

"He's got no-hit stuff," Hyde said. "I said it actually in St. Louis because he's so hard to hit because the fastball goes in two different directions. And we play really good defense, also. He can punch guys out, he can get weak contact and get ground balls. He did that today."

No-hit stuff, yes, but Bradish wasn't ready to place today's outing on a pedestal.

"I wouldn't say I had my best stuff. I mean, I walked four guys and pregame bullpen wasn't great, but that happens sometimes," he said.

"I was able to execute pitches when I needed to. Had some double plays there. Mac (James McCann) had good fingers back there."

Bradish wasn't thinking no-hitter until he headed to the dugout for the final time. He must not have peeked at the scoreboard.

"Four walks kind of puts you out of that conversation," he said. "When I left the game, felt good with the bullpen. Pinch-hit home run happens, it's baseball. But overall, a four-game sweep is tough to do, so I'm glad we got the win."

McCann said he started to consider the possibility of a no-hitter in the fifth inning.

"The way Bradish was throwing, it was earlier than a lot of times," he said. "I just can't say enough good things about his location, his pitch usage, his pitch shapes. You name it, he had it today.

Corey Julks walked with one out in the seventh, Coulombe began to warm, and Bradish struck out the next two batters. Mednick homered on Coulombe’s fifth pitch, a cutter with the count 3-1.

"I knew they were going to pinch-hit a couple times, at least once," Hyde said. "Danny's been good against right-handers this year. Didn't get a call that would have changed the count and changed probably the approach there. Danny's been great for us and he'll be continuing in those spots."

Coulombe faced the media afterward and expressed his disappointment in the home run and what it meant under those special circumstances. No one was harder on Coulombe than himself.

"You obviously know what's going on," he said. "I feel sick because Bradish threw the heck out of the ball. He deserved that today.

"Of course, (a no-hitter) is on your mind. You just think, 'I've got to execute a pitch at a time.' The goal is to just have a clean outing. I just didn't execute a 3-1 pitch."

Coulombe doubled back later to his failure. He couldn't let it go.

"I'm pissed off," he said. "Honestly, I'm just pissed off at myself. I feel sick. He deserved that today and I just didn't do my job today."

Teammates rallied around Coulombe, one of the more popular players in the clubhouse. Someone they appreciate as an important, high-leverage reliever in the bullpen.

"Tip my cap to Bradish and then hats off to Danny, too," McCann said. "I know he feels terrible about giving up the hit. ... Danny's been lights out for us all year and I think he wishes he could have that pitch back, but it is what it is."

Garrett Crochet retired the first 11 Orioles before Ryan Mountcastle poked a cutter down the right-field line for a double. Just making contact was noteworthy.

Jordan Westburg singled with one out in the sixth and Adley Rutschman hit his 10th home run, a 400-foot shot to left field. Colton Cowser homered to the opposite field off Michael Soroka leading off the eighth.

McCann has a sacrifice fly in the ninth after pinch-runner Cedric Mullins stole second base and went to third on a throwing error, and Jorge Mateo walked and stole second.

The sweep improved the Orioles’ record to 33-18. Nice bounce back from the series in St. Louis.

"I'm proud of our guys," Hyde said. "It's been a lot of sitting around and waiting and delays. You can kind of get complacent, you can get flat really easily, and I feel like almost every game in this series we had some sort of weather issue. So I give our guys a lot of credit, the way this road trip started. The St. Louis series sucked and we didn't play real well and didn't get any break, and then we come here and win four games. That's huge."

The White Sox put a runner on base in each of the first four innings – three walks and Gunnar Henderson’s fielding error. Bradish had his first clean inning in the fifth, beginning with a strikeout and ending with Henderson ranging up the middle to nab Zach Remillard’s ground and throwing on a run.

The nine pitches left Bradish at 65.  

He struck out two more in the sixth, pounding his fist in his glove after disposing of Andrew Vaughn.

"It means a lot just getting back to kind of where I need to be and where I was last year," said Bradish, who avoided surgery after having a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow. "That's just a testament to the hard work that I put in with the rehab and where I've been at gradually getting better each start."

Crochet hadn’t allowed a run in his last three starts totaling 17 innings and carried a shutout into the sixth today. He was removed after the inning.

Crochet struck out five of the first six batters. The teams combined for 12 through the third. Crochet registered two more in the fourth, including Anthony Santander after Mountcastle’s double and a walk to Henderson.

Before today, Crochet retired all six Orioles he faced over two relief appearances. The streak ended at 17.

"That was two enormous arms," Hyde said.

Bradish and Crochet work out together in the offseason. Bradish knows what his friend is capable of doing.

"I was trying to go out there and match him," Bradish said. "He's a great pitcher and a great guy, too."

The Orioles struck out 16 times today, with Crochet responsible for 11.

"We got lucky that Rutsch kind of jumped on a heater there for a two-run homer because he's really tough to hit," Hyde said.

McCann, who’s caught two no-hitters, ran the count full with two outs in the fifth. On the verge of drawing his first walk in 78 plate appearances, he lined to Julks, who made a sliding catch in left to end the fifth. The exit velocity was 105.3. The game remained scoreless.

It wouldn’t stay that way in the sixth. Bradish wouldn’t give up a hit.

History almost was made in Chicago. The rain couldn’t touch it.

"Obviously, his stuff is what it is, it's nasty," McCann said. "But I think the biggest thing with him is learning who he is as a pitcher and understanding how to use his nasty stuff to get big league hitters out. As crazy as it sounds, it doesn't matter how nasty you are in the big leagues. The hitters are just as nasty, right. He's figuring out how to use his stuff to get the best of the best out, and it's been a lot of fun to see that maturation process."

"He's an ace, one of the best in the league," Coulombe said. "Man, the way he commanded his sinker today was just impressive. McCann called a great game. He's got top-five stuff in baseball. He's impressive. And he's an even better teammate and individual."

* Here are the starters for the series against the Red Sox at Camden Yards:

Monday: LHP Cole Irvin vs. RHP Cooper Criswell
Tuesday: RHP Grayson Rodriguez vs. RHP Brayan Bello
Wednesday: RHP Corbin Burnes vs. RHP Kutter Crawford

* Triple-A Norfolk’s Terrin Vavra had an RBI single today and hit a two-run homer to straightaway center field, and Nick Maton delivered a two-run single and a solo homer. Vavra had a grand slam and five RBIs on Friday.

Vavra started at second base. Jackson Holliday pinch-hit for Errol Robinson in the sixth and struck out, but he had a run-scoring single in the ninth.

Connor Norby collected two more hits. Maverick Handley delivered a two-run, game-tying single in the ninth before Holliday’s at-bat.

Justin Armbruester surrendered three straight home runs in the second inning. He walked three and struck out seven in three innings. But Trey McGough, the former Rule 5 pick in the Triple-A phase, tossed three scoreless and hitless innings. Bryan Baker allowed three runs and three hits in the eighth and has an 8.47 ERA, but he also got credited with the win.

Dylan Beavers hit a three-run homer for Double-A Bowie and Anthony Servideo had a solo shot and a run-scoring single. John Rhodes doubled twice and singled. Samuel Basallo had an RBI single in the eighth.

Trace Bright allowed two runs (one earned) and struck out five in 4 2/3 innings.

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