O's game blog: Kyle Bradish faces first-place Minnesota

When the Orioles traded right-hander Dylan Bundy to the Los Angeles Angels on Dec. 4, 2019, one of four pitchers they got back was right-hander Kyle Bradish. Tonight Bradish, in his second big league start, pitches against Bundy at Oriole Park.

Bradish (0-1, 3.00 ERA) and Bundy (3-1, 2.95 ERA) square off in the third game of the series between the O's and first-place Minnesota at Camden Yards. The Twins have pitched their way to 2-1 and 7-2 wins to start this four-game set as they improved to 15-9 overall and to 11-1 the last 12 games.

The Twins pitching staff ranks second in the American League and fourth in the majors with a team ERA of 3.01. And they are first in the AL and third in the big leagues with a rotation ERA of 2.63. Minnesota pitchers have allowed just 25 runs the last 12 games.

And they are facing an O’s offense that has struggled much of the year. The Orioles have scored fewer than three runs in 14 of their 24 games this season and four times the past five games. The Orioles rank 30th in the majors with a team slugging percentage of .311 and are 28th in OPS at .609. They are averaging only 3.08 runs per game.

Bradish made his big league debut on Friday and went six innings, allowing five hits and three runs (two earned) against Boston with one walk and two strikeouts. He threw 81 pitches in a 3-1 loss. Bradish used his four-seam fastball 45 times that night, at an average velocity of 94.1 mph, which topped at 97.2. He used his slider 20 times, curveball nine times and changeup seven.

Lefty batters went 2-for-10 against him and right-handed batters were 3-for-12 with a homer.

Before his call to the majors, Bradish went 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA in three Triple-A starts this year. He is ranked as the Orioles' No. 9 prospect via Baseball America and No. 10 by MLBPipeline.com.

In 15 innings at Norfolk - where he went four, five and six innings in successive outings - he allowed eight hits and two earned runs with three walks to 17 strikeouts. He posted a 0.73 WHIP and .148 batting average against.

Bradish ended last year pitching on a roll for Norfolk, giving up two earned runs in 20 innings over his last four starts. So in his past seven Triple-A starts dating to last year, he has a 1.03 ERA, allowing 21 hits in 35 innings with nine walks to 41 strikeouts.

Bundy has thrown 21 1/3 innings this season, allowing seven runs and 17 hits, with three walks to 19 strikeouts. He has allowed 0.938 WHIP and recorded a 1.3 walk rate and 8.0 K rate.

In Bundy’s first three starts, he gave up just one run over 15 1/3 innings for an ERA of 0.59. But last Friday on the road against Tampa Bay he gave up six runs and seven hits in six innings, allowing two home runs on 94 pitches. The Twins are 3-1 in his outings.

The Orioles made Bundy the No. 4 overall pick in the 2011 draft. And then he went 38-45 with a 4.67 ERA and 1.330 WHIP in 792 innings with the club through the 2019 season. In 2020 with the Angels he was 6-3 with a 3.29 ERA in the shortened season and finished ninth in the AL Cy Young Award voting. But last year he struggled, going 2-9 with a 6.06 ERA in 23 games.

Baltimore's Anthony Santander has reached base safely in 23 of his 24 games. The 23 games reaching are tied with Atlanta’s Matt Olson for the most in the majors. His 40 times on base are tied for the third-most in the AL. Santander is slashing .237/.404/.382 with three home runs, two doubles and 17 walks to 19 strikeouts. He is the only qualified player in the major leagues with an on-base percentage of at least .400 and a batting average less than .240, and he ranks second in the AL and tied for fourth in the bigs with 17 walks.



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