The Orioles' Ryan Mountcastle is mostly fine today after rolling his ankle during a stolen base of second in the first inning of Game 2 last night. Mountcastle stayed in the game then and is back in the lineup today, batting fifth as the DH in the series finale with Kansas City.
“Yeah, watching that, that didn’t looked good. But we dodged a bullet there and he feels good today. Think a little bit sore, but not too bad,” manager Brandon Hyde said of Mountcastle, who is 9-for-17 over his past four games.
The Orioles will start right-handers Kyle Bradish and Spenser Watkins in the first two games of their series at St. Louis, which begins tomorrow night. But Thursday is TBA and they seem unlikely to bring Jordan Lyles or Bruce Zimmermann back on short rest. After rainouts over the weekend and a doubleheader Sunday, Thursday likely will not feature someone currently in the rotation.
“I think we’re seeing how the next couple of days go and then we’ll figure it out. Right now, we have no idea at this point. We’ll weigh some options here the next couple of days,” Hyde said this morning.
Hyde needed his bullpen for only 4 2/3 innings in Sunday’s doubleheader and the ‘pen is in good shape today. He said all pitchers used Sunday are available today.
Right-hander Tyler Wells (0-2, 4.50 ERA) will make his sixth start today. In his past two starts, Wells has allowed just three runs in 10 innings with a 2.70 ERA. He has gone five innings the last two times out, but the Orioles are still closely monitoring his innings and he has yet to throw past 72 pitches.
“There are a lot of factors when Wellsy starts,” said Hyde. “One, he did have an extra day (this time) because of the rainout. That is helpful and he’ll also have an extra day after this start. But yeah, we weigh a lot of things going into his start. He did have that 70-something pitch outing in New York. We extended him further than he’s ever been before. Cut him a little back this last start from a pitches standpoint. Could see him extended a little bit today because of that. Kind of see how the game goes. Probably go more on pitches than innings for today.”
Center fielder Cedric Mullins has now hit safely in eight straight games – the longest run by an Oriole in 2022. He is batting .367 (13-for-36) during this stretch with seven extra-base hits, including five doubles, two homers and four RBIs. Mullins has five multi-hit games in the span.
When this streak began he was hitting .195/.295/.338/ with an OPS .633. Now he is batting .248/.320/.442/ with an OPS of .762 on the season.
Meanwhile, Austin Hays and Mountcastle each had four-hit games in Sunday’s Game 1 and they combined to go 10-for-16 in the doubleheader.
Hays and Mountcastle became the first O’s teammates with at least four hits each in a game since Aug. 30, 2019 at Kansas City when Hanser Alberto went 5-for-6 and Pedro Severino went 4-for-6, and at home for the first time since Aug. 6, 2017 when Manny Machado went 4-for-5 and Joey Rickard went 4-for-4.
Over his past five games, Hays is batting 10-for-18. Over his last 10 games, he is batting .447 with an OPS of 1.120, going 17-for-38. Hays has now raised his OPS for the season to .876.
Mountcastle, who had a two-homer game in Thursday’s win over Minnesota, has raised his OPS in the last four games from .568 to .722 for the year.
The Orioles are batting .294/.341/.462 as a team this month, holding the best batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS in the American League in May. The O's also have the second-best on-base percentage in the AL this month. Washington is the only team with a better batting average, Milwaukee is the only team with a higher slugging percentage, and the Nationals and Brewers are the only teams in the major leagues with a higher OPS since May 1.