BOWIE, Md. - Adley Rutschman was the clutch man again for the Orioles.
The Orioles are now 5-0 this year in series-opening games after posting a come-from-behind 6-3 win over the White Sox in Chicago. Rutschman’s bases-loaded double to left center field in the seventh inning provided Baltimore a 4-3 lead and the O’s bullpen combined for 3 2/3 scoreless after Tyler Wells exited.
Nice start to a road trip and the Orioles, at 8-6. are two games over the .500 mark for the first time. They have won four of five games.
Rutschman now in his career with the bases loaded is 3-for-8 with two doubles and nine RBIs.
“Adley just doing what he's been doing, just getting huge hits for us," said manager Brandon Hyde. "Getting an 0-2 mistake and putting the ball in the gap."
Added Wells: "Adley is Superman right now. He's done such a great job for us behind the plate, at the plate as a hitter. I can't say enough good things about him. He's done an incredible job."
The Orioles have scored 14 runs the last two games, 35 in the last five and scored six runs or more for the seventh time. They allowed three runs or less for the fourth time and are 4-0 in those games.
Meanwhile, in Bowie: Orioles right-hander Kyle Bradish said he came through his rehab outing with Double-A Bowie just fine last night. He said his right foot which had him on the injured list is completely healed and he’s ready to re-enter the Baltimore rotation. He can do that on Wednesday at Nats Park when he is first eligible to come off the IL.
Bradish pitched three scoreless to begin his outing and felt he was rolling pretty well at that point.
“Came out the gates really good,” Bradish said in the Baysox clubhouse. “Second inning had some issues with my slider. Not that I’m worried about it because I figured it out later. I think I settled in well. Fourth inning had some bad luck and then just kind threw a 1-0 fastball and he’s a good hitter and he took care of it.”
He is Akron's Aaron Bracho who drilled a three-run homer to right off Bradish, who threw 82 pitches, 51 for strikes and was throwing his fastball between 94 and 96 mph per a scout’s radar gun.
Over five innings, Bradish allowed three hits and four runs (three earned) with one walk and five strikeouts.
Bradish said his foot is now 100 percent and there were no issues with it last night.
“No more bruising, doesn’t hurt to the touch anymore, so we’re good to go.”
So now we wait to see when the O’s will have him go. And next Wednesday seems likely. He was dealing big time in Texas in that April 3 start until he took a Jonah Heim liner off his foot.
“I would say for my start in Texas that was about the best I ever felt going into a game. Pregame bullpen really good. First inning really good, I was commanding all the zones, all my pitches. Little different today, it felt like I hadn’t thrown for a while but once I settled in I felt good.”
Bradish is back and feeling good and his next start should be back with the Orioles.
Bowie lost the game 7-5 to Akron, but Heston Kjerstad homered in the first inning. It was his second in two nights and fourth in seven games this year.
McDermott off to good start for Baysox: He is one of the two pitchers the Orioles got in the three-team trade last Aug. 1 that sent Trey Mancini to the Houston Astros. And right-hander Chayce McDermott, touching 97 and 98 mph with his fastball, is off to a fast start in 2023 for Bowie.
After the trade last season, he went 1-1 with a 6.08 ERA for Bowie and walked 20 in 26 2/3 innings. Through two games this year he is 1-0 with an ERA of 0.00, throwing nine scoreless innings on three hits. He has walked four with 12 strikeouts, showing a fastball that sits in the 93 to 95 mph range.
“He is attacking the zone, pitching ahead and throwing strikes,” Bowie manager Kyle Moore said before Friday’s game. “Last year he pitched too often from behind. But now he is filling up the zone. Chris Holt (Orioles director of pitching) really sold that this year in big league spring training and in our minor leagues. That we are going to attack the zone period. That was the message and McDermott is putting that into play.”
McDermott, 24, was Houston’s fourth-round selection out of Ball State in 2021. For 134 career minor league innings, he has a 5.3 walk rate that he needs to work on but a fantastic 14.2 strikeout rate.
“He is throwing the ball great,” Bowie pitching coach Forrest Herrmann said. “Working on some consistency with his delivery. Great job to start the season. Worked this offseason on a splitter and has deployed that against some lefties. Exciting start for him.”
I asked Herrmann about that strong career K rate.
“His pitch quality, his stuff is high end, it’s electric,” he said. “He has a lot of different ways to beat guys with different pitches and different attack plans, however, he wants to go after the hitters," he said.
Bowie has gotten off to a pretty decent start on the mound. The Baysox have about nine pitchers throwing starter-type innings and we often see two pitchers in one game to get their work in. Bowie's staff ERA of 2.63 heading into last night ranked third-best in the Eastern League.