O's game blog: Chance for the homestand to start with three-game sweep

henderson at home orange

As the Orioles have now opened a 1.5-game lead atop the American League East and have started the season’s longest homestand with two wins, today they have a chance for another series sweep.

Their third series sweep of the year came last weekend at Cincinnati and now they can add their fourth today. April 9-11 they won three straight at Boston to sweep the Red Sox by a 23-10 score. April 15-17 at home they swept Minnesota by a combined 22-9 score. Last weekend their starting pitchers threw a combined 19 1/3 scoreless innings at Great American Ball Park as they swept the Reds by a 16-2 score.

Friday they beat Arizona by 4-2 and yesterday they won 5-4 in 11 innings. Two of their past three wins have come via extra innings.

The Orioles hit two homers in Saturday’s win and lead the majors with 59 with the Dodgers next with 56. Gunnar Henderson hit his 12th homer of the year on Saturday and he is tied for the major league lead with Atlanta’s Marcell Ozuna and Houston’s Kyle Tucker.

Henderson hit 28 homers last year in 622 plate appearances or one every 22.2 PAs. This year that ratio is one every 14.3 with 12 in 172 plate appearances.

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Orioles offense loses steam in 4-1 loss, Wells retires 14 in a row, McKenna and Maton clear waivers (updated)

Tyler Wells

The Orioles won’t go 162-0. Seemed like a long shot anyway.

Tyler Wells was charged with three earned runs and four total today in the first two innings before plowing through the Angels order, and a red-hot offense cooled in a 4-1 loss to the Angels before an announced crowd of 20,576 at Camden Yards.

A season-opening sweep was denied.

Wells got into a groove and retired the last 14 batters he faced after Zach Neto’s run-scoring single in the second. He struck out the side in the sixth, giving him seven on the day, with five hits and no walks.

A pitch count of 82 over six innings included 60 strikes. His strikeouts in the sixth came on his changeup, cutter and fastball.

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Orioles sign Kemp to major league deal

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The Orioles left their spring training complex but aren’t done conducting business.

They announced today that they’ve signed Tony Kemp to a 2024 major league contract and designated infielder Nick Maton for assignment.

The 40-man roster remains full.

Kemp, 32, signed with the Reds in February and was released less than a month later after exercising the opt-out clause in his contract. He appeared in eight exhibition games and went 7-for-21 with a double, triple, home run and five RBIs.

The Reds’ deal reportedly would have paid Kemp $1.75 million if he made the Opening Day roster, with $750,000 in bonuses available.

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Cowser makes Orioles roster for Opening Day

Colton Cowser gray

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Orioles will have at least one rookie on their Opening Day roster.

Outfielder Colton Cowser found out after today’s 8-3 victory over the Twins that he’s going to Baltimore.

Standing outside the clubhouse after showering and putting on his street clothes, Cowser said, “I was just informed that I made the club. I’m excited.”

Cowser stopped, turned to a team official and asked, “Was I supposed to say that?”

“OK, all right,” he said after receiving approval. “I didn’t know.”

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A recap and review of recent Orioles activity

Livan Soto Angels jersey

Five more days.

Orioles pitchers and catchers must report to the Ed Smith Stadium complex by Wednesday, a deadline that doesn’t create a frantic race to the finish line. The complex already has activity. Early arrivals are the norm.

But that’s when it must happen, followed the next morning by the first workout and farmer's tan.

Perhaps the Orioles will quiet the roster churn. They’ve stayed busy, with No. 1 starter Corbin Burnes the major move but the utility competition increasing with Wednesday night’s trade for Nick Maton and Thursday afternoon’s waiver claim of Liván Soto.

Every announcement can lead to a question. Let’s begin with Maton.

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After Burnes addition, how does O's rotation stack up?

Grayson Rodriguez

Now that they have added the 2021 National League Cy Young award winner, right-hander Corbin Burnes, just how good is the Orioles rotation? Does it stack up among the top groups in the American League?

A discussion of this on MLB Network this week led the analysts to ponder that question and believe the answer is likely yes.

They listed a graphic of “notable 2024 projected rotations" in the American League, listing in no particular order, Seattle, Baltimore, New York, Houston and Toronto.

Here are the pitchers projected to be in all five:

Seattle: Luis Castillo, George Kirby, Logan Gilbert, Bryce Miller and Bryan Woo

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