Fuller on rescuing players from "pain cave" and lots more

Austin Hays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Double barrel action in a bullpen is the term used when two relievers are warming at the same time. For Austin Hays, it’s the unfortunate process of receiving treatment for two ailments in the trainers’ room.

Hays didn’t play again last night due to bruised ribs and tightness in his back, but he’s avoided another trip to the injured list. His status remains day-to-day heading into the three-game series against the Braves at Camden Yards.

The ribs didn’t prevent Hays from serving as a defensive replacement in left field Saturday afternoon. However, the back flared up and cost him a chance to start Sunday.

As usual, the timing is rough.   

Hays can set an example for Cedric Mullins, who went into Sunday’s game batting .170 with a .522 OPS and was hitless in his last 25 at-bats before a single and triple provided some relief. Hays’ problems at the plate stemmed more from poor health, dating back to his illness in spring training that caused him to lose about 10 pounds and feel weak. He went on the injured list earlier this season with a calf strain and was day-to-day in the Rays series.

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Burnes extends quality streak and Orioles complete first four-game sweep at Tropicana Field (updated)

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Orioles spent their last eight games playing on artificial surfaces, starting in Toronto and shifting to Florida. There’s nothing fake about the overall results. What they did on the mound, at the plate and in the field.

It was real and it was often spectacular.

The first four-game sweep for the Orioles at Tropicana Field was cemented tonight with a 5-2 victory over the Rays before an announced crowd of 14,686. Gunnar Henderson hit another leadoff homer, Ryan O’Hearn drove in three runs, Corbin Burnes held the Rays to two unearned in seven innings and the club improved to 43-22.

The Orioles have won 14 of their last 18 and return home to face the Braves and Phillies in more traditional three-game sets. They’re packing serious momentum.

O’Hearn broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth with a two-run double off Ryan Pepiot. He pulled a changeup down the right field line with two outs, the eighth pitch of the at-bat. He worked reliever Kevin Kelly for nine in the seventh, fouling off six before pulling a sweeper into right field to score Henderson, who came within a triple of the cycle.

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O's game blog: Looking for a four-game sweep at the Trop

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The surging Orioles can complete a four-game sweep of the Rays tonight at Tropicana Field. If they get the sweep, it will be their fifth sweep of the year of at least three games. They are also looking for their second four-game sweep in the last five series.

The Orioles (42-22) begin play tonight 2.5 games back of the Yankees (46-21). New York begins a seven-game road trip tonight with the start of a four-game series at Kansas City.

The Orioles have wins by 6-3, 5-0 and 9-2 this series, outscoring Tampa Bay 20-5. The team has won three in a row, eight of 11 and 13 of its past 17 games.

They previously had three games sweeps at Boston April 9-11, versus Minnesota April 15-17 and at Cincinnati May 3-5. They took four in a row in Chicago against the White Sox from May 23-26.

The Orioles are 20-10 in road games. With a series victory secured this series, they are now 14-4-3 in series play for the season and are 6-2-2 in road series.

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Orioles notes on McCann catching Burnes, injury updates, starters for Braves series

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The choices were down to two. Adley Rutschman would be on the bench tonight or serve as designated hitter.

Both scenarios put James McCann behind the plate again for ace Corbin Burnes.

Rutschman caught the first three games of the series against the Rays, but the Burnes/McCann pairing seemed destined to happen anyway. Tonight marks the fifth consecutive Burnes start with McCann catching.

“It’s actually more coincidence than anything,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “I’m comfortable catching Adley with Burnes, too. It’s not anything about that. It’s just more kind of how it’s fallen, honestly, with kind of how we’ve been matched up opponent-wise and day games, etc. But Mac’s done a great job with Burnsie, also.”

McCann wasn’t ready to do a deep dive earlier today, saying, “I’m probably not the right one to ask.”

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O's partner with T. Rowe Price, tonight's lineups in series finale

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Orioles announced a multi-year partnership today with T. Rowe Price that makes the company “the exclusive investment and wealth management sponsor of the baseball club.”

A patch with the Baltimore-based investment firm’s ram logo will be worn on the right sleeve beginning Tuesday night for the series opener against the Braves at Camden Yards.

“We are ecstatic to enter into this partnership with T. Rowe Price and welcome them as the first organization to associate their name and brand on our uniforms,” Orioles senior vice president and chief revenue officer T.J. Brightman said in a statement. “This partnership acknowledges the strong Baltimore Orioles brand, and we are elated to bring together two Baltimore institutions to positively impact our Birdland community.”

“The future of the Baltimore Orioles and the City of Baltimore is bright,” control person David Rubenstein said in a statement. “We are delighted to welcome T. Rowe Price to Birdland at such an eventful time on and off the field. Our organizations share a dedication to hard work, innovation, professionalism, and integrity, and we have committed our long-term futures to this city. We look forward to a long, successful partnership as we work to bring the World Series trophy back to Baltimore.”

“T. Rowe Price has called Baltimore home since our founding. We are deeply committed to the City — as is the Orioles organization,” Rob Sharps, CEO and president of T. Rowe Price, said in a statement. “We are very excited to invest in our hometown team and our community, and we believe this partnership will help us attract more clients in the years to come.”

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A look at the O's offense during a 13-4 run and the strong AL East play

Adley Rutschman

The Orioles began play Sunday leading the majors in runs per game at 5.11 and they also led the majors in team slugging at .448 and in home runs with 100 even.

Then they went out and showed off that offense again in their latest win by 9-2 over the Tampa Bay Rays.

It was the first game in team history, which dates of course to 1954, where they produced three triples and a grand slam.

Against a team and organization where they once had a 2-27 run, the Orioles tonight can sweep their first-ever four-game series at Tropicana Field.

The Orioles (42-22) are 5-1 this year versus the Rays and 13-6 since the beginning of last year. They have won 13 of the past 18 meetings between the teams and are 22-13 the last 35 games against Tampa Bay. The Rays last series win against the Orioles came at home in August of 2022.

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Rodriguez hitless until sixth, Rutschman sets career high with six RBIs in 9-2 win (updated)

Adley Rutschman grand slam

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Grayson Rodriguez hopped into the driver’s seat today and took his turn cruising the dome. Adley Rutschman rode shotgun.

After watching teammate Kyle Bradish retire 18 batters in a row yesterday, Rodriguez disposed of the first 15 Rays and didn’t allow a hit until Yandy Díaz lined a two-out, full-count single into right-center field in the sixth.

Rodriguez threw a career-high 107 pitches in 5 2/3 innings, the last 10 to Brandon Lowe, who dumped a broken-bat RBI single into right field. He walked off the mound, head bowed, to a standing ovation from another huge turnout of Orioles fanatics.  

Rutschman brought them to their feet again. He called a good game and took over it.

Anthony Santander homered again leading off the top of the fourth inning, Rutschman put the game out of reach with a grand slam in the eighth, and the Orioles moved closer to a series sweep with a 9-2 victory over the Rays before an announced crowd of 20,386 at Tropicana Field.

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O's game blog: Rodriguez faces the Rays at The Trop

Grayson Rodriguez

When the Orioles just played in Toronto, they won the first two games of a four-game series, but lost the third and fourth games at Rogers Centre. With that memory, the O's take the field in St. Petersburg today against the Rays after wins in the first two games of another series.

The Orioles have now gone 21 straight series versus American League East teams without losing one. They have won 14 and tied six in this span. This series will end no worse than a tie, but one more victory and the O's will win another AL East series.

At 15-6 (.714), the Orioles are the only team in the division with a winning record against the division. The Yankees are 8-8, the Blue Jays are 9-10, the Red Sox are 5-8 and the Rays are 10-15.

This year, the Birds are 3-3 against Toronto, 4-1 versus Tampa Bay, 5-1 against Boston and 3-1 against New York.

The Orioles have won seven of their last 10 games, eight of 12, and 12 of 16. At 41-22 (.651), the Birds are tied with the Guardians for the third-best record in the major leagues behind the Yankees (.682, 45-21) and Phillies (.703, 45-19). Since the start of 2023, Baltimore is 142-83 (.631), the best winning percentage and most wins in the majors.

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Orioles and Rays lineups for third game of series

Grayson Rodriguez

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Kyle Stowers is out of the Orioles lineup this afternoon after leaving yesterday's game with a sore right elbow.

Cedric Mullins gets the start in center field, with the Orioles trying to claim another series against a division opponent. The worst they can do is a split.

Ryan Mountcastle is the designated hitter, with Ryan O’Hearn at first base. Jordan Westburg is at second base and Ramón Urías is at third. Colton Cowser, with his right calf wrapped, is in left field.

Austin Hays remains out of the lineup. He came off the bench yesterday, played left field and doubled.

O’Hearn has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games, batting .326 (15-for-46) with two doubles, three home runs, five RBIs, two walks and nine runs scored.

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It should be another year for the Orioles with multiple All-Stars (O's win again)

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From the 2017 through the 2022 seasons, the Orioles had just one player represent them at the All-Star Game. There was no game in 2020.

But last year, the club broke through in getting four players on the American League team in outfielder Austin Hays, catcher Adley Rutschman and relievers Félix Baustista and Yennier Cano.

The club could get four again, maybe even more. They should have three near-locks in Gunnar Henderson, Rutschman and pitcher Corbin Burnes to make the team, whether they get voted in or added later.

All-Star voting began Wednesday and phase one of the balloting runs through June 27. Click here to vote.

During the Toronto series, manager Brandon Hyde was asked if there is one player in particular he wants to push to make the game this summer, which will be played July 16 in Arlington, Texas.

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Making room for Mateo, Urías producing in spare role, O'Hearn's odd stat, Mountcastle's short home run

mateo

PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Orioles are inching closer to a potentially tough roster decision. It won’t be their first or last.

Jorge Mateo is eligible to return from the seven-day concussion injured list on Monday. Connor Norby had his contract selected last Monday. The team could just reverse it and option Norby, who singled yesterday and is 3-for-14 with a home run since his promotion.

The bolder move would be to option Cedric Mullins, who went 0-for-3 with a walk yesterday and is 0-for-24 and 1-for-31.

We don’t know whether the Orioles have reached that point or gotten anywhere near it.

Mullins fell behind two strikes in his first at-bat, worked the count to 2-2 and struck out on a 97.6 mph fastball from Taj Bradley. He struck out on three pitches in the fifth, the last a 97.1 mph fastball, and popped up in the seventh with the count 2-2. He was down 1-2 in the ninth before walking, and he scored on Gunnar Henderson’s three-run shot.

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O's game blog: Looking to keep it going at the Trop

Kyle Bradish

After a satisfying win in the series-opener on Friday night - they hit well with three more homers and pitched well, allowing just two earned runs - the Orioles look for another win this afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays.

In the latest solid outing for Baltimore pitchers, lefty Cole Irvin allowed two earned runs over 5 2/3 innings on 85 pitches. He is now 6-2 with a 2.87 ERA. Irvin now has enough innings to qualify for the American League leaders, and he ranks 10th in the AL in ERA while teammate Corbin Burnes is fifth at 2.26.

To qualify, a pitcher needs one inning per team game, so with the O's having played 62 games, Irvin just makes it today with 62 2/3.

The Orioles' team ERA is now 3.27, second-best in the American League and fourth-best in the majors.

The O's are really on a pitching roll over the past 35 games, with a team ERA of 2.80 that is third in the majors in that span behind the Yankees (2.51) and Phillies (2.55). The O's are 23-12 in this stretch of games.

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Pitch efficiency had Brandon Hyde raving about a pitcher in Toronto

Grayson Rodriguez

It was the starting pitching performance that had manager Brandon Hyde raving about his right-hander after the game in Toronto and even more the next day.

It was the work on Monday night of Grayson Rodriguez against the Blue Jays. And not because he blew hitters away or piled up strikeouts, or put up a scoreless outing, but because he got outs quickly. He was both good and very pitch-efficient.

Rodriguez went 6 2/3 innings at Rogers Centre, allowing seven hits and one earned run, a very solid outing with no walks and four strikeouts on 86 pitches. He was pitch-efficient especially early on that game, throwing 10 pitches in the first, 13 in the second and 13 more in the third inning to get his day started, needing just 36 pitches through three.

The skipper was a big fan of that outing.

“For me, he has taken enormous strides forward," Hyde said of Rodriguez. "Just from his fastball command, understanding how to pitch. You know the early, weak contact was just fantastic. He pitched with his fastball commanding it, not just overpowering people. You didn’t see 98 to 100 (mph), but he was throwing the ball where he wanted to with plenty of fastball. He is really starting to understand how to pitch and set up hitters to get guys early in the count to allow himself to go deeper in the game.

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Home runs by Santander, Mountcastle and Westburg lead Orioles to 6-3 win over Rays (updated)

santander homer black

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Anthony Santander made loud contact, paused to watch the ball begin its flight toward the right field seats, and heard the ovation as he rounded the bases with his 13th home run. Orioles fans packed the area behind the visiting dugout at Tropicana Field tonight, the usual turnout that makes the road venue feel like home – except for the catwalks, of course.

They stayed patient as the Rays fought back to tie and erupted again after Ryan Mountcastle broke it with a two-run shot in the fifth. And again after Jordan Westburg joined the double-digit home run club in the eighth.

And finally, when Ramón Urías squeezed a popup to end it.

Santander hit his fourth homer in the last seven games, Mountcastle bagged his fifth in the last seven, and the Orioles defeated the Rays 6-3 before an announced crowd of 17,822.

Westburg’s two-run shot to right field after Ryan O’Hearn’s leadoff double gave him 10 and made it easier for the Orioles to post their 40th victory. They also knocked the Rays (31-32) below .500 again.

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O's game blog: Another AL East series begins, this one with Tampa Bay

rutschman runs home @SD

The Orioles are 6-4 in a stretch of four straight series and 14 consecutive games versus American League East opponents. The Birds in this span went 2-1 at home versus Boston and Tampa Bay and then went 2-2 at Toronto. 

Tonight the Orioles (39-22) and Tampa Bay (31-31) open a four-game series at the Trop.

The Orioles have gone 20 straight series since early April of 2023, without losing one against a division opponent. In that time they have won 14 of those series and tied six. They are 43-22 (.662) in the games in this stretch.

The Orioles went 32-20 (.615) last season in the division and are now 13-6 (.684).

The Orioles hosted the Rays last weekend in Baltimore and won the first two games of the series. Going for a sweep last Sunday, they led 3-0 after four innings but lost that game 4-3.

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Orioles updates on rotation, Hays, Mateo, Bautista and more

Kyle Bradish white jersey

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Kyle Bradish threw a light bullpen session this afternoon and he’s starting Saturday afternoon against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Bradish is working on six days’ rest after starting last Saturday against the Rays at Camden Yards and allowing five runs and seven hits in 2 2/3 innings. He walked his last three batters.

The rest of the rotation is also confirmed. Grayson Rodriguez starts Sunday afternoon and Corbin Burnes starts Monday night, giving them an extra day with the Orioles in the midst of a brutal stretch that includes only one break in the schedule this month.

The Orioles host the Braves next week in a three-game series at Camden Yards. Albert Suárez and Cade Povich are lined up to start Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. However, the club could choose to move Suárez to the bullpen and give Povich the ball on regular rest following yesterday’s major league debut.

X-rays on Austin Hays’ rib cage came back negative but he’s out of tonight’s lineup.

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Orioles and Rays lineups to begin four-game series in St. Petersburg

irvin pitching gray

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Cole Irvin is starting for the Orioles tonight on normal rest, the only certainty in the rotation for the four-game series against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Irvin has allowed two runs in 11 1/3 innings since returning to the rotation, and he’s carrying a 2.61 ERA and 1.142 WHIP in nine starts. He faced the Rays on Sunday at Camden Yards and allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings. José Caballero led off the seventh with a homer.

Irvin has a 3.86 ERA and 1.169 WHIP in five career games (four starts) against the Rays. He’s surrendered six runs and 14 hits in 13 1/3 innings at Tropicana Field.

The starters for the next three games remain TBA.

Jordan Westburg is starting at second base and Ramón Urías is at third. Connor Norby goes to the bench.

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More on Povich's debut, Rutschman's two-homer game and the Toronto series

Adley Rutschman

TORONTO – For an Orioles team that hit seven homers and scored 17 runs in the first two games of the Toronto series, it was disappointing when the team then went a stretch of 12 innings without a run until the sixth inning yesterday.

Four late runs – two in the eighth and ninth innings – turned a 6-1 loss into one where the score was 6-5, Toronto. So the Birds lost a pair of one-run games to split the four-game series.

After the game they flew back to the United States, destination Tampa-St. Pete, for four games with the Rays beginning tonight.

The Orioles are now 39-22 overall. They are 13-6 versus AL East opponents and they are now 6-4 during a 14-game stretch against division opponents that ends with the series in Tampa.

The postgame comments yesterday showed the Orioles heaping plenty of praise on lefty Cade Povich after his MLB debut. The box score showed he gave up six runs over 5 1/3 innings. But the club knows that a three-run homer just made it out, a couple of bloops led to another run and two runs scored charged to his record after he left the game.

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O's game blog: Cade Povich makes his MLB debut in the Toronto series finale

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TORONTO - O's fans get to see a major league debut today as lefty Cade Povich gets the start for the Orioles in the fourth and final game of their series in Toronto.

Povich has gone 5-1 with a 3.18 ERA in 11 Triple-A starts this season with Norfolk. Over 56 2/3 innings he has allowed 42 hits, including five home runs, and recorded 21 walks and 75 strikeouts for a 3.3 walk rate and 11.9 K rate. He has given up 1.11 WHIP and a .203 opponent average with the Tides.

Povich, originally a third-round pick by Minnesota in the 2021 MLB Draft out of Nebraska, got off to a great start to his 2024 season. In five April starts with Norfolk, he was 2-1 with a 1.03 ERA and 0.76 WHIP.

He took a 2.35 ERA into his most recent start Friday versus Gwinnett, but allowed a season-high six runs on four hits over three innings in easily his poorest start of this season.

But he is one of the club’s top pitching prospects and ranked No. 8 on the O’s top 30 by Baseball America, and No. 9 via MLBPipeline.com.

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O's select Povich contract

Orioles-Logo

The Orioles have made the following roster moves:

  • Selected the contract of LHP Cade Povich from Triple-A Norfolk. He will start today’s game against Toronto, which will be his Major League debut. He will wear No. 37.
  • Optioned LHP Nick Vespi to Triple-A Norfolk.

The Orioles’ 40-man roster currently has 40 players.

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