Orioles pregame notes on weather, rotation, Cowser, Kemp and more

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The Orioles don’t know if they’re going to start tonight’s game on time. They don’t know if play will be interrupted.

All they can do is try.

Manager Brandon Hyde was asked whether he gets “anxious” during these moments. If he worries about his pitching and other potential complications.

This isn’t his first lousy forecast.

“Well, you can only control what you can control. I can’t control the weather,” he replied, trying to suppress a grin.

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Cowser and Kemp crack Orioles lineup

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Colton Cowser gets his first start tonight if the weather allows the Orioles to continue their series against the Royals at Camden Yards following last night’s walk-off homer from Jordan Westburg.

Cowser is playing left field. Austin Hays goes to the bench.

Westburg stays in the lineup, starting at third base. Tony Kemp gets his first start at second.

Jorge Mateo and Ramón Urías are on the bench with Hays.

Nice depth around here.

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Adam Frazier on 2024 and O's future: "The sky is the limit"

Gunnar Henderson and Adam Frazier

He was back playing second base at Camden Yards last night. But this time, Adam Frazier was not playing for, but rather against the Orioles.

Frazier enjoyed his time as an Oriole and was a key contributor to a 101-win team that won a division championship.

He has high praise for pretty much everything Oriole – especially his former teammates, manager Brandon Hyde and the Baltimore coaching staff.

“The whole staff really from (manager Brandon) Hyde on down, the hitting side, everything. Really bonded with those guys. The preparation that they were able to give us day in and day out, the (scouting) reports, it was top notch.

“You come to the Yard every day and you didn’t have to worry about this or that. It was just - take care of your business, help each other out and go win a game. It’s very refreshing. Some places I have been over my career, it hasn’t always been about that. It’s top notch,” said Frazier.

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O's game blog: The series with the Kansas City Royals begins

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The Orioles and Kansas City Royals may be forced to dodge some raindrops the next few days, but they are scheduled to begin a three-game series tonight at Camden Yards.

The Orioles (2-1) are a game and a half back of the 4-0 New York Yankees for the American League East lead. They opened the season with wins by 11-3 and 13-4 scores over the Los Angeles Angels before they were held to three hits in Sunday's 4-1 loss.

Kansas City scored big in its third game after losing the first two to Minnesota by 4-1 and 5-1 scores before Sunday's 11-0 win.

The Orioles rank fourth in the AL in team batting average (.267) and OBP (.347). They are third in slugging (.475) and third in OPS (.823) behind only Texas (.891) and Cleveland (.832).

The O's will travel to Kansas City for three games from April 19-21. The Birds went 5-1 against the Royals last year; they took two out of three at Kauffman Stadium from May 2-4 before completing a three-game sweep in Baltimore from June 9-11.

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Gunnar Henderson on hitting leadoff and Adam Frazier on return to Baltimore

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Gunnar Henderson hit .197 last April. That is not happening this year.

He is 4-for-10 to start the new year, with a triple, homer and four RBIs. His three-game OPS is 1.438.

And here is the part that should worry opposing pitchers: He is getting more and more comfortable batting leadoff, as he has done the first three games and will do again tonight versus Kansas City.

“It’s growing on me. I don’t mind it now,” Henderson said before tonight’s game. “I was always hitting in the two or three hole minor leagues, and then when I got up here started hitting leadoff, and it has been growing on me.

“Just think I’m getting more comfortable with it. Just having to be ready, get out there a little earlier on the road. Just be aware of the time before the game. On the road you have to hit first and get out there earlier and be ready.”

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A few quick takes from the O's winning weekend that began the 2024 season

Gunnar Henderson

Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Angels meant the Orioles got a series win, but not a series sweep to start the 2024 season.

After scoring 24 runs on 24 hits and going 9-for-21 with runners in scoring position in wins Thursday and Saturday, they went 3-for-30 at-bat on Sunday and lost 4-1.

But in scoring 11, 13 and one run in those games the O’s tied a team record for most runs through a season’s first three games. The 2006 club scored 25 runs first and that was matched by this year’s club.

With eight more strikeouts Sunday, the O’s staff fanned 35 (against just five walks) in the series. The 35 strikeouts also tied a club record for the first three games. The 2016 O’s did it first and this club matched them.

For the first time in team history, O’s starting pitchers recorded at least seven strikeouts in each of the first three games. Corbin Burnes, Grayson Rodriguez and Tyler Wells combined to allow five earned runs over 18 innings with one walk and 27 strikeouts. Wells settled down nicely yesterday after a shaky start and it was nice to see him back in the rotation.

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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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O's game blog: Birds look for a series sweep of the Angels at the Yard

Anthony Santander

The Orioles (2-0), who had 10 series sweeps in the 2023 season, look for their first of the new season when they host the Angels (0-2) at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

It's the wrap-up game of a season-opening six-game homestand that continues Monday night when Kansas City visits the Yard.

The O's beat the Angels 11-3 Thursday and 13-4 last night. The O's have only trailed for a half-inning this year, when they were behind 1-0 after the top of the first Opening Day. They have scored two runs in each of their first-inning at-bats in this series.

They led 7-1 after the fourth inning Thursday and 3-1 on Saturday through five innings before they scored nine runs in the last of the sixth. The nine runs came before one out was recorded. Per Elias Sports Bureau, the O's had not scored nine runs in an inning before an out was made since at least 1957.

The 24 runs scored are the second-most the Orioles have scored in their first two games of a campaign in club history (25, 2006). On the mound, their 27 strikeouts are the most to begin a season since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954. The previous most was 23 in the 2016 season. 

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Orioles recall Jonathan Heasley, place Cionel Pérez on 15-day injured list

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The Orioles have made the following roster moves:

  • Recalled RHP Jonathan Heasley from Triple-A Norfolk.
  • Placed LHP Cionel Pérez on the 15-day Injured List with a right oblique strain.
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Orioles and Angels lineups in series finale (Pérez goes on IL)

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The Orioles go for the sweep this afternoon with Jordan Westburg in his third starting role in three games.

Westburg is playing third base after serving as designated hitter and playing second. He also moved over to shortstop last night in the ninth inning.

Ramón Urías goes to the bench today, with Jorge Mateo at second base.

Adley Rutschman is the designated hitter. Gunnar Henderson stays atop the order, with Cedric Mullins batting seventh.

Tyler Wells won the job as the No. 3 starter in spring training after allowing two runs in 14 1/3 innings. He’s made five career appearances against the Angels, including two starts, and allowed six runs with 14 strikeouts in 13 innings.

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Two games and 24 runs for both Baltimore and Norfolk

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What has been better for the Orioles so far, their starting pitching or their offense? Their starters have allowed two runs in two games with one walk and 20 strikeouts over 12 innings. The offense has produced 24 runs and 24 hits.

Flip a coin.

The Orioles go for a three-game sweep of the Angels today at Oriole Park after beating them 11-3 in the opener and 13-4 last night.

Leading 3-1 to the last of the sixth, the first nine O's to bat reached base and the Orioles scored nine runs before an out was recorded. 

Per Elias Sports Bureau, the O's had not scored nine-or-more runs in an inning before recording an out since at least 1957.

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Leftovers for breakfast

Jordan Westburg swing

Two games into the 2024 season won’t allow for an Orioles lineup pattern to develop. Much too soon for that.

What we did learn yesterday is that Jordan Westburg is projected to play a lot more barring a horrendous slump that would send him to the bench or the minors.

Westburg went from designated hitter on Opening Day against left-hander Patrick Sandoval to second baseman yesterday against right-hander Griffin Canning. The infield is deep and versatile, but Westburg will find his at-bats.

An 11-3 win in the opener included Westburg’s run-scoring single in the first inning that broke a 1-1 tie. He had a two-run single yesterday in the sixth, grounding a 95.7 mph fastball up the middle after seeing three sliders, a splitter and another slider.

“We’re going to give him a lot of starts here and I want to see him play,” said manager Brandon Hyde.

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Rodriguez gives Orioles another stellar start, Henderson almost hits for cycle, Pérez injured in 13-4 win (updated)

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Corbin Burnes raised the bar to ridiculous heights on Opening Day by retiring 18 of 19 batters and striking out 11, a club record for an Orioles debut.

Grayson Rodriguez could have wilted from the challenge this afternoon, questioning his ability to live up to the standard set by Burnes. Instead, he grabbed it with both hands and did chin-ups.

Intimidation is a one-way street with the Orioles.

Rodriguez held the Angels to one run in six innings and tied his career high with nine strikeouts in the Orioles’ 13-4 victory before an announced crowd of 28,420 at Camden Yards, the latest thrashing after a 11-3 win on Thursday.

One team is really good. The other appears to be really bad, unless it’s because the Orioles are really good.

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How to watch the Orioles online all season long

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The 2024 Baltimore Orioles have a lot of young talent ready to push for their second consecutive American League East division crown.

Last season, the Orioles were able to capture their first AL East division title since 2014.

Now you can watch the Orioles online with fuboTV: Start with a 7-day free trial!

This season will be full of expectations, especially with teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays and Rays in the division.

The Orioles made significant moves this offseason to help them get back into the postseason in 2024. One of the biggest moves was trading for ace Corbin Burnes.

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Orioles lineup vs. Angels

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Reliever Jacob Webb was reinstated from the paternity list this morning after the birth of daughter Hudson, and the Orioles optioned left-hander Nick Vespi to Triple-A Norfolk.

The Orioles play their second game of the season this afternoon with Gunnar Henderson leading off again.

Ryan O’Hearn is the designated hitter and Jordan Westburg is playing second base.

Ramón Urías stays at third base.

Grayson Rodriguez broke camp as the No. 2 starter. He allowed five runs and 16 hits with eight walks and 10 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings.

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New season means finally moving on from the last one (Tides score 12 runs)

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One of many good things about the fact the 2024 Orioles season has begun is that we will stop hearing about the Texas series and the Orioles being swept in the American League Division Series.

A new year thankfully leads to media asking less about that and the players certainly are glad to stop answering for it and about it.

“I use it for fuel a little bit. But that was last year and this is a new year,” the O’s Gunnar Henderson said this week, probably speaking for just about all of us.

After a 101-win season followed up by their convincing Opening Day romp over the Los Angeles Angels, the O’s are seen as World Series contenders for this season.

They are now the hunted and not the hunters, so to speak.

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Vespi's surprise inclusion on Orioles Opening Day roster

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Five Orioles made their first Opening Day roster Thursday. Four of them were easy calls, anticipated over the winter or definitely late in camp.

Grayson Rodriguez was in the rotation after last spring’s surprise demotion, with the only question whether he’d be the No. 2 or 3 starter. He gets the ball this afternoon.

Yennier Cano made his 2023 debut on April 14 in Chicago, with the Orioles desperate for bullpen help, and became an All-Star setup man and backup closer. He was a lock this spring to repeat those responsibilities after the Craig Kimbrel signing.

Infielder Jordan Westburg made his major league debut on June 26 and was set for 2024, with most of his work done at second and third base but also with a chance to play a little shortstop. Outfielder Colton Cowser really had to win a job after reaching the majors on July 5 at Yankee Stadium and going 7-for-61, and he responded by batting .304 with six home runs and a 1.135 OPS in 18 exhibition games.

Cowser broke the news to the beat crew on the final day that he made the club.

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O's hit several high notes as 2024 begins with a winning start

Corbin Burnes 2024 Opening Day

Former O’s manager Buck Showalter used to say, “That’s what they look like” when describing a young player or prospect who looked like a future star.

The same phrase might have applied to ace pitchers and yesterday’s outing by the Orioles' Corbin Burnes.

“That’s what they look like.”

That’s what can happen when you get a smart pitcher with a great plan, who knows how to put away hitters, has all his pitches working and executes well. Great plan, great stuff, great outing.

For the Orioles, this Burnes addition should be, well, great.

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O's game blog: The Orioles host the Angels in the 2024 season opener

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The Orioles' 2024 season, their 71st season in Baltimore, begins this afternoon at Oriole Park. They start a three-game series hosting the Los Angeles Angels.

The Orioles, who are 45-25 all-time in season-opening games, have won 10 of their last 13. They won at Boston on Opening Day last year. The O's are 46-24 in home openers. 

The Orioles open a season at home for the first time since March 29, 2018 versus Minnesota (2,191 days). The O's won that game, 3-2, on an 11th-inning walk-off home run by Adam Jones. The Orioles were originally scheduled to open the 2020 and 2022 seasons at home.

The Orioles are 2-3 in the last five Opening Day games. They won eight in a row from 2011-2018.

The Orioles went 101-61 last season to win the American League East for the first time since 2014 and advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. The Angels went 73-89 each of the last two years. They finished fourth in the AL West in 2023 and have had eight straight losing seasons since winning 85 games in 2015.

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Austin Hays on '24 O's: "Positivity is really high right now"

Hays and Santander celebrate

There is always excitement for Opening Day and that is being felt today in Baltimore. But it’s more than one-day excitement here and players say they feel it from the local fans.

Birdland as a whole and fans in Baltimore and beyond are fired up for the 2024 season, eager to see if the Orioles can repeat as American League East champs.

“Positivity is really high right now,” outfielder Austin Hays said this morning in the clubhouse. “There is a different buzz in the city. Social media, just anywhere you go. You go to the grocery store right now and there a lot of people excited for the season to start. It is really great to feel that positivity from the city behind us.”

As the Orioles begin their 71st season today, Hays said the organization is very healthy and talented, from the majors to the farm.

“I think the most impressive thing about our spring training is when you didn’t have our starters, you had a lot of guys not on the road and young guys that hadn’t seen a whole lot. But there just wasn’t a huge gap between your starters and maybe your B squad or whatever people like to call it.

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