Westburg and Cowser on bench in tonight's Orioles lineup, Povich makes second major league start

Cade Povich

Austin Hays is in left field again tonight after collecting three hits in the series opener against the Braves.

Hays is slashing .347/.377/.592 (17-for-49) since returning from the injured list on May 13. He has 10 hits in his last 21 at-bats.

Jorge Mateo is batting .353 when ahead in the count this season. He’s at second base again and Ramón Urías is at third. Jordan Westburg goes to the bench.

Cedric Mullins is in center field, putting Colton Cowser on the bench. Ryan O’Hearn is in right field and batting cleanup.

Anthony Santander is serving as the designated hitter.

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Coulombe injury latest obstacle Orioles must clear

Danny Coulombe

The Orioles are tested almost on a daily basis. The opponent is just a fragment of it.

Injuries are rampant throughout baseball and no one is feeling sorry for manager Brandon Hyde’s club, but a hug now and then would be nice.

The Braves are trying to catch the Phillies without outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr., who now has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in both knees in the last three years. The Phillies just lost catcher J.T. Realmuto to right knee surgery and already were missing shortstop Trea Turner and outfielder Brandon Marsh to hamstring injuries.

The Yankees are fighting to stay ahead of the Orioles while waiting for Gerrit Cole to make his 2024 debut. Outfielder Juan Soto missed time with left forearm inflammation. Mariners first baseman Ty France fractured his right heel.

This is just scratching the surface, which feels more like deep cuts.

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Suárez has scoreless start, Mateo mashes in return and Orioles win 4-0 for sixth shutout (updated)

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Albert Suárez turned, watched and wondered. Breath held and heart rate accelerated.

The ballpark was challenged to hold Sean Murphy’s fly ball in the second inning. It had the sound and look of a three-run homer – the expected outcome everywhere except Camden Yards, per Statcast tracking. Instead, Austin Hays retreated to the wall, reached up and made the catch. Couldn’t fit a sheet of paper between him and the padding.

This is where a start and a game can spin.

The Orioles came within inches of falling behind against former All-Star and Cy Young runner-up Max Fried, but 392 feet and 103.9 mph weren’t sufficient. They batted in the bottom half of the inning, the first two Orioles reached and Jorge Mateo marked his return to the active roster by launching a two-strike curveball into the bullpen.

Confirmation that 402 feet and 101.3 mph can get the job done.

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Hyde on Coulombe: “He’s going to get further tests done and we’re hoping for the best"

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The Orioles regained the services of their second baseman today and lost a high-leverage reliever with All-Star credentials.

Jorge Mateo was reinstated from the seven-day concussion list and is in tonight’s lineup against the Braves, with Connor Norby optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. Norby had a locker set up in the clubhouse and didn’t get to use it.

The shocker is Danny Coulombe going on the 15-day injured list retroactive to Sunday with left elbow inflammation.

Coulombe has registered a 2.42 ERA and 0.615 WHIP in 29 appearances. He’s allowed seven runs and 13 hits in 26 innings, with only three walks, 28 strikeouts and three home runs surrendered.

The bullpen has allowed only two earned runs in the last 34 innings and Coulombe is an integral part of its success, including a 3.29 ERA that ranks third in the American League and fourth in the majors.

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Mateo at shortstop tonight, Norby missing from reserves (update: Coulombe to IL)

Mateo at shortstop tonight, Norby missing from reserves (update: Coulombe to IL)

Jorge Mateo is reinstated from the concussion injured list and playing shortstop tonight. Connor Norby isn’t listed among the reserves on the lineup card posted by the Braves, so he’s apparently optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

Gunnar Henderson isn’t in the lineup for the first time this season, as the Orioles begin their three-game series against the Braves at Camden Yards.

Henderson’s next game will be his 250th. His 53 home runs in that span would be the most in club history, ahead of Ryan Mountcastle’s 52 and Jay Gibbons’ and Jim Gentile’s 50, per STATS. Gentile’s total came in 234 games.

A stolen base would give Henderson 20 in his first 250 games, making him the eighth player in major league history to go 50/20 in that span.

Jordan Westburg is leading off. Adley Rutschman is the designated hitter.

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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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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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Mullins makes most of his latest opportunity

Cedric Mullins

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Manager Brandon Hyde has tried to cure Cedric Mullins by feeding him a steady diet of at-bats. He’s sat Mullins in consecutive games to provide a reset. He’s studied matchups and made decisions to show his center fielder that confidence isn’t lost, but also, games must be won.

Mullins, in turn, has hit early, watched video and consumed every ounce of data until he’s stuffed.  

No one is outworking him. Every player is outhitting him. But Mullins finally had his day in the dome.

Leading off the top of the second inning yesterday, Mullins swung at a first-pitch slider from Zack Littell and flied to center field. He made the turn around first base and jogged across the infield to the visiting dugout. An all-too-familiar site for a player who was batting .170/.221/.301.

Up first again in the fifth inning, Mullins ripped a splitter into right field at 102 mph after falling behind 0-2 in the count and taking a fastball outside the zone. A single that seemed like a life preserver for a guy with the sinking stats who was 0-for-25 and 1-for-32.

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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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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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Bradish retires 18 in a row, O'Hearn and Henderson homer in 5-0 win (updated)

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Kyle Bradish never left the Orioles rotation, he just stepped back for a few days. Recharged the battery and waited until the club devised a new order. Shook off the season’s worst start and rattled the other team.

Pitching for the first time since last Saturday, Bradish retired 18 batters in a row after Yandy Díaz’s leadoff single in the first inning. The Rays didn’t get a ball out of the infield against him.

Bradish struck out nine batters in six scoreless innings, Ryan O’Hearn hit a leadoff homer in the fourth, and the Orioles defeated the Rays 5-0 before an announced crowd of 20,485 at Tropicana Field that was decorated in orange on the third base side.

Jordan Westburg delivered an RBI triple with two outs in the eighth, Gunnar Henderson lined a three-run homer into the right field seats in the ninth, and the Orioles improved to 41-22 overall and 15-6 in the division. They moved within three games of the first-place Yankees, who face the Dodgers later tonight.

They came within Díaz's two-out single in the ninth of their second one-hitter of the season, the first on May 26 in Chicago, when Bradish tossed seven hitless innings. They retired 26 Rays in a row before Díaz bounced a single into right field and notched their fifth shutout.

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Orioles pregame notes on Kremer, Hays, Wells, Mullins and more

mullins

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Orioles starter Dean Kremer was eligible to be reinstated from the 15-day injured list on Wednesday but his status hasn’t changed. He remains with the club and off the active roster.

Kremer is sidelined with a strained right triceps muscle. He could go on a brief rehab assignment with an affiliate. The plan remains in the formative stages.

“Not really sure,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “We’re going to throw another side with him here in the next few days and kind of take it from there. You just don’t want any setbacks.

“Right now everything is kind of trending in the right direction. He’s going to throw a side here in the next few days and hopefully he’s back with us sometime soon.”

The rotation could use him.

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Stowers and Norby in Orioles lineup this afternoon

norby spring 2024

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Austin Hays remains out of the Orioles lineup today with bruised ribs.

Kyle Stowers is in left field and Cedric Mullins is in center. Ryan O’Hearn is starting in right field while Anthony Santander serves as the designated hitter.

Connor Norby starts at second base.

Ramón Urías is 8-for-16 with two doubles, two home runs and five RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak, which matches his longest of the season. He’s on the bench today.

Adley Rutschman’s 10-game hitting streak ended last night. He’s catching.

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Circling back to yesterday's happenings with the Orioles

wells

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde didn’t wait to field the first question in yesterday’s pregame media session in the visiting dugout at Tropicana Field. He beat reporters to the punch, sharing Kyle Bradish’s status and the rest of his starters for the Rays series in one quick quote.

Bradish threw a bullpen session earlier in the day, which seemed to eliminate him from consideration for this afternoon. But that was incorrect.

It was light work, he felt good and he’s pitching later today.

Everyone exhale in unison.

Get rid of the injury theories and paranoia. The Orioles just wanted to give Bradish extra rest after last Saturday’s outing. They’re protecting the elbow and also trying to provide breathers for everyone in the rotation.

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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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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

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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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Because You Asked - Now You See Me 2

Gunnar Henderson

The mailbag won’t enter Canada unless it’s the postseason, but Florida is fine.

The Orioles begin another four-game series tonight at Tropicana Field and hope to do better than a split. The bar is raised. It wasn’t that long ago that winning twice against the Blue Jays would have been cause for celebration.

Let’s get to the latest sequel to the beloved 2008 original, which is always worth celebrating. You know the rules. You send ‘em and I answer ‘em, with little to no editing.

Your level of clarity won’t ruin the hilarity. Your particular style won’t get me riled.

Also, my mailbag is at home beneath the dome and yours is allergic to fake grass.

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