Orioles lineup missing Mountcastle again

ryan mountcastle upset orange

Ryan Mountcastle is out of the Orioles lineup again tonight in Arizona. He was scratched last night due to an illness.

Gunnar Henderson, who went 2-for-4 last night with two runs scored, stays at shortstop. Adley Rutschman is the designated hitter.

Ryan O’Hearn is the first baseman and Ramón Urías is playing third base. Adam Frazier is the second baseman.

Henderson is batting .330 or better when he’s ahead or even in the count, but .172 when behind.

Anthony Santander is slugging .809 against fastballs since the start of August after slugging .276 against them in July.

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This, that and the other

wells sad white

Another day has passed without an update on Orioles closer Félix Bautista beyond the injury to his ulnar collateral ligament. He walked off the field Aug. 25 with two outs in the ninth inning and two strikes on his last batter, and he underwent further testing to determine the severity of the injury and whether surgery was necessary.

Bautista earned his first hold of the season. Everyone else remains on hold.

The Orioles went 3-2 heading into last night’s game in Arizona after placing Bautista on the 15-day injured list. The last three margins were nine, six and five runs, making Bautista’s absence less noticeable.

Yennier Cano earned a save the night after Bautista’s removal from the bullpen, but he would have been the designated closer anyway. Bautista had appeared in three of the past four games and gone back-to-back. Manager Brandon Hyde wasn’t put in a bind.

The Orioles lost 4-3 to conclude the Rockies series. An unearned run scored off Cano in the top of the ninth inning. No save situation.

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Orioles and Diamondbacks lineups (Mountcastle scratched)

irvin pitches orange

The Orioles are in Arizona tonight to begin another three-city road trip, and their final excursion to the West Coast. They also travel to Anaheim and Boston.

The day began with the Orioles holding a 1 ½ game lead over the Rays, winners of four in a row. Tampa Bay is in Cleveland tonight.

The Orioles' 83-50 record through 133 games is their best mark since going 85-48 in 1997. They are the seventh team in major league history with back-to-back winning records following a 100-loss season, per STATS. The 1986-87 Giants were the most recent.

Outfielder Colton Cowser and reliever Joey Krehbiel were added to the expanded roster, as reported yesterday. Cowser isn’t in tonight’s lineup.

Anthony Santander is in right field and Austin Hays is in left. Ryan O’Hearn is the designated hitter.

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Because You Asked - Expend4bles

John Means

Because my mailbag hates dry heat and cross-country flights, I’m answering more questions today from home and waiting to join the Orioles in Boston.

I go where it goes.

You understand how this works after 15 years. How it’s a sequel to the beloved 2008 original.

You want heavy editing? Go to a movie. I don’t tamper here. We’re crazy with clarity, sinful with style, bold with brevity, loony with length, ga-ga over grammar.

Also, my mailbag expands like a September roster and yours splits like the back of Ye’s jacket.

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Cowser and Krehbiel joining Orioles' expanded roster

Colton Cowser

The Orioles won’t allow their roster to stop evolving. They are adding players for Friday’s expansion and figure to keep shuffling through the month of September.

The first two moves are decided, with outfielder Colton Cowser and reliever Joey Krehbiel joining the club in Arizona, according to a source. The club hasn’t made an announcement.

These are initial reinforcements who don’t close business.

Cowser made his major league debut on July 5 in New York and appeared in 26 games before the Orioles optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk. He went 7-for-61 with two doubles, four RBIs, 13 walks and 22 strikeouts.

Over 69 games with the Tides, Cowser batted .314/.440/.524 with 15 doubles, a triple, 12 home runs and 45 RBIs in 315 plate appearances.

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Posing three Orioles questions on the final day of August

Jack Flaherty

The Orioles are off today, flying into Arizona after yesterday’s loss to spend more time enjoying the dry heat. Think of it as a pizza oven except there’s no melted mozzarella.

Their roster expands by a pitcher and a position player on Friday. They’d do it anyway, but teams don’t have the option of staying at 26.

The dog days of August are gone. We’ve moved onto September baseball as a contender, and it’s the home stretch no matter where the schedule takes you.

“This is definitely an exciting time right now for our club,” manager Brandon Hyde said yesterday. “Going back to the West Coast. I feel like we were just there. It’s an important road trip, every game matters right now, every game’s important. And it’s a lot of fun playing in games that matter.”

Can’t flip the pages of the calendar without finding more questions, which isn’t as enjoyable.

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Orioles can't secure sweep against White Sox (updated)


A third fly ball landed on the other side of the fence today and an angry fan sitting near the Camden Yards press box couldn’t contain his emotions. Didn’t want to try.

“It’s the White Sox!” he yelled, the exit velocity of his words immeasurable.

A team that didn’t bring much energy to the series, lost the first two games by a combined 18-3 score and fired two senior members of the front office last week.

A team that fell behind by four runs this afternoon in the bottom of the first inning.

Kyle Gibson surrendered four in the top of the second and three more in the third, and the Orioles lost 10-5 before an announced crowd of 17,723 to deny them the sweep.

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Orioles pregame notes on expanding roster, closer situation, Hays, Hicks and more

hays swings white

Teams can expand their rosters by two players on Friday and the Orioles are meeting to review the options. Time is running out.

“We better be pretty close,” manager Brandon Hyde said this morning.

“We’re going to see how the roster looks after today. Things can change quickly. But we’re talking about it right now.”

The Orioles can find reinforcements on the injured list and in the minors. The task is more complicated than just choosing a couple names.

“There’s a lot of moving pieces right now,” Hyde said. “We’re kind of seeing how everything fits. The off-day tomorrow is a little bit helpful in figuring that out. We’re having those discussions now, every type of scenario that we feel like is going to help our club in September.”  

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Orioles and White Sox lineups to conclude series

gunnar henderson celebrates white

The Orioles can exceed last year’s win total of 83 with a victory today over the White Sox, in a game that concludes their homestand. They also can register their ninth sweep.

Adley Rutschman is on the bench this afternoon. Gunnar Henderson is leading off and playing third base.

Adam Frazier is in left field, with Austin Hays also working in a reserve role. Jordan Westburg is the second baseman.

Kyle Gibson is seeking his team-leading 14th win, which also would be a career high. He has 14 quality starts, and he worked eight innings against the Blue Jays in his last outing.

Yoán Moncada is 8-for-22 with three doubles against Gibson. Tim Anderson is 7-for-22 with a double and home run.

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Making another run at Orioles roster expansion

Joey Ortiz

The Orioles are finishing their homestand this afternoon, taking a day off and embarking on a three-city road trip that begins in Arizona.

The move into a new month, the last full one before the playoffs, brings another set of important roster decisions.

Expansion to 28 is permitted on Friday, an extra pitcher and position player. A task that’s trickier with the choices coming from the minors and injured list.

This isn’t as routine as attaching two names. A few others will need to go.

Outfielder Aaron Hicks is hoping to be reinstated while the Orioles are in Anaheim for a series that starts Monday. He’s taking batting practice at “high velocity,” as he described it, and will be on the charter to the West Coast.

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O's pregame notes on Webb's luck with liner, Westburg out of lineup, Fujinami's improvement and more

Westburg whites

Reliever Jacob Webb witnessed two teammates get hit in the head by line drives to the mound. He’s been struck twice, on the back of his upper leg and his ribs, and he’s caught one ball before it could leave a mark.

Webb was able to react last night to Luis Robert Jr.’s 110.3 mph liner, turning his body and putting up a hand to protect his face. It deflected off his left upper back, leaving a red mark, but he faced two more batters.

"He got hit right below the shoulder blade there, so it got a lot of meat and not so much bone," manager Brandon Hyde said later. "He got lucky."

Webb said he’s “feeling great” today.

“Nothing major. It skimmed me a little bit and a little bit of a scare, but we’re good,” he said.

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Orioles lineup vs. White Sox at Camden Yards

kremer v HOU

Ryan O’Hearn is in right field again tonight, as the Orioles continue their series against the White Sox.

Gunnar Henderson is the shortstop and Adam Frazier is playing second base. Jordan Westburg stays on the bench.

Austin Hays returns to left field.

Anthony Santander, serving as designated hitter, is the first Orioles switch-hitter with at least 25 home runs in consecutive seasons since Eddie Murray in 1987-88.

Henderson is one stolen base shy of becoming the first rookie in team history and 20th in major league history with at least 20 doubles, five triples, 20 homers and 10 steals in a season.

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Notes on Frazier's thumb, Voth's return from elbow injury and lots of Henderson

Adam Frazier

Adam Frazier stood at his locker yesterday and wrapped black tape around his right thumb and wrist. A pregame ritual that he’d like to stop.

Maybe soon.

Frazier said the thumb is much better since he injured it Aug. 3 in Toronto. He was in the lineup again last night and has appeared in the last five games, twice coming off the bench to face an opponent’s right-handed reliever.

“It was a grind of a couple weeks there once it happened,” he said. “It’s starting to feel good again and I’m swinging back full speed again, so it’s good.”

Some injuries linger until a player can shut down over the winter and heal, but Frazier doesn’t think he’s carrying the discomfort through the playoffs.

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Rodriguez retires 18 of 20 batters and Orioles post ninth shutout in 9-0 win (updated)


If the remaining weeks also are designed to aid the Orioles in setting up a playoff rotation, Grayson Rodriguez is manipulating them in the best possible way.

Rodriguez is providing a ringing endorsement for minor league resets, too, dominating the White Sox tonight by retiring 18 of 20 batters in six scoreless innings.

Ryan O’Hearn came through again with a two-run single in the third, DL Hall retired all four batters he faced, and the Orioles defeated the White Sox 9-0 before an announced crowd of 12,325 for their ninth shutout.

The Orioles are 82-49, tying their season high of 33 games above .500 and giving them back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2012-14. They improved to 29-14. And they won’t get swept in 82 straight series.

The lead over second-place Tampa Bay increases to 2 ½ games.

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Orioles vs. White Sox in series opener (updated)

Ryan McKenna swing white back

The Orioles begin their series against the White Sox tonight needing one more victory to guarantee back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2012-14.

Austin Hays is out of tonight’s lineup. Ryan McKenna is in left field.

Ryan O’Hearn is playing right. He hit his 11th home run yesterday after totaling 12 from 2020-22.

Gunnar Henderson’s 11-game hitting streak ended yesterday. He’s the shortstop tonight.

Adley Rutschman is hitting 86 points higher this season at Camden Yards (.319) than in road games (.233). The only other qualifying American League batter with a home average at least 80 points higher than his road mark is the Yankees’ Anthony Rizzo at .288 and .188, per STATS.

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Santander and Henderson engaging in own home run race

Santander and Henderson celebrate

The line drive down the left field line Saturday night, producing another Orioles run in the eighth inning, gave Anthony Santander 30 doubles. Six more than his career highs in the two previous seasons.

A total that he probably hasn’t tracked.

What he does know, however, is a home run total that stands at 24 going into tonight’s series opener against the White Sox at Camden Yards.

Santander and Gunnar Henderson are engaged in a mostly playful but also spirited competition for the team lead in homers. Santander began to pull away after hitting three in two nights, but in a typical reflex response, Henderson lined a go-ahead, two-run shot onto the flag court in the eighth inning Friday night – sending the crowd into a frenzy before closer Félix Bautista’s elbow injury slaughtered the vibe.

Henderson has 22 to stay within reach of Santander, who is coaxing the rookie to pick up the pace.

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Orioles lineup vs. Rockies

flaherty pitching gray

Jack Flaherty is ready to make today’s start, his fourth since joining the Orioles in a deadline trade with the Cardinals.

Flaherty was pushed back after experiencing general soreness and saying he didn’t “bounce back” from his last start and ensuing workout. He’s allowed 10 runs and 10 hits in eight innings in his last two starts.

Today’s opponent seems to suit him. He’s registered a 1.90 ERA and 0.887 WHIP in four career starts against the Rockies in 23 2/3 innings.

Gunnar Henderson, with an 11-game hitting streak, is the third baseman today. Jordan Westburg is playing second.

Cedric Mullins is batting eighth. Adley Rutschman is the designated hitter and remains atop the order.

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Mountcastle on Bautista: “He’s our guy, he’s the rock of that bullpen, and we’re just praying for a fast recovery"

felix bautista pitching white

Players walked into a brightly lit clubhouse yesterday feeling as though they were in the dark.

Félix Bautista left the previous night’s game one strike away from his 34th save, accompanied by head athletic trainer Brian Ebel. Didn’t bother testing the elbow with a warmup toss. Grimaced, spun, flexed the hand and exited.

They headed home unsure of his status, and arrived in the same state of concern and confusion. He told them that he wasn’t in pain. It came in a flash on his 102.3 mph fastball, between the elbow and biceps.

Bautista woke up feeling fine, but a series of tests revealed an injury to his ulnar collateral ligament. Exactly what no one in the organization wanted to hear. Anything related to the UCL conjures images of Tommy John surgery and a lost 2024 season.

We aren’t there yet, but we knew more by the afternoon than when the doors opened much earlier.

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Orioles rally past Rockies for 81st win, Cano gets the save (updated)

hays scores orange

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde worked through the various scenarios in his head. How he’d protect a late lead. Building a bridge to his designated closer for the night.

He just needed the game to reach that point.

Trying for their 81st win and 26th series conquest, the Orioles rallied from a two-run deficit in the sixth inning by scoring four times and holding on to defeat the Rockies 5-4 before an announced sellout crowd of 42,535.

Tommy Doyle inherited two runners from starter Chris Flexen with no outs in the sixth and Ryan Mountcastle greeted him with a go-ahead, two-run double down the left field line. Austin Hays had an RBI grounder to expand the lead, Kyle Bradish gave Hyde six-plus innings and Yennier Cano recorded his fifth save after switching gloves.

"He wants the ball," Hyde said of Cano. "He's not afraid of the moment. He's not afraid to face middle-of-the-order bats. I love how aggressive he is, I love how Yenny pitches with no fear. He's had an All-Star type year."

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Elias, Hyde and teammates talk about losing Bautista to elbow injury

felix bautista white

The Orioles held a team meeting this afternoon to discuss closer Félix Bautista. His loss to an elbow injury. How to proceed.

Also, the sensitive nature of it, with one of the team’s most popular players receiving painful news that resonated through a normally jovial clubhouse.

“It’s been a tough day up this point,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “Félix has been such a massive part of our team, the best closer in the game. It’s been amazing to watch him do what he does. Last night sucked, that’s the bottom line, and we’re hoping for the best for him. I just feel for him. We’ve got to move forward, have guys step up, go from there.

“I was with him this afternoon a little bit. Obviously, very disappointed, upset, and rightfully so. It was hard to watch him get the news. I just feel for the guy. I love the guy so much that it’s hard to watch somebody in pain like that.”

Basically, the message delivered today before batting practice. Give them information rather than have them receive it from the outside.

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