The Orioles have half of their pitching plans set for Monday’s day-night doubleheader against New York at Yankee Stadium. Gabriel Ynoa will start one of the games, manager Brandon Hyde said today, and the other is TBA. The Orioles will be able to add a 26th player to the roster for the twinbill. So it’s possible someone could be called from the minors to make the start.
Hyde said Tom Eshelman is a possibility for a start that day, but also said he likes Eshelman in a long-relief role too.
The Yankees list lefty James Paxton to start Monday’s opener, but their starter for the nightcap is TBA. On Tuesday night, Orioles lefty John Means faces Domingo Germán. For Wednesday afternoon the listed starters are Dylan Bundy for the Orioles and J.A. Happ for New York.
Outfielder DJ Stewart is now symptom-free, Hyde said. Stewart was placed on the seven-day concussion injured list on Wednesday, so he could return as soon as next Wednesday.
“He ran today and he’s doing baseball activity tomorrow,” Hyde said. “We don’t see him missing any time after the seven days are up.”
Outfielder Dwight Smith Jr., on the injured list since July 30 with a left calf strain, is progressing well, Hyde said. Smith will be with the team for the upcoming road trip to New York and Boston. But there is still no set date to activate him. Will Smith need a rehab assignment when he can return to play?
“I don’t think so yet,” said Hyde. “I think he is going to start doing baseball activities. Needs to run, still, and do a bunch of things from a rehab standpoint, then baseball activity and then probably a rehab assignment after that. Probably after we get off the road trip.”
Hyde was encouraged by the Orioles’ play in last night’s 3-2 loss to Houston. It was a more competitive game then the last two against the Yankees, which were 9-4 and 14-2 losses.
“It’s never easy to lose, right? But I can handle losses like that,” Hyde said. “I feel like we played a really good game against a good club. Loved the way we pitched, and we took some good at-bats. We played a clean baseball game. I loved how we were competitive and loved how Dylan Bundy came back after the first couple of innings and gave us six strong innings.”
O’s batters tonight will face a familiar foe in right-hander Aaron Sanchez, who was traded from Toronto to Houston on July 31. In his last 10 starts with Toronto, Sanchez was 0-8 with a 9.06 ERA. In his first with Houston last Saturday, he threw six no-hit innings against Seattle as part of a four-pitcher no-hitter.
Sanchez went from heavy use of his two-seam sinker to scrapping it for that game, instead going often with a four-seam fastball and curveball. It’s not the first time a veteran pitcher moved to Houston and made drastic changes.
“If there is an obvious difference between four-seam and two-seam result, then you’re going to go with the four-seam,” said Hyde. “I saw Gerrit Cole a ton in Pittsburgh. He’s completely changed since he got to Houston, like a lot of their guys have, and it looks like Aaron is going to be on that track as well. We just saw him in Toronto earlier in the month, where he was having some command issues and struggles, but not that last start.”
Sanchez is 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA this year against the Orioles. In 19 career games (14 starts) he is 6-4 with a 3.89 ERA and 1.494 WHIP.
Early runs: The first inning ended with Houston leading 3-1. Alex Bregman hit a two-run shot off O’s right-hander Aaron Brooks and Yordan Alvarez followed with a 442-foot homer. In the home first, Jonathan Villar led off with a double off Houston’s Aaron Sanchez and later scored on Jace Peterson’s sac fly.
More Houston runs: The Astros scored five in the second to lead 8-1. The inning featured Jose Altuve’s two-run homer, which was No. 20. Brooks has allowed eight runs and eight hits while getting six outs.
Kline in for Brooks: Carlos Correa’s solo homer in the third was the fourth off Brooks for a 9-1 lead. Brooks went three innings, allowing nine hits and nine runs. Branden Kline replaced him to start the fourth.
They scored even more: Houston added four in the fifth against Kline to lead 13-1. Through five at-bats they are 13-for-28 with four doubles and four homers. Bregman is 3-for-3 with three RBIs.