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Baltimore Orioles: Dean Kremer strong in loss

Dean Kremer was outstanding in his start for the Baltimore Orioles last night in Seattle. Unfortunately, the Birds themselves were hard-luck losers. But Kremer didn’t deserve to lose, and he didn’t (he was non-decisioned). Kremer’s line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K.

We all know how hot the Orioles have been of late. This month (June, 2022) is their first winning month since 2017. That almost more than anything shows how they’re turning the corner. In last night’s game however, they were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. That makes a difference.

But the pitching was strong, as it’s been all month. Sometimes you’re going to have games like this. In the end, it was Winker’s two-RBI double in the last of the eighth that won it for Seattle.

What’s important is going forward and not making this game a trend. As I’ve written many times, you can’t win if you don’t score. But if the O’s get back on it today, this game won’t be a trend. It’ll be a blip in the radar.

The series in Seattle concludes this afternoon at T Mobile Park. Austin Voth gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Seattle’s Chris Flexen. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Adley Rutschman shines in return to Pacific NW

Tyler Wells took to the mound in Seattle last night for the Baltimore Orioles in Seattle. And as I’ve said many times, a starting pitcher’s job is to put his team in a position to win the game. Wells, along with the bullpen behind him, did that. And in fact, Wells qualified for the win by virtue of pitching five innings. Wells’ line: 5.0 IP 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K.

This was a big game for catcher Adley Rutschman, who returned to the Pacific Northwest for the first time as a major leaguer. Rutschman of course attended Oregon St. University, and Seattle was the closest major league team. So he had numerous family and friends in the stands last night, and they saw him deliver early and often. Rutschman set the tone for the game early on with an RBI-single in the top of the first, giving the O’s a 1-0 lead.

Following Cedric Mullins’ RBI-double in the second, Rutschman would come up again in the third inning. And he smacked a solo home run, giving the Orioles a 3-0 lead. And that obviously lit a fire under Oriole bats; Ryan Mountcastle went back-to-back with Rutschman by hitting a solo home run of his own just a moment later. And the O’s would go back-to-back again in the fourth, with Anthony Santander hitting a two-run shot, and Austin Hays a solo.

When the smoke cleared, the O’s cruised to a 9-2 victory in Seattle. Many people would argue that the Orioles are cleaning up against teams with worse records than they have. And that’s true. But the fact is that the plan in place seems to be working. How many one-run games have they won this year? How many comebacks have we seen? This franchise is turning a corner, and it’s good to see.

The series continues this evening at T Mobile Park. Dean Kremer gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Seattle’s Robbie Ray. Game time is set for just after 10 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles rally late, but fall in Chicagoland finale

The Baltimore Orioles got another quality start out of Jordan Lyles this afternoon against the Chicago White Sox. Well, technically not a true “quality start” given that he gave up four runs. But you get the point; he put the team in a position to win the game. Lyles’ line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

Chicago jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a second inning two-run homer by Sheets. And for the record, that’s Gavin Sheets – Baltimore-area native, and son of former Oriole, Larry Sheets. You always like to see local kids making it in the big leagues. Not to mention the son of a former Oriole.

The O’s cut that lead in half in the top of the third on a solo homer by Jonathan Arauz. The O’s of course picked up Arauz off waivers from Boston this weekend, promoting him immediately to the big leagues. And he made an almost immediate contribution.

But Chicago came right back. Vaughn added a sac fly-RBI, also in the third. And one inning later Zavala’s RBI-single extended the lead to 4-1.

It appeared that the ChiSox would just coast to a 4-1 lead. But the O’s loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the ninth. Arauz smacked an RBI-single to center, cutting the lead to 4-2. Cedric Mullins would add a run-scoring sac fly, but the Birds could only make it to 4-3, and fell in the series finale. Obviously however, this weekend series in Chicago was a grandiose success.

On the aforementioned RBI-single by Arauz, there was a chance that the Birds could have plated two runs. However Adley Rutschman was held up at third. He would later score on Mullins’ sacrifice fly.

This is where situational baseball comes into play. In the second or third inning, maybe you send Rutschman (while he’s a catcher, he doesn’t “run like a catcher” – yet). But with nobody out in the ninth inning and the Birds within striking range, you don’t want a runner thrown out at home plate.

The Orioles now head to Seattle for a three-game set at Safeco Field. Tyler Wells starts in tomorrow night’s series opener for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Seattle’s George Kirby. Game time is set for just after 10 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Spencer Watkins, Oriole bats strong as Birds light up ChiSox

Spencer Watkins made his return to the majors this afternoon for the Baltimore Orioles. He was taxed with keeping a fairly powerful, but struggling ChiSox team at bay, on the South Side of Chicago. You know, the “baddest part of town” – this according to the late Jim Croce. Nevertheless, Watkins delivered for his team and it’s fans this afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field. Watkins’ line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

At first glance, one might argue that five innings pitched is far from outstanding. But Watkins was placing the ball wherever he wanted, at will. Nothing seemed to phase him, yet the Chicago bats he was facing never seemed to figure him out. And that bodes well for the O’s. For what it’s worth, the game started in a 90 minute rain delay.

The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Jorge Mateo smacked a solo home run. While that set the table for the game, Chicago would tie it up later in that third inning on Robert’s run-scoring single, aided by a Mateo error. And on we went in a tie.

But the game only remained tied until the fifth. Mateo would cross home plate again when Cedric Mullins reached base on an E5. Two innings later the O’s would load the bases (in the seventh). Trey Mancini was hit by a pitch, scoring another run and giving the O’s a 3-1 lead.

Mancini would later have X-rays on his hand (after the game), which came back negative. He appeared to be fine. So did Austin Hays, who later in that seventh inning would smack a bases-clearing double, blowing the game wide open at 6-1.

Chicago would score once more on an RBI-groundout in the last of the ninth. But the O’s would take the game, 6-2, and with that have won the first three games of this series in a Chicago. They’ve guaranteed themselves a series win, and have the opportunity to sweep tomorrow. With one more win before the end of the month, they’ll also clinch a winning month for the first time since 2017.

The aforementioned series conclusion is tomorrow at Guaranteed Rate Field. Jordan Lyles gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Chicago’s Dylan Cease. Game time is set for just after 2 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: ChiSox come undone at the hands of the Birds

With Kyle Bradish on the IL, the Baltimore Orioles once again turned to Austin Voss to spearhead a bullpen game last night. Manager Brandon Hyde only needed a few innings out of Voss, as was the case last weekend against Tampa. And Voss delivered; Voss’ line: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K.

Voss in essence has acted as a “long opener” in his two starts this past week. And he’s been effective in doing it. I’m not a fan of “bullpen games,” but to his credit Hyde’s making it work.

The O’s led almost the entire way in this game. Cedric Mullins scored on a wild pitch in the first inning, giving the Birds a 1-0 lead. Ritchie Martin’s RBI-single in the second extended that lead to 2-0. However Chicago would cut that lead in half in the bottom of the inning on Burger’s RBI-double. But that would be the highlight of the game from the ChiSox’s perspective.

With Adley Rutschman at the plate in the fourth, a balk was called on Chicago starter Kopech. This allowed Jorge Mateo to score from third, giving the O’s a 3-0 lead. That hall was controversial, as the Chicago dugout was unclear as to what Kopech did. Having said that, most balks are controversial. The O’s would tack on an insurance run in the eighth on Austin Hays’ RBI-double, going home with a 4-1 victory on the South Side of Chicago.

We did have the benches clear in this game. Kopech hit Jorge Mateo in the top of the second inning. Mateo took exception to it, and the benches cleared when he started shouting at Kopech. Both benches were warned.

At first glance I didn’t think it was intentional. Mateo is fast as heck; why would you hit someone who can steal a base very easily? (In fact, Mateo would steal second and be driven in by Rutschman.) However while we can’t be in a position to judge intent, let’s just say that it did look suspect.

That seemed to ruffle Chicago more than it did the Orioles. Mateo was able to steal second and score, and Kopech balked in a run later in the game. In the Birds’ minds it appeared to be over right away, and Brandon Hyde said as much after the game:

He gets hit in the back after squaring to bunt and didn’t like it. I don’t know the exchange, honestly. I need to look at the replay, what Jorgie did. But it’s one of those competitive things that happens and we moved on pretty quickly. I thought it was over at that point. We’re trying to win the game and they are, too. It’s one of those things that happen and you move on.

Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

Chicago’s had a couple of other dust-ups already this year. Yet it was the Orioles who moved on. This while the Chi Sox flailed in the wind a bit. Let’s leave it at the fact that they didn’t do themselves any favors.

The series continues this afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field. Spencer Watkins gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Chicago’s Lance Lynn. Game time is set for just after 2 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Adley Rutschman homers, and Kremer strong in win

The Baltimore Orioles called on Dean Kremer to tame the Chicago White Sox lineup in the first of four games on the south side of Chicago. And similar to his other starts this year, Kremer delivered. He kept Chicago at bay, while Oriole bats did their thing. Kremer’s line: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

The O’s almost got on the board in the third, but umpires ruled Cedric Mullins out at home plate when he tried to score from first on Trey Mancini’s double. The Birds challenged the call, but it was upheld. My personal opinion was that he was tagged out before sweeping his hand over home plate. Now whether the catcher blocked the plate before the ball arrived…that might be a different story.

But one inning later the O’s were on the board and in the lead. Following a Ryan Mountcastle double, Adley Rutschman sent a two-run homer deep into the Chicago evening. And if you didn’t see it folks, it was A SHOT. But it set the table nicely for the Orioles.

And the Orioles also got some “revenge” for Mullins being thrown out at home plate earlier in the game. In the bottom of that fourth inning it appeared that Chicago walks going to cut the lead in half on Garcia’s single. However Sheets was thrown out at home plate when he dared to run on Austin Hays in right field. Hays gunned him down at home plate, and it wasn’t even close. I’ve said this before, but as close as some of these games can be, plays like that make a huge difference.

Rutschman would smack an RBI-double again in the sixth, and the Birds would add an insurance run on Mullins’ RBI-single in th le ninth. And while they did ultimately have to use closer Jorge Lopez for the final two outs, little things like that make a difference also. Insurance runs can be the difference between a tense or relaxed ninth inning. And again, little things like that do make a difference.

The series continues this evening at Chicago’s Guaranteed Rate Field. Austin Voth gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Chicago’s Michael Kopech. Game time is set for just after 8 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Austin Hays hits for the cycle in Birds’ win

Tyler Wells got the start for the Baltimore Orioles tonight in the series finale against Washington. Wells didn’t have his “good stuff,” but he was good enough. They say a pitcher will have ten good starts, ten poor, and ten in between. And it’s those in between starts where the success or failure of your season lies. Wells’ line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 4 K.

The O’s took an early 1-0 lead in the last of the first on Ryan Mountcastle’s RBI-double. Two innings later Austin Hays would smack a solo homer, extending the lead to 2-0. And the O’s went back-to-back with homers, with Anthony Santander following after Hays.

So the O’s led 3-0. Just prior to the last of the fifth, the skies opened up. And it appeared that the rain wasn’t going to stop anytime soon. But the game had just gone over the threshold of being official, with the home team (the Orioles) leading after 4.5 innings.

But they did resume the game for awhile, at approximately 9:45 PM. Austin Hays came up in the last of the sixth with two runners on. And his two-RBI double gave the Orioles a 5-0 lead.

Hays probably could have legged out a triple on that play. But it’s excusable; precious to that at-bat, Hays had hit a single, a triple, and a home run. So by virtue of hitting a double, Hays hit for the cycle.

Hays became the first Oriole since Jonathan Villar to hit for the cycle. And make no mistake, it means something to both Hays and the franchise that this happened. Obviously it’s an amazing individual achievement. But it also shows that the rebuild is working. The home-grown talent that the Orioles have fostered is starting to shine, and at the big league level.

Trey Mancini would add a two-run homer in that sixth inning, and the O’s led 7-0. The skies would open up again, which effectively ended the game. It was a rain-shortened win for the O’s, but a notable win at that given Hays’ feat. And again, it’s note-worthy and it means something.

The O’s now head to Guaranteed Rate Field to open a four-game set with the ChiSox. Dean Kremer gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Chicago’s Johnny Cueto. Game time is set for just after 8 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles fall in Battle of the Beltways

Jordan Lyles was able to return and make tonight’s start for the Baltimore Orioles. Lyles you’ll remember was supposed to start on Sunday afternoon against Tampa. But he showed up at the ballpark with a stomach virus, and was pushed back. Lyles’ line: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 4 K.

Regardless of anything else, Lyles pitched for a quality start. The issue for much of the game were Oriole bats. If you can’t score any runs you can’t win the ballgame. That’s a fact, and it pertained to the Orioles tonight.

Washington took a 1-0 lead almost immediately on Cruz’s RBI-double. One inning later they’d score on Hernandez’s run scoring-fielder’s choice. And that 2-0 lead would stand up for quite awhile.

Thomas would add a solo homer in the ninth, which acted as an insurance run. End of the day, Washington kept the Orioles off the board. And as I said, you can’t win if you don’t score.

The series concludes tomorrow night at Camden Yards. Tyler Wells gets the water for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Washington’s Patrick Corbin. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Never underestimate the importance of individual plays

Jordan Lyles was the Baltimore Orioles’ scheduled starter this afternoon in the rubber match of the weekend series with Tampa at Camden Yards. However when he came in this morning he had an apparent stomach virus, and was scratched as a result. Manager Brandon Hyde turned to reliever Austin Voth as a starter, in what ended up being a bullpen game. Voth’s line: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

Brandon Hyde said that the hope is that Lyles is good to make the start Tuesday against Washington. Whether that happens remains to be seen. But what we do know is that Lyles wasn’t healthy enough to make the start this afternoon.

Anthony Santander hit a solo homer in the last of the first to get the O’s on the board with a 1-0 lead. Cedric Mullins would smack an RBI-double in the third, and the Birds led 2-0. Tampa would score their lone run in the fourth on an RBI-double by Walls.

And the rest of the game is the Orioles’ bullpen, which held Tampa at bay. And that’s not easy to do. While this was an impromptu “bullpen game,” at times I do wonder if Brandon Hyde doesn’t over-use his bullpen. But whatever he did today, it worked. And the fact is that the bullpen’s the strength of the team.

However make no mistake that the biggest play of the game came early – in the second inning to be exact. With two outs and a runner at first base, Brujan hit a double to right field. It appeared that Tampa was going to tie the game on the play, with the runner (Phillips) being sent home…

…but Right Fielder Ryan McKenna relayed the ball to Roughned Odor at second, who threw to Catcher Adley Rutschman at home. Both throws being spot on, plus a great tag by Rutschman, combined to nail the runner at home plate, ending the inning.

It was a big play, and it energized the crowd. But when you look back and see that this ended up being a one-run game, it looms much larger. That’s why I never criticize managers for being a nag about details. Because again while that play was big enough in the moment, you never know when a play’s going to play a big role in the final. So in paying close attention to detail, you ensure that ALL plays look large, making it easier for you to come out on top when things get tough.

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Baltimore Orioles’ bullpen strong but comeback falls short

Kyle Bradish had a rough outing this afternoon against Tampa for the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. Bradish is struggling; he hasn’t pitched five innings or more in his last five starts. Bradish is certainly hoping that the Orioles will continue their patience with him. But time will tell. Bradish’s line: 4.1 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

Robinson Chirinos’ two-RBI double gave the O’s an early 2-0 lead in the last of the second. But Tampa would follow suit an inning later when Margot smacked a two-RBI double of his own. One thing about Tampa; you’re better off not allowing anyone on base at all, because when they get runners on they find ways to get them in.

Later in the inning Ramirez would give Tampa the lead at 4-2 with a second two-RBI double. They would extend that lead to 6-2 on Choi’s two-run homer in the fifth. And the Birds found themselves in a hole.

But these are the 2022 Baltimore Orioles. Not the 2019 O’s! They always fight back no matter what. Ryan Mountcastle came up in the last of the fifth and got the Birds a run with an RBI-single. Chirinos came up again later in the inning, and he produced a two-RBI single. This all cutting the Tampa lead to 6-5.

And one inning later it was tied. Anthony Santander’s RBI-single in the sixth knotted things up at six. However as good as the comeback attempt was, the O’s couldn’t finish things off. Ramirez’s sac fly-RBI in the ninth have Tampa the lead back at 7-6. Which ultimately became a 7-6 win.

However this game shows once again that the O’s don’t give up. They keep fighting until the final out. And that’s really all you can ask.

As much as Kyle Bradish struggled today, the Oriole bullpen was stellar once again. They pitched a total of 4.2 innings this afternoon, and gave up one run. Now granted that one run lost the game for the O’s. But all in all it was another outstanding performance by what’s quickly turning into the biggest strength of this Oriole team.

The series with Tampa concludes tomorrow afternoon at Camden Yards. Jordan Lyles gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Corey Kluber. Game time is set for just after 1:30 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles beat Tampa at their own game

If you had told me that the Baltimore Orioles would engage in a pitcher’s duel with Tampa tonight at Camden Yards, I might have assumed that Tampa was going to win the game. They’ve had great pitching there for years – when in fact they probably had no business having great pitching. But the O’s and starter Dean Kremer outdid Tampa tonight at their own game. Kremer’s line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K.

Simply put, Dean Kremer was outstanding tonight. Absolutely stellar. And that’s fairly consistent with how he pitched in his other two starts since coming back from injury. But his effort tonight was a step above those other games. It may have been the best outing of his career.

Ryan Mountcastle scored the game’s only run on an RBI-double by Adley Rutschman in the last of the seventh. That was the ballgame’s only run. But when your pitching is as good as Kremer and the Orioles’ bullpen was tonight, that’s all you need.

Jorge Lopez entered the game in the eighth, and once again was stellar. You have to give Lopez a lot of credit for how he’s pitched thus far in 2022. Not only is he doing an outstanding job as a closer, but he seems happier than he was when he was trying to be a starter last year. He’s one of the big reasons why this team appears to be turning a corner. Ever so slightly.

The series continues tomorrow afternoon at Camden Yards. Kyle Bradish gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Jeffrey Springs. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles “double” down on Toronto

The Baltimore Orioles finished with a .500 road trip this afternoon in Toronto. That might sound average at best, but Kansas City and Toronto are two VERY CHALLENGING places for the Orioles to win over the course of the last few years. Tyler Wells got the start today, and pitched to a quality start at that. Wells’ line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

The O’s never trailed in this one. Adley Rutschman set the tone for the game with a fielder’s choice-RBI in the first. But it was the third inning that made the game. Ryan Mountcastle’s two-RBI single extended the lead to 3-0. He would later score on Roughned Odor’s sac fly-RBI. However later in the inning Tyler Nevin and Ryan McKenna would smack RBI-doubles, and Jorge Mateo an RBI-single.

When the smoke cleared after the third inning, the O’s led 7-0. The competitive portion of the ballgame appeared to be over. The interesting thing was that the Orioles got a lot of guys both on and in today on doubles. Getting people on base in general is a good thing, but a double will automatically get someone in scoring position. And as was evidenced today, it should score someone, even from first base. Needless to say, doubles ruled the day regarding Oriole bats.

Toronto would get a run back in the fourth on a solo homer from Hernandez. Before the game ended they’d score once more, and the O’s would tack on three additional runs. Including a solo homer by Austin Hays. It’s also worth noting that Cedric Mullins was on base three times today.

Insurance runs weren’t really necessary today, but in general it’s good to see the Orioles adding to their lead late. The vast majority of the games are going to be close the rest of the way. If you can add runs on, it takes pressure off your bullpen. Which is never a bad thing.

The Orioles return home tomorrow night to take on Tampa at Camden Yards. Dean Kremer gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Shane Baz. Game time is set for just after 6 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Adley Rutschman with first MLB homer in loss

Baltimore Orioles’ starter Bryce Zimmermann didn’t last as long in tonight’s game as he would have liked. Zimmermann’s being afforded the opportunity to work through his issues that he’s been having of late, which at times can be a painful process.Zimmermann’s line: 4.2 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

Zimmermann didn’t walk anyone tonight – so he does that have going for him. And I don’t say that in a facetious manner – he can build off of that. Zimmermann gave up an RBI-double to Kirk in the first inning, and two separate two-run homers in the third (to Hernandez and Chapman respectively. This giving Toronto a 5-0 lead.

One of the big takeaways in this game however was that Adley Rutschman smacked his first major league home run. This in the top of the fourth. It’s the first of what the Orioles hope will be many, and it got the Birds on the board. One inning later however, Guerrero’s solo homer gave Cleveland a 6-2 lead.

And the Orioles weren’t finished yet. Ryan Mountcastle’s first home run cut the Toronto lead to 6-2. Austin Hays would smack an RBI-double in the eighth. A few batters later brought Mountcastle back around. And he made the most of his opportunity, snacking a two-run homer to the the game at six.

However the ghost runner on second rule (in extra innings) came back and bit the Orioles in the derrière. Guerrero’s RBI-single scored Bichette, who was the Toronto “ghost runner” to lead off the inning on second base. It’s a tough loss for the O’s, but make no mistake that this team never appears to be out of games. They always fight to the end, win or lose. And that’s tough to do.

The series concludes tomorrow afternoon at Rogers Centre. Tyler Wells gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by former Oriole and now Toronto Blue Jay, Kevin Gausman. Game time is set for just after 3 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles hold on for a win in Toronto

It’s never easy for the Baltimore Orioles in Toronto. Going into last night’s game they had lost seven straight to the team from the great white north. Jordan Lyles was taxed with keeping Toronto bats in check last night, and for the most part he succeeded at that. Lyles’ line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 7 K.

The O’s took a 2-0 lead in the third when Ryan Mountcastle smacked a two-run home run. Toronto seemingly was threatening all game, but the O’s were always able to navigate around those threats. They would cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of that third inning when Bichette grounded into a fielder’s choice-RBI.

And in fact, the O’s would even extend their lead in the fourth. Robinson Chirinos’ RBI-double gave the Birds a 3-1 lead. However Toronto would briefly tie the game in the last of the fourth when Chapman smacked a two-run homer. You kind of felt a change in momentum at that point. But not for long…

…because the Birds almost immediately took the lead back. Austin Hays’ solo homer in the fifth gave the Birds a 5-4 lead. And while Toronto continued to threaten, they never gave the lead back from there. Tyler Nevin added a sac fly-RBI later in the fifth, and Cedric Mullins an RBI-single in the sixth.

Toronto would pull to within one on RBI-singles by Moreno in the sixth and eighth respectively. The O’s called on Jorge Lopez for a five-out save. Make no mistake that those aren’t easy. But Lopez held strong, closed out the game, and thus did his part to help the Orioles snap a seven-game losing streak to Toronto.

The series continues this evening at Rogers Centre. Bruce Zimmermann gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Jose Berrios. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles done in by seven-run fifth inning

It would be easy for the Baltimore Orioles to look at starter Kyle Bradish and wonder what happened. But while Bradish’s outing wasn’t great, the Toronto onslaught continued well after he left the ballgame. And Oriole pitching ran into a Toronto team that was intent on making the Birds pay for even being on the same field with them. Bradish’s line: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

You have another example of an Oriole starter (and subsequent relievers) wanting to pitch-to-contact, and an opponent who wanted to make contact. And make no mistake that Toronto wasn’t making the greatest contact. A lot of their hits were bloops or softly-hit balls. But they managed to find holes and the balls dropped in. Frustrating for the Orioles on the whole.

Toronto took the lead early on Kirk’s RBI-single in the last of the first. Incidentally how did Kirk get on base? He hit a comebacker off of Bradish’s foot, which trickled into foul ground on the third base line for an infield hit. Fluke thing for sure, but it cost the Birds in the long run.

Guerrero Jr. smacked RBI-singles in the third and fifth respectively to run Toronto’s lead to 3-0. And thus began Toronto’s big fifth inning. When the smoke cleared, they had put seven runs on the board, and chased Bradish.

Again, many of those runs came as a result of softly-hit balls with an outfield playing back. So the Orioles weren’t necessarily too far off in this game. Or at least as far off as the final score looks. If you’re Toronto you’ll take hits and runs however you can get them. Of you’re the Orioles, it has to be frustrating as heck.

Toronto would add a tenth run on Espinal’s RBI-single in the sixth. The lone bright spot for the O’s was left fielder Kyle Stowers – who made his major league debut. Stowers was on the Orioles’ taxi squad, and took the place of Anthony Santander, who presumably couldn’t get into Canada due to his vaccination status. Stowers smacked an RBI-single in the top of the seventh – his first big league hit. Guerrero would add a solo homer for Toronto in the last of the eighth, and the O’s fell 11-1.

The series continues tomorrow night at Rogers Centre in Toronto. Jordan Lyles gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Yusei Kikuchi. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Four-run second helps lift the Birds over Kansas City

Dean Kremer was the beneficiary of a lot of Baltimore Orioles’ runs today in the series finale in Kansas City. But while he had one inning with a couple of struggles, Kremer also held up his end of the bargain. Kremer’s line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K.

The competitive stage of the game was over fast. Anthony Santander set the tone with a solo homer in the first. One inning later the Orioles went back-to-back with solo homer runs, one by Ryan Mountcastle and one by Rougned Odor. RBI-singles by Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays would run the lead to 5-0.

The Orioles also chased Kansas City’s starter Keller with two outs in the second inning. It’s refreshing to see the Orioles getting to an opposing starting pitcher like that. You know you’re dialed in for a good day when you chase the other team’s starting pitcher that early.

Austin Hays would ground into a force out in the fourth, scoring Cedric Mullins. Anthony Santander would add an RBI-single in the sixth, breaking the game wide open in the Orioles’ favor. Kansas City would also attempt a comeback in the bottom of that sixth inning, netting a run on an errant throw, and cutting the Orioles’ lead to 7-3 on a two-run homer by Dozier.

But if anything, those Kansas City runs inspired the Birds to keep going. They put two runners on in the seventh, and Richie Martin’s two-RBI triple extended the lead to 9-3. Cedric Mullins followed with an RBI-single, and the O’s led 10-3. Kansas City would smack two solo homers in the last of the seventh, an RBI-single in the eighth, and a fielder’s choice-RBI in the eighth. But the O’s ended up with the victory, 10-7. A more narrow win than we might have thought earlier, but a win none the less.

With the win, the Birds split the series in Kansas City. Kauffman Stadium hasn’t been an easy place for them to play over the course of the past few years. And in fact, Kansas City refused to let the O’s go into cruise control. So it was nice to see them turn it up over the second half of this series.

When the O’s head to Toronto starting tomorrow night, we’re told that there will be a few players who won’t be making the trip. Canada has different COVID vaccination requirements than does the United States, meaning that some players won’t be able to enter the country. So things will look a bit different for the next few days, and we’ll know which players are being affected sometime before tomorrow’s game.

The O’s now head north of the border for the aforementioned series at Rogers Centre in Toronto. Kyle Bradish gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Alec Manoah. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Tyler Nevin propels the Birds to victory

Tyler Wells had a couple of struggles out of the gate for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon in Kansas City. Just a couple. But the key was that he settled down, allowing his teammates to pick him up by putting some runs on the board. This whole Wells pitched to a quality start. Wells’ line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

Wells gave up an RBI-double to Perez in the last of the first, and an RBI-triple and RBI-single to Isbel and Rivera respectively in the last of the fourth. And it looked like Kansas City was off to taking game three of this four-game set also. Again, it looked that way. But the Birds had other ideas for how today was going to go.

Cedric Mullins would get the O’s on the board in the fifth with an RBI-single. But the key moment of the game was one inning later. The Orioles put two on with one out as Tyler Nevin strode to home plate. And on a week when his Dad (Phil) was named the interim manager of the Los Angeles Angels, (Tyler) Nevin decided to keep the family gravy train going…

… it to mention the Orioles’ gravy train. Nevin smacked a three-run homer to center, catapulting the Orioles into the lead at 4-3. Make no mistake that with the Birds having had their struggles in the first two games of this series, that was a big moment for more than one reason. Obviously it was huge for the game itself. But it also seemed to energize the O’s, which bodes well going into tomorrow and onward.

Austin Hays would give the Birds an insurance run in the seventh with an RBI-single. They got a second insurance run in the eighth when Adley Rutschman scored on a wild pitch. And it’s a good thing they got those insurance runs, as Kansas City would load the bases with nobody out in the last of the eighth. But reliever Dillon Tate got himself out of the mess only surrendering one run – a sac fly by Taylor.

The O’s would go on to close out Kansas City in the ninth, winning the game 6-4. It’s a big win because it snaps a mini-losing streak, and because it gives the team confidence. Before the game Ramon Urias was sent to the 10-day IL with an oblique strain. As a result, the Birds selected the contract of Richie Martin fro triple-A Norfolk.

The series in Kansas City concludes tomorrow afternoon at Kauffman Stadium. Dean Kremer gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Brad Keller. Game time is set for just after 2 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Bruce Zimmermann struggles in Kansas City loss

Baltimore Orioles’ starter Bruce Zimmermann had another struggling outing last night against Kansas City. Awhile back I suggested that the league was figuring Zimmermann out, and I stand by that. However Zimmermann can’t stand by and continue to allow opponents to figure him out. He needs to re-adjust as well. Zimmermann’s line: 4.2 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

Zimmermann gave up an RBI-double to Benintendi and a two-run homer to Perez in the first inning. Perez would come up again in the last of the third and smacked another home run. A solo shot, for the record.

Two innings later in the fifth Melendez would smack a three-run homer, breaking the game wide open. Zimmermann pitches-to-contact almost exclusively. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing in the least. But when you pitch-to-contact and the opponent is touching up just about everything you put out there, you’ll see starts like this.

Taylor smacked a solo homer of his own in the sixth, running the score to 8-0. The O’s would threaten in the eighth with the bases loaded, but Kansas City worked out of the jam. The Birds’ lone run came in the top of the ninth on a solo homer by Anthony Santander.

The series continues this afternoon at Kauffman Stadium. Tyler Wells gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Daniel Lynch. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles rally but fall

Baltimore Orioles’ starter Jordan Lyles was hit semi-hard last night in Kansas City. Now the good news is that the O’s battled back at the plate and were competitive. But it always helps when you can get solid starting pitching. And for the most part Lyles has been solid – he just had a tough game yesterday. Lyles’ line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 1 K.

The O’s actually had the lead first in the game. Trey Mancini reached on a fielder’s choice in the top of the third, and Jorge Mateo scored on an errant throw to the plate, giving the Birds a 1-0 lead. Now unfortunately, Mancini turned a little too far off of first base and was thrown out. Maybe that was a harbinger for the rest of the game.

The lead didn’t last long for the Orioles. Perez’s two-RBI single gave Kansas City a 2-1 lead. Later in the inning Melendez smacked a two-run home run. And the Orioles trailed 4-1.

But the fifth inning saw this young Orioles team fighting back. Austin Hays smacked an RBI-single in the fifth, cutting the Kansas City lead to 4-2. Later in the inning Ryan Mountcastle’s two-RBI double tied the game at four.

Win or lose, this team always battles and they’re fun to watch. And that does mean something – in my view. They’re scrappy, and they don’t go away easily. That bodes well for the future.

But Kansas City took the lead right back. Santana’s two-run homer in the last of the fifth gave them the lead back at 6-4. an inning later Witt’s sac fly-RBI extended that lead to 7-4. The Birds would rally again in the eighth with Cedric Mullins’ RBI-double, but they ran out of time. And Kansas City took game one of the four-game set, 7-5.

The series continues this evening at Kauffman Stadium. Bruce Zimmermann gets the call for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Jonathan Heasley. Game time is set for just after 8 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles rock the yard in win vs. Chicago

I’m going to assume that Baltimore Orioles’ manager Brandon Hyde had starter Kyle Bradish on a pitch count this evening. He was lifted with one put to go in order to qualify for a win – which seems odd to me. Bradish was my struggling, and it seemed like a foregone conclusion that he’d at least leave the game with a chance to be the winner. Bradish’s line: 4.2 4 H, 2 R, 5 BB, 5 K.

I do think that Bradish should have at least been allowed to try to get the final out. Because winning games is a big deal to pitchers. But I maintain that big league managers (such as Brandon Hyde) have forgotten more baseball than I’ll ever know. It’s tough for me to second guess their moves, especially in a winning effort by the team overall.

Bradish gave up a solo homer to Morel on the first pitch of the game. But that was the lone offensive highlight for Chicago. Cedric Mullins almost immediately tied the game at one with a solo homer in the last of the first. And unbeknownst to anyone, that’s as close as Chicago was going to get.

One inning later Jorge Mateo smacked a three-run homer, giving the Birds a 5-1 lead. Incidentally, we talk a lot about nothing good happening after a walk. Two Orioles were on base for Mateo’s at-bat due to being hit by a pitch, which is the same as a walk (more painful for the hitter, obviously). So that goes both ways; get guys on base, and good things can happen.

In the last of the third the O’s added two more on Austin Hays’ RBI-double, and Ryan Mountcastle’s sac fly-RBI. Chicago did attempt to rally, however. Contreras smacked a solo homer in the fifth, and Morel an RBI-triple in the sixth. But as I said above, 1-1 was the closest that they got tonight.

Ramon Urias would smack a solo homer in the last of the sixth for good measure. But this was an Oriole team that was determined to hang Chicago with a L this evening. This referencing of course the W and L flags that fly at Wrigley Field. The O’s got it done with timely hitting and good pitching – always a good combination. In what’s only a two-game set, this was a great start.

Going back to Hyde pulling Bradish, again I’m sure he has his reasons. It just seems odd to me that you wouldn’t let the guy get one more out to attempt to qualify for the win. But again, I find it tough to second guess a big league manager.

The series concludes tomorrow night at Camden Yards. Jordan Lyles gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Chicago’s Marcus Stroman. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Is Dean Kremer the new fifth starter?

Dean Kremer was called up from the IL to make the start for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon. This of course in the series finale against Cleveland. Kremer and the Birds took the loss, but overall I’d say that Kremer had a decent outing. Kremer’s line: 4.1 IP. 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

Kremer was lifted in the top of the fourth after throwing 67 pitches. Understandably, he was on a pitch count. This after being on the Injured List.

Kremer made one bad pitch; to Giminez in the first inning with two on. And the ball ended up in the stands, giving Cleveland a 3-0 lead early.

But neither Kremer, nor the bullpen gave up any further runs. And Kremer settled down, which is good to see. Pitchers are going to get themselves in trouble and give up runs. It’s how they bounce back that matters.

Ryan Mountcastle’s two-run homer in the fourth accounted for the Birds’ only runs of the game. And given how Cleveland’s starter, Plesax, pitched today, they may have been lucky to get those two runs. Plesac only made one bad pitch all day also. The only difference was there was only one runner on base at the time. As opposed to two runners on when Kremer made his bad pitch.

The Orioles are certainly hoping that Dean Kremer can be the fifth man in the rotation here for at least awhile. You’ll recall that they had a spot start last week – because there was no fifth starter. But Kremer was good out there today. Hopefully for his sake, that ends up being the case.

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Baltimore Orioles’ Jorge Lopez proves worth in multi-inning save

The Baltimore Orioles sent Tyler Wells to the mound this afternoon looking to avenge last night’s loss to Cleveland. Wells was a little “hit or miss,” and didn’t stick around long enough to qualify for the win. But he put the team in a good spot in a sense. Wells’ line: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K.

Wells found himself in an early hole when Ramirez smacked a solo homer in the first inning. But it was a small hole, and it was short-lived. Trey Mancini followed suit in the last of the first with a solo shot of his own, tying the game at one.

But the tie was short-lived also, because Giminez’s solo homer in the second gave Cleveland the lead back at 2-1. But guess what?! Go figure, but Cleveland couldn’t hold the lead! Austin Hays came up in the last of the third with two runners on, and smacked a three-run homer. The Birds led 4-2.

One inning later Rougned Odor joined the party, with a solo shot of his own. In total, the Orioles hit three home runs today. And those three home runs accounted for all of their runs.

But Cleveland would threaten twice more in the game. They loaded the bases in the fifth and scored two runs on two RBI-ground outs. They also loaded the bases in the eighth against Jorge Lopez. Lopez came in with two on and two out to attempt a multi-inning save. And he hit a batsman with his first pitch.

The pressure was on Lopez moving forward. But he was able to get Naylor to fly out, ending the threat. He also sent Cleveland down 1-2-3 in the ninth, earning his seventh save of the season. For the record, Dylan Tate was pretty good out of the bullpen as well, earning a hold.

Lopez proved his worth to the organization today. A multi-inning save isn’t easy. Even if you end the previous inning, some guys will then struggle in the ninth. Lopez didn’t today, and got the win for the team.

The series concludes tomorrow afternoon at Camden Yards. The Orioles will announce their starter tomorrow morning, and Cleveland will throw Zach Plesac. Game time is set for just after 1:30 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: The league has adjusted to Bruce Zimmermann

Bruce Zimmermann struggled for the Baltimore Orioles this evening in the first of three with Cleveland. They jumped on him early and often. In fairness, Oriole bats were “off” also; the Birds didn’t get their first base hit until the sixth inning. But it all begins and ends with starting pitching. Zimmermann’s line: 5.2 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 1 K.

As I said, Cleveland jumped on Zimmermann, swinging early and often. And Zimmermann was pitching to contact, as evidenced by the aforementioned ten hits, zero walks, and one strikeout. Cleveland took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-RBI double by Miller.

Miller would come up to bat again in the third, and produced a two-RBI single, doubling the lead. Later in the inning Naylor added an RBI-single, and then an RBI-double in the seventh. Again as per Zimmermann’s line score referenced above, that last run wasn’t charged to him (he had already left the game). B

But the O’s did put up a fight. Trey Mancini smacked a two-RBI double, and Anthony Santander an RBI-single in the last of the eighth. However while these O’s don’t quit and they play until the end, Cleveland took game one of the series, 6-3.

In his last four starts (including tonight), Bruce Zimmermann has surrendered between 4-6 runs. That’s way up from the 0-3 he was giving up in the beginning of the season. So…what gives?

I would submit that in effect, the rest of the league has adjusted (or is adjusting) to Zimmermann. Which means that between now and his next start, he has to really buckle down with his coaches and come up with a plan.

When the league adjusts to you and your style, it’s incumbent on YOU to adjust also. Otherwise your stay in the majors won’t be long. If you keep your stuff and your game plan fresh, you can end up having staying power. So again, Zimmermann needs to work with his coaches between starts to tweak his stuff up so as to keep opponents guessing.

The series continues tomorrow afternoon at Camden Yards. Tyler Wells gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Tristan McKenzie. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Happy birthday to Mighty Casey!

The Baltimore Orioles may well have a few things in common with the “mythical” Mudville 9. I say that of course because today is the “birthday” of one of my favorite American poems, Casey at the Bat, by Ernest Thayer. The poem was published on June 3, 1888, and of course features the Mighty Casey, who had the gall to strike out in a key moment of a game.

It’s a poem that’s beloved in baseball circles, and as I said it’s one of my favorite American poems. But in a way I’ve always felt badly for Casey. The guy struck out – it happens! However I think it’s the drama laid out in the poem which is what makes it so beloved.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
and Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped—
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand;
and it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;
he stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
he signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
but Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said: “Strike two.”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and Echo answered fraud;
but one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
and they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

That kind of paints a dramatic picture. As does the conclusion:

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
the band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
and somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
but there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out.

Again, I’ve always felt that “the Mighty Casey” got a bit of an unfair spin. However the poem also has a very human quality to it in that nobody’s going to succeed 100% of the time. We all stumble and fall. But there is a chance at redemption, as is evidenced by a sequel to the poem by Grantland Rice circa 1906-07:

O, somewhere in this favored land dark clouds may hide the sun,

And somewhere bands no longer play and children have no fun!

And somewhere over blighted lives there hangs a heavy pall,

But Mudville hearts are happy now, for Casey hit the ball.

Put together, those two poems tell a story about the American spirit. We may fail, but through failure can come success if you keep at it. And to me, that’s what Casey at the Bat has always represented. We see that in the Orioles every game, which is why perhaps they do have a lot in common with “the Mudville 9.”

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Baltimore Orioles fall in extras

Jordan Lyles took to the mound last night for the Baltimore Orioles in the series finale against Seattle. In effect, he was bled to death by paper cuts – a base hit here, a walk there. Those things add up in games if you give up enough of them. Lyles’ line: 5 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 3 K.

The Birds took the lead early. Austin Hays’ RBI-single in the first inning gave them a 1-0 lead. Ryan Mountcastle would follow later in the inning with an RBI-double, and the O’s led 2-0.

But they ran into trouble starting in the third. Winker’s RBI-single cut the lead in half at 2-1. With a runner at third later in the inning, Rodriguez would attempt to steal second. But Adley Rutschman’s errant throw allowed the runner to score, tying the game.

And while Rutschman was baseball’s top prospect for some time, he’s still a rookie and he’s still learning. You have to allow for those types of mistakes with a young catcher. But as much potential as Rutschman has, odds are he’ll use it as a learning experience and simply get better. Sure enough, he nailed a runner at second later in the game.

The O’s took the lead back however on Hays’ second RBI-single of the game in the bottom of that inning. But Seattle stormed back in the sixth, putting up three runs and taking a 6-3 lead. Ramon Urias’ RBI-double netted one back for the O’s in the last of the sixth inning, but the damage was done.

Or was it? Because Cedric Mullins smacked a two-RBI double later in the inning to tie the game back up at six. Win or lose, these Orioles battle. And another thing about them…they don’t get cheated at the plate. They complete their at-bats, and they don’t give in.

The score remained tied, and to extra innings we went. Seattle would win it on Toro’s run-scoring triple in the tenth. This of course given MLB’s extra-innings ghost runner rule, starting the inning with a runner on second base. So it goes as an unearned run.

Tough game to lose, but again you have to look at the fact that the O’s battled. The bigger loss for the team is that we found out before the game that top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez will be sidelined for much of the season with a strained lateral muscle. Tough pill to swallow for the organization, but you have to work through issues like this. Reliever Joey Krehbiel also exited the game in the sixth with shoulder discomfort, and will undergo tests today.

The Orioles will now open up a three-game set against the Cleveland Guardians this evening at Camden Yards. Bruce Zimmermann gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Shane Bieber. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles start June with a win

Kyle Bradish took the mound tonight for the Baltimore Orioles in the wake of a couple of poor outings in New York and Boston. And while Bradish didn’t stick around for long enough to get the win, he did put the O’s in a spot to win. And thus to open up June with a win. (against Seattle). Bradish’s line: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K.

It was important to win tonight as we enter June, as the O’s lost big to Seattle last night. They took the lead in the last of the second, and never gave it up. Rougned Odor smacked a three-run homer and the O’s led 3-0.

Crawford would smack a solo homer for Seattle in the fourth, and Rodriguez an infield RBI-single in the fifth. This cut the Birds’ lead to 3-2. But Seattle cutting the lead to one was the only “blip in the radar” so to speak. Because on this night the Orioles weren’t going to be denied.

Austin Hays would extend the lead to 4-2 in the fifth with an RBI-single. One inning later in the last of the sixth Ryan Mountcastle and Ramon Urias went back-to-back with solo homers, busting the game wide open with a 6-3 Oriole lead.

But the Birds weren’t finished – neither in the game, nor in the sixth inning. Cedric Mullins smacked an RBI-double, and Trey Mancini made himself good with the new dimensions at Camden Yards with a two-run homer. This afternoon Mancini hit a few balls to left field which in the past would have been home runs.

And with that, the O’s took a 9-2 victory over Seattle to the showers. Starting a new month in such a powerful manner is always a good thing. Now the Birds need to continue that momentum.

The series with Seattle concludes tomorrow evening at Camden Yards. Jordan Lyles gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Seattle’s Chris Flexen. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Last laugh in Beantown goes to the Birds

The Baltimore Orioles completed a back-and-forth type of weekend in Boston this evening. In a rare five-game series, they traded punches with the BoSox before sending Tyler Wells to the mound this evening in the series finale and rubber match and he didn’t disappoint. Neither did Oriole bats. Wells’ line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

The O’s got the last laugh in this series, and it wasn’t even close. And they got the last laugh from the beginning. Trey Mancini’s RBI-triple in the first inning gave the O’s a 1-0 lead. Later in the inning Ryan Mountcastle smacked a solo homer, and the Birds were off to the races.

However a 2-0 lead early in a game at Fenway Park is far from safe. So what did the Orioles do? They added onto their lead, of course!

Ramon Urias’ two-run homer in the third doubled the lead at 4-0. Two innings later the O’s tacked on two more. One on a sac fly-RBI by Anthony Santander, and another on an RBI-groundout by Ramon Urias.

Ryan Mountcastle would add a seventh run in the seventh inning when he grounded into a double-play with a runner on third and nobody out. That and Anthony Santander’s three-run eighth graders inning homer gave the Orioles a 10-0 lead. This game was in effect the inverse is yesterday, when Boston kept adding on runs against the O’s. But tonight’s game decided the series. And it was the Orioles in

So in a rare five-game series, the Birds took three-of-five from Boston. IN Boston. At Fenway Park.

Boston’s a team that sees itself as a perennial contender. And the national pundits seem to agree with that. They should beat a rebuilding team like the Orioles almost every time they play. And in a similar manner to yesterday’s game. Instead, the O’s really took it to them this weekend, including boat racing them tonight, and the ten unanswered runs game this past Friday.

The O’s now head for home to open up a three-game set with Seattle at Camden Yards. The O’s have yet to announce a starter, but whomever he is will be opposed by Seattle’s George Kirby. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Bruce Zimmermann haunted by the long ball at Fenway

The Baltimore Orioles sent Bruce Zimmermann to the mound this afternoon at Fenway Park, and with not-so-hot results at that. Zimmermann struggled, giving up five homers to Boston hitters. Zimmermann’s line: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

Zimmermann was pitching to contact this afternoon. And Boston hitters were looking to swing from the get-go. That can often be a bad combination from a pitcher’s perspective.

The Boston took a 2-0 lead on Dalbec’s two-run homer in the last of the second. Cordero added a solo shot later in the inning, and Devers a solo homer as well in the third. Tack on a two-run shot by Hernandez and a solo by Arroyo in the fourth, and Boston sent Zimmermann to the showers early with a 6-0 lead.

I would point out that every pitcher, especially young guys, is going to have a game like this here and there. Zimmermann wasn’t done any favors by having to pitch in Yankee Stadium AND at Fenway this week. But you have to dust yourself off and move onto the next start.

The Orioles did net a run in the fifth on Trey Mancini’s RBI-single. But Boston kept the pressure on; Vasquez smacked an RBI-double in the bottom of that fifth inning. Boston would then proceed to put up five runs in the last of the eighth, on the heels of several walks. Many of which came with the bases loaded.

Chris Owings would add an RBI-groundout to cut the final to 12-2. However this game was all Boston from the beginning. Even still, Trey Mancini had a great day at the plate. He had three hits, a walk, and an RBI. Bright spots may be few and far between in this game, but that’s definitely one of them.

For what it’s worth, this series was supposed to be a three-game set; the O’s originally had Memorial Day off. But MLB made yesterday a doubleheader and added a game tomorrow night (creating a five-game series) to make up games that weren’t played early in the season due to the lockout. In case you were curious.

The weekend series in Boston concludes tomorrow night at Fenway Park. Tyler Wells gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Rich Hill. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles split twin bill in Boston

In winning this evening, the Baltimore Orioles ended up splitting their doubleheader with Boston today at Fenway Park. Following a 5-3 loss this afternoon, the Birds sent Denyi Reyes to the mound this evening. Fresh up from the minors, he pitched into the fourth inning. Reyes’ line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K.

The Birds redeemed regarding hitting with runners in scoring position, as they struggled with that in game one. And it’s just something you have to do in order to win games at the big league level. You can’t let your opponent off the hook.

Ramon Urias’ RBI-single gave the O’s a 1-0 lead. But that score was short lived, as Jorge Mateo’s three-run homer extended it to 4-0. If your opponent is going to out two guys on base, they absolutely have to be held accountable for that. The Birds did that tonight.

Vasquez’s RBI-single cut the Oriole lead to 4-1. Boston would also score in the ninth when Arroyo grounded into an RBI. But other than that, the Oriole bullpen hung tight.

The Birds had an early lead in this afternoon’s game as well. However Boston pieced together a couple of rallies, tying the game and then some. But again, it seems the O’s learned something in dropping the first game.

The series continues tomorrow at Fenway Park. Rice Zimmermann gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Nick Pivetta. Game time is set for just after 1:30 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Something magic happened at The Fens

Kyle Bradish made his maiden start at Boston’s vaulted Fenway Park last night for the Baltimore Orioles. Needless to say, he wasn’t the first pitcher to struggle mightily at “the Fens,” and he won’t be the last. Bradish’s line: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

The first five Boston hitters of the game reached base. This includes an RBI-single by Devers, and a three-run homer by Bogaerts. A lot of pitchers have had jitters pitching with that green wall behind them at Fenway. So while you never want to present excuses for losing or playing poorly, Bradish is in good company. And this one start won’t define him as a pitcher; heck, I would submit that this entire season won’t define him as a pitcher. That will come years down the road.

Verdugo smacked a two-RBI double in the second, and Boston appeared off to the races. The O’s had that deer-in-the-headlight look about them. They did however get two back. Anthony Santander’s fourth inning two-run homer cut the lead to 6-2.

However Boston kept the pressure on. Martinez would follow in the bottom of that fourth inning with an RBI-double. One inning later Vasquez’s RBI-single gave them an 8-2 lead over the O’s. At this point most teams are just playing out a string to get through the game, right?

But the Orioles aren’t most teams. They don’t stop playing until the final out. So it should have come as no surprise to anyone when Jorge Mateo smacked a three-run homer in the seventh to cut the Boston lead to 8-5. Just as Austin Hays two-run shot an inning later should have shocked nobody.

The O’s had fought their way back into the ballgame. And they tied it at eight later in the eighth on a run-scoring single by Ramon Urias, combined with an error. And suddenly it was Boston who had a deer-in-the-headlights look about them.

As we went to the ninth inning you could feel the winds of Orioles Magic blowing through venerable old Fenway “Pahk.” Anthony Santander’s RBI-single gave the Birds a 9-8 lead. Santander would later score on a wild pitch. Santander would later score on a wild pitch. Ryan Mountcastle would add a sac fly-RBI to extend the lead to 11-8, and the inning was capped off by Rougned Odor’s RBI-single. And the Birds ended up with a 12-8 victory.

That’s about as improbable a victory as you’re going to see. There usually isn’t much hope when your starter spots the opponent six runs and leaves in the second inning. But this is a resilient group of Orioles. And they’re well deserving of taking of the tradition of Orioles Magic.

The series continues tomorrow afternoon in game one of a doubleheader at Fenway Park. The Orioles’ starter is TBD, but whomever he is will be opposed by Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi. Game time is set for just after noon.

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Baltimore Orioles: Birds blanked in the Bronx

Tyler Wellls took to the mound in the series finale at Yankee Stadium last night for the Baltimore Orioles. Wells did his job – he put the O’s in a position to win. But it’s tough to do that when the bats can’t even put forth a run. In fact, it’s impossible. Wells’ line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

Andujar’s RBI-single in the last of the fourth gave New York a 1-0 lead. Andujar would later try to steal second, and rookie catcher Adley Rutschman threw the ball into the outfield. Torres scored on the throwing error. And those were the only two runs of the game, as New York took it 2-0.

Surprisingly to me, that second run was scored as earned. This even given the fact that it came on the heels of an error. I suspect that it was ruled a double steal, and since the throw was to second base, the official scorer ruled that Torres would have scored anyways. That’s an assumption, for the record.

Adley Rutschman’s made good progress both at the plate and behind it thus far. However he hadn’t thrown through to second on a steal attempt – this at the big league level. New York tested him, and it worked. And make no mistake, it’s all part of learning at the major league level.

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Baltimore Orioles: New York made to work for the win

Baltimore Orioles’ starter Bruce Zimmermann was an exception to the rule last night – at first. They say that solo home runs won’t hurt you. But Zimmermann gave up four; it adds up. Luckily however, both Zimmermann and Oriole bats were able to overcome those homers, at least temporarily. Zimmermann’s line: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 5 K.

Rizzo smacked a solo shot in the first, Trevino in the third, and Torres in the fourth. But the O’s battled back as well. Rougned Odor’s fifth inning RBI-groundout got the Birds on the board. Needless to say, the O’s came to play ball in the Bronx this week.

Austin Hays would cut that New York lead to one at 3-2 with a solo homer in the seventh. Odor came up again later in the inning with two runners on base. And he would give the Orioles the lead with a three-run homer. Suddenly despite the three solo homers, Bruce Zimmermann found himself with a 5-3 lead.

Zimmermann would give up his fourth solo homer in the last of the seventh, this one to Torres. And that was the end of Zimmermann’s night. Not a bad outing in the least, especially given the longevity. And the fact that he left ether game with the lead.

Later in the seventh Trevino’s RBI-single would tie the game back up at five. We would later go to extra innings with that score, and the Birds struck first. Austin Hays’ RBI-groundout gave the Orioles a 6-5 lead. However in the bottom of the inning Kiner-Falefa’s RBI-single would tie it back up. Trevino would add an RBI-single later in the inning, giving New York a 7-6 walk off win.

The Orioles played good baseball last night. Albeit in a losing effort, but this is part of the rebuilding process. They’re getting good outings of late from starters, including Bruce Zimmermann tonight. Manager Brandon Hyde on Zimmermann’s outing:

I thought he pitched well tonight. A few mistakes that he paid for. … Went into the seventh inning for us, we left with the lead. We just didn’t hold it. But I thought our guys were grinding it out again, got some big hits, made some big plays defensively. Did a nice job. We just came up a little short tonight.

Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

The series concludes this evening at Yankee Stadium. Tyler Wells gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s JP Sears. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Jordan Lyles pitches a gem in the Bronx

Make no mistake that Jordan Lyles did a huge service for the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium this evening. Coming off of pitching eleven innings yesterday, the bullpen needed rest. And Lyles was able to provide them just that. Lyles’ line 6.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R (3 earned), 2 BB, 8 K.

Judge gave New York the lead in the first inning with a solo home run. Trevino’s RBI-single an inning later extended that lead to 2-0. But the Birds put New York on notice that they weren’t going quietly after that. In fact, they were put on notice that the Orioles weren’t “going” at all.

Robinson Chirinos cut that 2-0 lead in half with his third inning RBI-single. Later in the inning Austin Hays would smack a two-R I single, giving the Birds a 3-2 lead. Hays would later score on Ryan Mountcastle’s RBI-groundout, giving the O’s a 4-2 lead.

But New York wasn’t going quietly either. Judge’s two-run homer in the last of the fifth tied the game up again at four. But it wasn’t tied for long. Ramon Urias’ solo hike run in the top of the 6th would give the Orioles a 5-4 lead. Every little bit helps.

Robinson Chirinos would add a sac fly-RBI in the top of the ninth, as the O’s took a 7-4 victory into the clubhouse. It’s good to see them putting up insurance runs late in games. Keeping the bullpen out of a one-run game in the last of the ninth really can make a difference. This was a great team win, whereby everyone gave everything that was asked of them and then some.

The series continues tomorrow at Yankee Stadium. Bruce Zimmermann gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Jordan Montgomery. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: In a staring contest, the other guy blinked first

The Baltimore Orioles had just about everything possible thrown at them this afternoon – and into this evening. For starters, Spencer Watkins got the start and pitched no part of an inning, as he was hit in the leg by a ground ball. He exited the game, and luckily X-Rays were negative. Watkins’ line: 0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 0 K.

Watkins allowed a few base runners, including Ji-Man Choi, who smacked an RBI-single. Watkins was replaced by Joey Krehbiel, who gave up a three-run homer to Paredes. And before the crowd settled in the Birds trailed 4-0, and they had lost their starting pitcher to injury.

But this team doesn’t quit. A lot of people would look at that first inning and proclaim the game over. Maybe they’d be right. But the Birds had that look of determination on their faces today. Ramon Urias’ RBI-single and Rougned Odor’s RBI-double in the third cut the lead to 4-2. One inning later stamped extended their lead to 5-2 on Kiermaier’s RBI-single, but Tampa was on notice that the O’s weren’t going away today.

And that trend continued. Ryan Mountcastle smacked a solo homer in the fifth to bring the O’s to within two at 5-3. The seventh brought an additional Tampa run, but the O’s bounced right back in the bottom of the inning with Robinson Chirinos reaching on an error, scoring the Birds’ fourth run. For what it’s worth, the Oriole bullpen only gave up two runs after the first inning. That kept the O’s in the game as much as anything else.

As the ninth inning rolled around with the O’s trailing 6-4, the skies darkened. Debris started blowing around the field, as a storm moved in. It was almost like a scene out of THE NATURAL. From Tampa’s perspective, all they had to do was record three outs before the rain set in, and they would win the game and the series.

But by this point they were already deep into a staring contest with the Orioles. With two outs and two runners in scoring position, Austin Hays smacked a two-RBI double which tied the game at six. And like clockwork, the rains came. And we had a 51 minute rain delay.

Neither team scored in the tenth, but the O’s put the winning run at third in the eleventh in the form of Adley Rutschman. That brought Rougned Odor to the plate, and he dribbled a bouncing ball down the first base line…and it made it’s way by the bag, scoring Rutschman. (It was scored as a fielder’s choice and an E3.) And it gave the Orioles a walk off 7-6 victory.

It also ensured that the O’s won the weekend series with Tampa. They went from having lost 15 straight to that team, to taking two-of-three over the weekend. And they did it in a manner straight out of Hollywood. The dramatic tying of the game in the ninth, the foreboding clouds, the rain, etc. They found themselves in a staring contest with Tampa, as I said above. And Tampa blinked first.

The O’s now head out on the road and will open a three-game set tomorrow night against New York at Yankee Stadium. Jordan Lyles gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Gerrit Cole. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles fall in Adley Rutschman’s debut

Kyle Bradish struggled in his start last night for the Baltimore Orioles against Tampa. They (Tampa) seemed intent on hitting whatever Bradish threw up there. And the ball usually seemed to land in play. Bradish’s line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 5 K.

However the story of the day wasn’t the game; it was the Orioles calling up Catcher Adley Rutschman, who made his big league debut last night. It was a long-awaited day in Birdland, and the beginning of what many feel will be a long career. Rutschman received a standing ovation when taking the field at the start of the ballgame, as well as one after each at-bat. Rutschman followed in the footsteps of former Oriole Matt Wieters, as his first major league at-bat was a triple. He also drew a walk in the game.

Tampa took an early 2-0 lead when Arozarena smacked a two-run homer. Incidentally, that followed a walk; and we know that nothing good ever happens after a walk, right? Arozarena would hit a solo homer again in the fourth, and the Birds trailed 3-0.

Tampa would get a sac fly and an RBI-groundout in the sixth, and a solo homer by Kiermaier in the eighth. The Birds’ line run came in the eighth on Trey Mancini’s RBI-single. And the O’s fell 6-1.

But again, the big story last night was Adley Rutschman. His debut was as good as any last night, but I would submit that it’s good he didn’t totally knock it out of the park. Every prospect is simply that – a prospect. You could be the next Babe Ruth, and the fact is that in your big league debut you’ve never played at this level before. It’s best not to make expectations higher than they need to be. Rutschman on his debut:

I’m still running on nerves right now. Just from the second that I walked out onto the field to warm up the pitcher, ‘til the time I walked into the tunnel, an emotional overload. I can’t really explain the feeling, because it’s just unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced.

Quote courtesy of Zachary Silver, mlb.com

The series with Tampa concludes this afternoon at Camden Yards. Spencer Watkins gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Corey Kluber. Game time is set for just after 1:30 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Pleasant “Odor” prevails on the Twilight Zone

The Baltimore Orioles asked Tyler Wells to be their stopper tonight. Not in the usual sense, however. This all in the context of having lost 15 straight games to Tampa. Wells made one bad pitch in his outing. Wells’ line: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

The one bad pitch Wells made was to Zunino in the fifth inning. It resulted in a three-run homer, giving Tampa a 3-0 lead. For what it’s worth, it’s the second consecutive series in which an opponent had hit the foul pole at Camden Yards.

The Birds did fight back, however. Tyler Nevin scored on a Wild Pitch in the last of the seventh. Robinson Chirinos would reach on an error later in the inning, scoring Ramon Urias. Trey Mancini would add a run-scoring single, tying the game at four.

The O’s always fight back. And that’s a great aspect of this team. There’s no doubt that it means a lot. However even in fighting back, it often means nothing unless you can finish the job.

The game went to extra innings, and Tampa of course started the tenth with a runner on second base, per MLB rules. And in the most Tampa Rays manner possible, they burned the O’s. Phillips smacked a very soft bloop RBI-double to right field. It shouldn’t have been a double; but it was hit so softly that he was able to make it to second base.

Phillips would later score on Diaz’s RBI-single. But again, the Orioles fought back. They loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of that tenth inning, and Anthony Santander’s two-RBI single tied the game.

Funny thing about extra innings though; it isn’t sudden death (unless the home team takes the lead). So we played on, as the teams swapped RBI-singles in the 11th – off the bat of Austin Hays for the O’s. And the 12th yielded no runs, as the game remained in a 6-6 tie.

I tell people that (in my opinion) when baseball games go past the 12th inning they enter the “twilight zone.” weird things are capable of occurring. Luckily nothing overly weird happened last night at Camden Yards. Except Rougned Odor smacking a walk off two-run homer to give the O’s an 8-6 victory over Tampa.

And maybe that’s weird enough, as Tampa had won 15 straight games against the Orioles. So losing to them had to feel strange; especially in such dramatic fashion. But sometimes you need to enter the Twilight Zone in order to win the race. The Orioles did that last night.

The series continues tomorrow night at Camden Yards. Kyle Bradish gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Jeffrey Springs. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Anthony Santander caps New York in the last of the ninth

The Baltimore Orioles were hoping to get another quality start in this afternoon’s series final with New York, this time out of Bruce Zimmermann. That didn’t happen, as Zimmermann didn’t really have his great stuff this afternoon. Now it’s important to note that he wasn’t by any means awful. It was just a slow slog type of outing. Zimmermann’s line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

Zimmermann allowed two runs right off the bat on a two-RBI single by Stanton. However the O’s bounced back in the second when Robinson Chirinos smacked a two-run homer, tying the game. That would kind of be a theme in the game today; whenever New York would take the lead, the O’s would always find a way to bounce back.

And in fact, Jorge Mateo would give them a 3-2 lead in the third with an RBI-single, only to have New York tie the game back up with Stanton’s solo homer in the fourth. Zimmermann would load the bases in the sixth before exiting the game, and the Orioles’ bullpen almost got him out of it – almost. With two outs Kiner-Falefa’s two-RBI single gave New York a 5-3 lead.

But the O’s made their final move in the last of the sixth. Tyler Nevin’s RBI-single brought them to within 5-4. Cedric Mullins would later come up as a pinch hitter, and his sac fly-RBI would tie the game at five. Another pinch hitter, in the form of Rougned Odor, would give the O’s a 6-5 lead.

Attention to detail in games is important. Jorge Mateo was called out in the beginning of the sixth inning on a foul tip. First off, New York almost argued their way into that being the call, as the umpires had to think about it. But manager Brandon Hyde challenged the call, asking for a review for a potential catcher’s interference call. And the challenge was successful, and Mateo was awarded first base. He would later come into score the game-tying run.

Small things like that in games can resonate and become bigger things. That’s why you have to pay such close attention to detail in a sport like baseball. Would you think that something as small as a replay review would impact a game? No. But did something as small as a replay review impact this game? Yes.

Only problem was the game wasn’t over. With two outs in the ninth, LeMahieu blooped an RBI-single to right field, tying the game at six. The Orioles were on the verge of snapping a six-game losing streak, the chances of which took a hit in that moment. Even more so when they loaded the bases for Stanton. But the O’s pitched out of it, and we went to the last of the ninth.

And we weren’t in the last of the ninth for the full frame. The Orioles put two runners on with Anthony Santander coming to the plate. And he smacked a three-run homer to left field to win it 9-6 for the homestanding Orioles, and sending the crowd home happy. This snaps a six-game losing streak for the O’s.

The Orioles will now welcome in Tampa tomorrow night for the first of a three-game series at Camden Yards. Tyler Wells gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Jalen Beeks. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Mistakes adding up in games

The Baltimore Orioles sent Jordan Lyles to the mound tonight, hoping to snap a five-game losing streak. Lyle pitched to a quality start, both on paper and in reality. In doing so he not only put the team in a position to win, but he also saved bullpen arms. Lyles’ line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 8 K.

Lyles ran into issues after retiring the first two hitters of the ballgame. Following a couple of base hits, Torres’ RBI-double gave New York a 1-0 lead. Donaldson would later score on a Wild Pitch, and a throwing error by Anthony Bemboom allowed Torres to score. And the Orioles trailed 3-0.

But after that hiccup, Lyles settled in and New York hitters were mowed down left and right. Neither team could really get anything together offensively. At least through much of the middle innings portion of the game.

The Birds finally snapped out of their funk in the last of the sixth when Austin Hays smacked an RBI-double. Hays would later score on a Fielder’s Choice by Trey Mancini, with a Mancini also being safe at first. However that’s all the Orioles could muster, and they fell 3-2 to New York.

The silver lining to this game is that Oriole pitching (mostly Lyles) held New York off the board after the first inning. However that unearned run came back and bit the Orioles. Granted it happened early in the game and so forth. But those plays count as much as they plays which occur in the ninth inning.

When you surrender two early runs on a Wild Pitch and an E2 respectively, and proceed to lose by one…let’s just say that stings. That was a game the O’s easily could have won, all things being the same, but they really paid a price for those mistakes. You always have to overcome mistakes, in all areas of life. But the Birds are really being held accountable for ALL of them as games go on.

The series concludes tomorrow at Camden Yards as the Orioles try to salvage a game. Bruce Zimmermann gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Jordan Montgomery. Game time is set for just after 12:30 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Nothing good happens after a walk – or a hit batsman

Spencer Watkins set the Baltimore Orioles up to win this evening against New York. While he only pitched four innings, he put the team in a position to win the game. And as I’ve said many times, that’s all you can ask of a starting pitcher. Watkins line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 1 K.

Watkins gave up an RBI-double to Judge in the first. But one inning later Ramon Urias’ solo homer tied it up at one. However Judge would come up again in the third, and smack a solo homer of his own, giving New York a 2-1 lead.

Urias would reach on an error in the last of the fourth, and Trey Mancini would score which tied the game back up at two. Not that it matters too much, but it’s worth mentioning the scoring on this play. Mancini was going to score from third on the ground out as it was. Urias only reached because of an error. But since the run technically was earned, Urias does get credited with an RBI.

The Birds would take a brief lead later in that fourth inning on Tyler Nevin’s sac fly-RBI. But that lead was short lived – Judge would tie it up in the fifth with a solo homer. LeMahieu would drive in a run with a ground out in the sixth, giving New York a 4-3 lead. Torres would reach on an error an inning later, scoring a run and extending New York’s lead to 5-3.

The Birds would threaten in the ninth after Ryan McKenna’s RBI-double, putting the winning run in scoring position. But Cedric Mullins popped out to end the game. And NY took game two, 5-4.

The go-ahead run driven in by LeMahieu? It came with the bases loaded. And they were loaded due in part to both a walk and a hit batsman. We’ve always heard that nothing good happens after a walk. The same can be true of a hit batsman. Both acts give the offensive team a free base runner. And New York took full advantage.

And given that the Birds ended up losing by one, those aspects of the game did the O’s in. If not for those base runners, all things being equal we’re in extra’s. You have to limit those sorts of mistakes in games. Especially against a team like New York.

One positive for the O’s was that they called up pitcher Logan Gillespie before the game. He made his major league debut, pitching both the eighth and ninth innings. And he looked pretty good. He gave up three hits abs struck a batter out – his first major league strikeout. Unfortunately for the O’s however, New York’s bullpen was better down the stretch. But still a very good debut for Gillaspie.

The series continues tomorrow at Camden Yards. Jordan Lyles gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Gerrit Cole. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles fall to New York in series opener

Kyle Bradish got the start for the Baltimore Orioles as they returned home to open a series with the New York Yankees. Unfortunately for Bradish, Oriole bars remained as cold as they were in Detroit over the weekend. In effect, Bradish made one bad pitch, which was combined with some bad luck. Bradish’s line: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 6 K.

With a runner on base in the top of the third, Stanton smacked an RBI-double for New York. But Bradish and the Birds would have taken that all day at the time. There were two outs, and Stanton got greedy and tried to advance to third. And he was throwing out in doing so, ending the inning.

However one inning later Bradish surrendered a three-run homer to Trevino. But Trevino got a little bit lucky in that sequence. The ball appeared to be drifting foul, and it hit odd the edge of the right field foul pole. New York would net two insurance runs in the ninth, off solo homers by Donaldson and Rizzo respectively.

Anthony Santander smacked solo homers in the last of the fourth and in the last of the ninth, accounting for the Orioles’ only runs. But keep in mind that this team is being ravaged by injuries right now. Yes, you’d like to get more than one run in a game. In fact, for the most part you have to get more than one run. But this is a team with depleted power and skill right now. At some point, that will change.

The series continues tomorrow at Camden Yards. Spencer Watkins gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Jameson Tailion. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles swept in Detroit as injuries pile up

Tyler Wells got the start for the Baltimore Orioles in this afternoon’s series finale in the Motor City. Wells was nickel and dined to death in a sense, but didn’t give up anything big per se. Wells’ line: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

Wells was pitching to contact in effect. He gave up a solo homer to Cabrera, and an RBI-single to Castro in the last of the second. Cabrera came up again an inning later, and knotted a sac fly-RBI.

That was all that Cabrera surrendered, but Detroit kept the pressure on. Barnhart abs Castro added RBI-singles in the seventh and eighth respectively. The Orioles at the very least got on the board in the ninth when Trey Mancini smacked a solo homer. But when the opponent puts up five, you can’t settle for one. End of the day, the O’s ended up getting swept away in the Motor City.

This was a tough weekend series for the Orioles in more than one way. The Birds had to put Ryan Mountcastle on the 10-day IL with a left forearm strain. This on Friday. This afternoon Jorge Mateo collided with the Detroit pitcher running out a bunt. At first he stayed in the game, but was later lifted.

Manager Brandon Hyde said after the game that Mateo has a left shoulder and chest contusion. X-rays we’re negative. In the immediate future Mateo will be listed as day-to-day, with no apparent roster move pending for the time being.

The O’s were also without Austin Hays in Detroit, as his hand was stepped on in St. Louis. Hays and Mountcastle are huge absences in the lineup. So the Birds’ offensive output (three runs in three games) in Detroit isn’t totally shocking. But all teams have injuries, and you have to overcome them. For the record, Mountcastle was put on the Il retroactive to this past Wednesday, and his hope is to return in the latter part of the upcoming home stand.

The O’s now head home to open a four-game set with the New York Yankees at Camden Yards. Kyle Bradish gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Luis Severino. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Runs tough to come by in the Motor City

The Baltimore Orioles got a quality start out of Bruce Zimmermann in Detroit this afternoon. The problem of course was that they couldn’t put anything on the board in their column. Which makes it impossible to win. Zimmermann’s line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R (2 earned), 1 BB, 2 K.

Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the last of the first on Castro’s sac fly-RBI. That was an unearned run, as Schoop led off the inning with a double an led took third on an error. For what it’s worth, had Castro gotten a base hit instead of a sac fly, the run would have been earned.

Hasse would smack a solo homer in the last of the fifth, and Castro in the seventh. Again, when you can’t put any runs on the board, it’s impossible to win. The O’s did have the tying run at the plate in the ninth inning, but a double-play ended that threat. And as I’ve written before, you have to take advantage of your opponents’ mistakes. Detroit did today; and the Orioles didn’t.

Zimmermann did his job, however. In throwing a quality start, he put the team in a spot to win the ballgame. That’s all you can ask of a starting pitcher.

Oriole starters in general are going a little deeper into games over the past two weeks or so. Another good sign. As good as the bullpen’s been, the starters have to help them out in a sense and keep them spry. Quality starts are a great way to do that.

The series in Detroit ends tomorrow afternoon at Comerica Park. Tyler Wells gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Tarik Skubal. Game time is set for just after 1:30 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles rally late but fall

The Baltimore Orioles were unable to continue the momentum of their St. Louis visit last night in Detroit. At least in the immediacy of last night – there are still two more games in the series. Jordan Lyles took the loss, but despite his numbers he did keep the Orioles in the ballgame. Lyle’s line: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 6 K.

Lyles held Detroit scoreless through two, but they got on the board in the third. Cabrera’s RBI-double gave Detroit a 1-0 lead. Cabrera would come up again in the sixth, and smack a solo homer to extend the lead to 2-0. Later in the inning Torkelson would reach on an error, scoring two more.

Trailing 4-0 into the later innings, the Birds did try to rally. Trey Mancini and Anthony Santander would both smack solo homer runs to cut the Detroit lead to 4-2. The Orioles would also load the bases in the ninth, however two straight strikeouts ended the game, and the Birds fell 4-2 in the Motor City.

Before the game the Orioles put Ryan Mountcastle on the 10-day IL with left wrist/forearm discomfort. Mountcastle missed the last two games in St. Louis, and the team felt he wasn’t healing quickly enough. The hope is that he’s able to return as soon as he comes off the IL.

The series continues this afternoon at Comerica Park. Bruce Zimmerman gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Michael Pineda. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Rylan Bannon debuts as Birds take series from St. Louis

The Baltimore Orioles had to go with a dreaded “bullpen game” this afternoon in the series finale in St. Louis. Bryan Baker made his first start since 2017 today, and in effect acted as an “opener” for the O’s. (Incidentally, the aforementioned start by Bryan Baker was in single-A.) Baker’s line: 2.1 IP, 1 H 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K.

Baker was announced as the starter this morning. We knew that today’s game was going to be a bullpen game, but we didn’t know who was actually going to be starting. And for the record, he did an admirable job. The Orioles also called Rylan Bannon up from triple-A Norfolk for the game, and he made his big league debut.

The O’s took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on a Jorge Mateo solo homer. Immediately following Mateo in the lineup was Bannon, who immediately got on base with a single – his first big league hit on his first big league at-bat. A moment that Bannon will never forget. If his career ended tomorrow, he still would have gotten a hit in a major league ballgame.

That 1-0 lead stood up for quite awhile. The O’s scored again in the top of the seventh when Anthony Bemboom hit a solo homer of his own. It was the first home run by an Orioles’ catcher this season. And it came on a day when the Orioles needed every run they could get.

Later in that seventh inning Cedric Mullins would tack on an RBI-single, and the Orioles led 3-0. St. Louis would also get a homer by Carlson, and a sac fly-RBI by Arenado in the seventh and eighth innings respectively. They would also threaten to score more, but the Orioles’ pen held firm and the Birds will go to Detroit on the heels of a 3-2 victory.

With today’s win, the Orioles took two-of-three from a very good St. Louis Cardinals team. And in doing so they seemed to come together as a team. Keep in mind that the O’s lost big last night, this while knowing that today was going to be a challenge being a bullpen game. Not to mention that it was a day game. But they came together as a team and made a victory happen to win the series.

The O’s now head to Detroit to open a three-game set at Comerica Park. Jordan Lyles gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Eduardo Rodriguez. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: String of quality starts comes to an end

The Baltimore Orioles weren’t going to see quality starts for the rest of time. Eventually things were going to get tougher, and that eventuality happened tonight. Spencer Watkins got the start, abs struggled throughout his outing. Watkins’ line: 3.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 2 BB, 3 K.

Watkins surrendered three runs in the last of the second. A solo homer by Yepez, and a two-RBI double by Donovan got things started for St. Louis. And that set the tone in essence for the entire game.

Edman’s RBI-double in the last of the fourth ran the score to 4-0. St. Louis would keep the pressure on, tacking on six more runs over the course of the rest of the game. The O’s would also get on the board in the last of the fifth on Robinson Chirinos’ RBI-double.

It begins and ends with starting pitching. I’ve said that for years. Or written it, I should say. Watkins was off tonight. But as I said, the string of quality starts wasn’t going to last forever. Someone was going to trip up at some point.

The series in St. Louis concludes tomorrow afternoon at Busch Stadium. The O’s are yet to announce a starter, but whomever he is will be opposed by St. Louis’ Jordan Hicks. Game time is set for 1:15 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Kyle Bradish strikes out 11 as O’s defeat Redbirds

The Baltimore Orioles taxed Kyle Bradish with going to the mound and starting in St. Louis tonight. And all Bradish did was produce the Birds’ fourth straight quality start in as many games. Bradish’s line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 11 K.

This is an interesting series for a couple of reasons. First off, the Orioles came to Baltimore from St. Louis in 1954. Previously they had been the St. Louis Browns. They also hadn’t played in St. Louis since the early 2000’s. This meaning it was their first visit to the new Busch Stadium.

Bradish keeping the Redbirds at bay can’t be under-stressed. He put forth an all-star like effort tonight in keeping that lineup down. And in doing so, also helped save the Oriole bullpen a bit for later in the road trip.

The Orioles took the lead in the third inning on a two-run homer by Cedric Mullins. Tyler Nevin smacked one of his own (this one a solo shot) an inning later, running the score to 3-0. Obviously you’re going to be in good shape of you can get an outing like what Bradish produced tonight, combined with a few runs.

Come the fifth inning the O’s ran their lead to 4-0 on Anthony Santander’s RBI-double. Trey Mancini added an RBI-single in the sixth, and the O’s took a 5-0 lead. The O’s were cruising.

St. Louis’ first two runs came in a strange manner. Bader smacked a two-run homer – an inside-the-park home run, to be exact. Not only that, but it was the first inside-the-parker in the history of Busch Stadium. (The park opened in 2006.) Donovan would smack a solo homer in the last of the ninth as well, cutting the Birds’ margin of victory to 5-3.

But the rested Oriole bullpen held once Bradish left the game after the seventh, save for the solo homer. The O’s closed the door, and took the first game of the series 5-3. Talk about making a first impression in a ballpark where your franchise has never played before!

The series continues tomorrow night at Busch Stadium. Spencer Watkins gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by St. Louis’ Miles Mikolas. Game time is set for 7:45 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles propelled to victory by six-run fifth inning

The Baltimore Orioles ended up having a very successful, albeit disjointed, weekend series with the Kansas City Royals. It culminated this afternoon in a makeup of Saturday’s game that was rained out. Tyler Wells got the start, and became the third Oriole starter to have a successful outing against Kansas City. Wells’ line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K.

The game started well for Kansas City, with O’Hearn’s RBI-single giving them a 1-0 lead in the first inning. But that moment was the pinnacle of the day for the visiting Kansas City Royals. Wells, the bullpen, and the defense behind them shut down Kansas City bats for the rest of the game. But Oriole bats were quiet as well…

…until the fifth inning, that is. Jorge Mateo tied the game at one with an RBI-single early in the inning. Mateo would later steal second base, causing an errant throw from the Kansas City catcher, Melendez. This allowed Anthony Bemboom to score from third, giving the Orioles the lead at 2-1.

And the inning snowballed from there. Trey Mancini scored on a wild pitch, running it to 3-1. And Ryan Mountcastle’s two-RBI single ran it to 6-1. Which stood up as the final score of the game. For once it was an opposing pitcher who fell apart against the Orioles, prompting a big inning. While you’d prefer to spread out your run output in a game, you take runs however you can take them. Especially in a victory.

The Birds took two-of-three from Kansas City this weekend, which bodes well for them as they hit the road for St. Louis and then Detroit. And if not for a few errors, they were in line to win the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader as well. And the starting pitching was strong all weekend. All of these aspects combined work in the Orioles’ favor moving forward.

The O’s now head to St. Louis for three games, starting tomorrow night. Kyle Bradish gets the start for the Orioles, and St. Louis is yet to name a starter. Game time is set for 7:45 PM tomorrow night.

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Baltimore Orioles lifted by a big first inning

The Baltimore Orioles won the second game of a twin bill against Kansas City this afternoon, splitting the doubleheader. Baltimore area native Bruce Zimmermann got the start, and managed to deliver another quality start. Zimmermann’s line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 5 K.

For the second time today, the O’s had a starter who went deep into the ballgame. Jordan Lyles went 7.1 innings in game one earlier today, and Bruce Zimmermann pitched six. So the Oriole bullpen comes out of this doubleheader in fairly good shape. This with a makeup game tomorrow afternoon against these same Kansas City Royals tomorrow, and a road trip through St. Louis and Detroit looming this coming week.

Aside from Zimmermann’s shutdown performance (incidentally at one point he retired nine straight Kansas City hitters), the story of this game was written in the first inning. The O’s loaded the bases with nobody out, which seemed to bode well for the rest of the ballgame…

…and it boded well for that moment also. Cedric Mullins scored from third on a passed ball, giving the O’s a 1-0 lead. Ryan Mountcastle followed with an RBI-single, and Ramon Urias a sac fly-RBI. After one inning, the Birds held a 3-0 lead.

And that probably emboldened Bruce Zimmermann. He’s been the Orioles’ best pitcher thus far, but getting early runs makes a huge difference. In this specific case it also shows improvement from game one of the doubleheader where the O’s left quite a few runners on base.

Kansas City would push one across in the second on Merrifield’s sac fly-RBI. The Birds would grab an insurance run however in the fifth when Tyler Nevin smacked an RBI-single. Kansas City would attempt to rally in the sixth, but they could only muster a run on Dozier’s RBI-single. And the O’s went on to a 4-2 win.

A lot of players and coaches don’t like doubleheaders for various reasons (paramount of which has to do with the way it taxes players), but one of them is because most doubleheaders end up being split. Obviously that’s what we saw today. And that was due in large part to the effort from Bruce Zimmermann in the second game. And again, a solid outing by a starter in a doubleheader situation really helps a team out. So as I said above, the Oriole bullpen is in good shape going forward.

The series with Kansas City concludes tomorrow with a makeup game at Camden Yards. Tyler Wells gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Carlos Hernandez. Game time is set for just after 12 PM.

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Baltimore Orioles: Errors in the field costs the Birds

Jordan Lyles did the Baltimore Orioles a “solid” this afternoon. This based on pure longevity and staying in the ballgame. He pitched a strong start for the Birds, into the eighth inning. Lyles’ line: 7.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R (3 earned), 1 BB, 5 K.

When you’re playing a doubleheader and your starter goes into the eighth in game one, you’re in really decent shape. Win or lose. It helps save your bullpen.

Cedric Mullins gave the Orioles the lead in the second with a ground run RBI-double. Olivares’ RBI-single an inning later for Kansas City would tie the game at one. Kansas City would take the lead in the fifth when Lopez reached on a fielder’s choice, combined with Ryan Mountcastle’s throwing error. 

Benintendi would add a sac fly-RBI in the fifth to extend the lead to 3-1. Ryan Mountcastle appeared to potentially smack a two-run homer in the last of the fifth, however it was ruled a double. The Birds asked for a review, but the call was upheld. However the O’s did cut the lead to 3-2.

But two innings later the Birds would however get the lead back. Rougned Odor would smack a two-RBI double, giving the O’s a 4-3 lead. However that was short-lived. O’Hearn’s sac fly-RBI in the eighth would tie the game at four.

Kansas City would push two runs across in the top of the ninth as well, both the result of errors. A runner would get on base when Odor bobbled a routine grounder at second, and he would advance to third on a throwing error by Jorge Lopez. Two run-scoring singles later, Kansas City had a 6-4 victory in game one of a twin bill.

On the positive side, the O’s only used two relievers. In a doubleheader that’s important. However errors are killing this team right now. Only three of Kansas City’s six runs were earned. And the two in the ninth inning really stick out. You have to shore that up, as opponents are going to take advantage.

The series with Kansas City continues in a few moments from Camden Yards in the second game of the doubleheader. Bruce Zimmermann gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Daniel Lynch. Game time is set for about 20-25 from now.

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Baltimore Orioles smack five homers to defeat Minnesota

Offense has been tough to come by for the Baltimore Orioles thus far in 2022. However if this past week’s series with Minnesota is any indication, that might be changing. In last night’s series finale the Birds sent Spencer Watkins to the mound, and while he didn’t stick around long enough to get the win, he put the team in a spot to be successful. Watkins’ line: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K.

The Orioles hit five solo homers in the game last night. When you’ve been struggling to put runs on the board, that makes a difference. Ryan Mountcastle gave the O’s a 1-0 lead in the last of the second with the first of those five solo shots. One inning later it appeared that Minnesota had taken a 2-1 lead when Buxton grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored two runs. However the O’s challenged the second run, and the call was overturned. And we played on in a 1-1 tie.

But in the bottom of that same third inning the O’s took the lead back as Cedric Mullins smacked a solo homer. Minnesota briefly held the lead on Buxton’s two-run shot in the fifth, but it was short-lived. Jorge Mateo’s solo homer in the bottom of the inning tied the game back up at three.

Austin Hays and Ryan Mountcastle would add solo homers in the last of the eighth, and the O’s took the game 5-3. This also means that they split a four-game series with a very good Minnesota team. Mind you, Minnesota’s in first place in their division. They’re no slouch.

But more importantly, Oriole bats are coming alive. It was only a matter of time. If they can keep that momentum going, they’ll be in really good shape. This of course assuming that the pitching remains fairly solid – both starting and relief pitching.

Weather permitting, the O’s welcome the Kansas City Royals into Camden Yards this evening for the first game of three this weekend. Jordan Lyles gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Carlos Hernandez. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.