Kyle Bradish recorded only five outs before suffering a bruised right foot in his first start of the season. The 26-year-old spent 15 days on the injured list but returned tonight in midseason form. Bradish delivered six shutout innings, and the Orioles blanked the Nationals in a 4-0 victory.
Bradish entered the season with plenty of hype after an impressive second half in 2022. The righty utilized a five pitch mix after the All Star break last year, and he let his offspeed arsenal do the heavy lifting again tonight.
Bradish allowed five hits, one walk, and struck out six. He generated nine groundballs from Washington hitters compared to only two flyouts in six frames. He induced an inning-ending double play after surrendering a pair of singles in the second, danced around a two-base error by Ryan Mountcastle in the fifth, and escaped after a one-out double by Joey Meneses in the sixth inning.
Adley Rutschman worked a bases loaded walk to get the Orioles on the board in the third. Washington starter MacKenzie Gore walked three batters during the inning with all three coming on full counts.
Jorge Mateo left the game with right hip discomfort after bouncing out in the second inning. Adam Frazier came off the bench to replace Mateo and delivered the biggest hit of the night two innings later.
Gore hung an 83-MPH breaking ball and Frazier launched it high over the right field fence. The free-agent signing tallied only three homers last year, but he showed plenty of power tonight. The blast scored Anthony Santander and provided the Orioles a 3-0 lead.
Gore had his moments, but Bradish outdueled his counterpart in the beltway rivalry. Both pitchers exited after six innings, but the Orioles won the battle of the bullpens.
Bryan Baker struck out two and exhibited a bit of flavor during a perfect seventh inning. Cionel Pérez struck out the first batter he faced but followed with a pair of walks. Brandon Hyde once again turned to Yennier Canó. Canó forced a fly out and fielded a comebacker to end the inning.
To no surprise, he ended the latest episode of the “Canó Show” with a celebratory pose. The 29-year-old has come out of nowhere to emerge as a quality option late in games for the Birds.
Gunnar Henderson provided Baltimore another insurance run with a two-out single in the top of the ninth. The knock scored Ramón Urías and allowed Félix Bautista to take in the final frame from the bullpen. Mike Baumann recorded the final three outs (two strikeouts) to clinch the mini series sweep.
Dean Kremer, Danny Coulombe, Canó, Bautista, Baker, Pérez and Baumann all kept the Nationals off the board during the two game set. The Nationals may not boast the strongest lineup, but this represents a significant improvement over the 24 runs allowed in four games against the Athletics.
The Orioles need Bradish and Kremer to deliver big innings for the club to reach its goals. These two games could mark the beginning of an impressive stretch for Baltimore. Mike Elias and Co. clearly made the right decision by keeping Canó with the team, and the bullpen will enter a weekend series against Detroit with plenty of rest.
Mateo’s injury comes at a difficult time after a flaming hot start to the season. The speedster is slashing .370/.426/.652 and holds one of the best OPS totals in the American League. Urías dodged the IL after taking a ball off his head on Saturday, but it remains to be seen whether Baltimore’s infield depth will be put to the test so soon. Frazier answered the first question with a left-on-left dinger.
The Orioles moved to 11-7 with the victory. They will rest up tomorrow before hosting the Tigers on Friday at Camden Yards.
Who was the most Birdland on April 19?
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Kyle Bradish (6 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 6 K, 1 BB)
Adam Frazier (1-2, walk, 2-Run HR off the bench)
Yennier Canó (Danced out of trouble in the eighth)