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Bradish dominates early and Orioles’ bullpen hangs on late in 5-4 win over Marlins

The O’s scored three runs before recording an out but gave up four runs in the 9th inning as they hung on to earn a series sweep over Miami.

Miami Marlins v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

For most, Sunday is an easy-going day filled with relaxation before the start of a week. The Orioles looked like they’d get a nice, easy, relaxing win, but instead had to navigate a tense 9th inning in a 5-4 victory over Miami.

The O’s biggest bats wasted no time giving the O’s the lead, as it was 3-0 before the Marlins ever recorded an out. Gunnar Henderson led off the bottom of the first by rocketing a hanging slider into the right-center gap for a double. Adley Rutschman then immediately brought Gunnar home, as he launched a ground rule double into left-center on a ball that one-hopped over the wall at Elrod’s Corner.

Anthony Santander then added an exclamation mark to the O’s opening rally, as Tony Taters delivered one of his signature Taters into the Orioles bullpen. The homer not only gave the Orioles a 3-0 lead, but gave Santander the 100th home run of his career.

Austin Hays followed Santander with a single up the middle, and the offense then went into rest and relaxation mode. Even though the O’s didn’t collect another hit until the 7th inning, they did manage to pick up two more runs in the 4th. Ramón Urías started the unlikely rally by drawing a one out walk. Marlins pitcher George Soriano then lost control of his pitches, hitting Colton Cowser and Adam Frazier in back-to-back ABs on pitches that ran way too far inside.

Then, with the infield drawn in, James McCann sent a ball to short that skipped off the glove of Joey Wendle, allowing Urías to score and McCann to reach first. Henderson then laced a first-pitch fastball into right field for a sac fly that brought Cowser home and gave Baltimore a 5-0 lead.

It looked like that lead would be more than enough, but things took a turn toward the uncomfortable in the 9th. With that five-run lead—and both Félix Bautista and Yennier Cano unavailable—Brandon Hyde turned to recent call up Eduard Bazardo to close things out. Bazardo couldn’t exactly pull off a Mountainous impression, however, as he allowed a leadoff single to Marlins DH Garrett Cooper followed by a double from clean-up hitter Yuli Gurriel. After finally getting an out via a Bryan De La Cruz pop up, Bazardo gave up the first runs of the game when third baseman Jean Segura sent a two-run double into center field.

That would be the end of the day for Bazardo, but not the end of the trouble for the O’s. Danny Coulombe came in looking to earn his first Orioles save, and while he got there eventually, it was a bumpy ride. He got Wendle to ground out for the second out, but then gave up a single to outfielder Jon Berti that brought home Segura.

After getting ahead of No.9 hitter Dane Myers 1-2, Coulombe looked to put him away with a 2-2 curveball down and in. Instead, Myers deposited it down the left field line for a double that scored Berti and made things 5-4. However, with MLB batting average leader Luis Arraez looking to tie the game and prevent an 0-5 day, Coulombe got the Marlins All-Star to fly out to left to end things.

All of the Orioles’ efforts were in support of an excellent start from Kyle Bradish. The O’s starter continues to outdo himself seemingly every start and Sunday was undoubtedly the best start of his 2023 season. Bradish set the tone early, striking out Arraez after a 10-pitch battle to start things off in the top of the 1st. To put that in perspective, it was only Arraez’s 20th K in almost 350 ABs. The second year right-hander got the next two outs in quick succession and then worked a flawless 2nd inning.

Things got a little tougher for Bradish in the 3rd and 4th innings, but each time he rose to the occasion. Marlins shortstop Joey Wendle led off the 3rd by reaching on a HBP and two batters later, ninth-hitting Dane Myers walked to give Miami two on and one out. Bradish then got Arraez to fly out on the first pitch before striking out Jorge Soler on a 3-2 curveball.

In the 4th, Cooper picked up the Marlins first hit with a double to right-center, and then moved to third on a soft ground out from Gurriel. Bradish then locked in against the Marlins’ 5 and 6 hitters, striking out De La Cruz on a curveball at the top of the zone and then punching out Segura with a curve that dropped out of the bottom of the zone.

Bradish typically relies on his slider and curveball to dominate his opposition, but Sunday he had a true four-pitch mix working. Bradish consistently got his four-seam fastball over for strikes, and used his sinker effectively to both sides of the plate. He started the 5th inning off by striking out Wendle looking on a sinker running away, and then picked up another ꓘ against catcher Jacob Stallings with a perfectly located sinker on the outside corner.

The 26-year-old righty picked up his 8th K of the game to start off the 6th inning, again catching another Marlin looking as he punched out Soler with a curveball at the top of the zone. He cruised through the 6th and 7th innings, inducing a number of lazy fly outs and easy ground balls. Bradish then became the first Orioles starter all season to get an out in the 8th inning when he got pinch-hitter Jon Berti to fly out to right to lead off the inning. Brandon Hyde then lifted Bradish after Myers reached on an infield single.

After putting together a final line of 7.1 IP, 3 Hs, 0 ER, 1 BB and 8 Ks, it’s clear that Bradish is the Orioles’ best starter right now. Bradish runs his streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 15.2 after shutting down the Marlins lineup on Sunday. Dating back to a start against the Blue Jays on June 14th, Bradish now has six straight starts allowing two runs or less—and in all but one of those starts, he completed at least six innings.

The win give the Orioles their eighth consecutive victory and sixth sweep of the season. The winning streak continues to put pressure on the Tampa Bay Rays as the O’s try to chase them down for first place in the AL East and the best record in the AL. While that task doesn’t get any easier with the red-hot Dodgers next on the schedule, Baltimore can take solace in the way they took care of business against the Marlins. After all, Sunday was just another chapter in a 2023 season where the O’s continually rise to every challenge placed in front of them.


Who was the Most Birdland Player for July, 16th?

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  • 97%
    Kyle Bradish
    (922 votes)
  • 2%
    Anthony Santander
    (23 votes)
945 votes total Vote Now