Orioles out to start long trip with series win vs. Diamondbacks

By
Field Level Media
We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Sep 2, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop baseman Gunnar Henderson (2) against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
Sep 2, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop baseman Gunnar Henderson (2) against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
Image: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles faced the possibility of losing their third consecutive game — a rarity this season — when they played the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix on Saturday night.

Thanks to a six-run fourth inning with seven straight hits, including a three-run homer by Cedric Mullins, Baltimore prevailed 7-3 after losing the series opener Friday night.

Advertisement

The three-game series concludes Sunday afternoon.

Baltimore lost to the Chicago White Sox when the Orioles concluded their homestand on Wednesday.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The last time the Orioles (84-51) lost more than two straight games was when they fell short in four consecutive contests from June 27 to July 1.

When asked the reason for the Orioles avoiding a prolonged losing streak, manager Brandon Hyde said, "I'm not really sure. Usually, it's the next-day starting pitcher."

Kyle Bradish, playing near his hometown of Goodyear, Ariz., was that next-day starter on Saturday.

The second-year major-leaguer allowed two runs and four hits in six innings while striking out six and walking three to improve his record to 10-6.

Advertisement

"Kyle gave us a great chance today and our offense kind of woke up a little bit in that (six-run) inning, so hopefully we can do that the rest of the year," Hyde said Saturday.

In the series finale, Baltimore will start right-hander Jack Flaherty (8-8, 4.73 ERA) on Sunday against Arizona right-hander Zac Gallen (14-6, 3.32).

Advertisement

Flaherty is 0-2 with a 4.13 ERA in four career starts against the Diamondbacks while he was with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Gallen has yet to face the Orioles in his career.

Both teams are facing challenging late-season schedules.

The Orioles, who lead the Tampa Bay Rays by 2 1/2 games atop the American League East standings, are in the midst of a nine-game road trip with games against Arizona, the Los Angeles Angels and the Boston Red Sox.

Advertisement

It's their second western swing in a short span. The Orioles played Aug. 11-20 on the West Coast with games against the Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics and finished the trip 6-3.

The Diamondbacks just started a stretch of playing 17 consecutive days, with their next scheduled day off on Sept. 18.

Advertisement

Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said he must plan to give some of his starters a break during this span to keep them as fresh as possible for the stretch run. They enter play Sunday tied with the San Francisco Giants for the final NL wild-card spot.

"(The players) are all saying the same thing — 'We've got 30 games left, I'll rest in November. I want to win and I'm your best option.''" Lovullo said. "That's what they always tell me and I like that."

Advertisement

Baltimore first baseman Ryan Mountcastle was scratched from the lineup Saturday for the second consecutive game because he is "feeling under the weather," according to the team.

Mountcastle fielded ground balls and took batting practice at Chase Field prior to Saturday's game.

Advertisement

Both teams have concern over players who were hit by a pitch Saturday.

Christian Walker, hit by a pitch from Bradish on his right arm in the third inning, was removed from the game before the sixth inning after suffering discomfort.

Advertisement

Lovullo said X-rays came back negative on Walker's elbow. Lovullo added that Walker may play on Sunday but it is unlikely.

Baltimore's Anthony Santander was hit on the back of his right hand by pitch from Luis Frias in the ninth.

Advertisement

Hyde said Santander will undergo precautionary X-rays, but added that the outfielder "should be fine."

Santander has a team-leading 26 home runs, including eight since the start of August.

Advertisement

—Field Level Media