Can you hear that? There’s a rumble throughout baseball, and it’s coming from Baltimore.
The Orioles, arguably facing one of their biggest tests of the season, took on two division leaders and won both series.
The latest, taking down the Cleveland Guardians two games to one, and, once again, the starting pitching led the way for the Birds.
Since the second half start, the O’s starting pitching ranks in the top 10 in Major League Baseball, and rookie right-hander Kyle Bradish is leading the way.
To add to the excitement, Gunnar Henderson, Baseball America’s top prospect, has joined the team for the stretch run, along with lefty D.L. Hall and new acquisition Jesús Aguilar.
The stretch run is going to be interesting for the rest of baseball, as a young and hungry club is out to prove everyone wrong and have fun in the process.
Game one in Cleveland saw the Birds jump out to a quick 1-0 lead on a Ryan Mountcastle sacrifice fly. Unfortunately, Ramón Urías had the only hit of the game for the Orioles, and Spenser Watkins (4-5) surrendered five earned runs in 4.2 innings, as the Birds fell, 5-1.
Game two saw Gunnar Henderson make his major league debut, and boy, was it one for the ages.
In his second big league at-bat, with the Orioles up 1-0, Henderson, on a 2-2 pitch, would hit a drive to right-center field. Traveling 429 feet, Henderson’s first major league hit was a deep home run.
Urías would add a two-run homer to close the scoring for the Orioles and the game. Led by Jordan “The Innings Eater” Lyles’ (10-9) 6.2 innings of shut out ball, the Orioles were coming out winners in this one, 4-0.
The rubber game was over from the first at-bat, as Cedric Mullins took the first pitch of the game out of the park, giving the Orioles a quick 1-0 lead.
Two batters later, Anthony Santander hit his team-leading 24th home run to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead. A Ryan Mountcastle home run (19th) would close the scoring for the game, and it would be enough.
Kyle Bradish (3-5), pitching in just his 17th game and second straight outing against a division leader, would shut down the Guardians, scattering two hits over seven innings of no-run ball.
Bradish has become the first pitcher in Orioles’ history to allow zero runs on two hits or less in consecutive games.
Félix Bautista tossed a scoreless ninth, picking up his 11th save and closing out the Orioles’ 69th victory of the season.
The Baltimore Battery ❌-FACTOR heading into the series was: Pressure.
The Orioles failed to bring that factor to game one, but games two and three had the O’s use big home runs to pressure the Guardians pitching staff to keep the score close but also force Cleveland’s offense to press to catch up.
Oriole pitching held the Guardians to zero runs for 21 consecutive innings to end the series, ending any hope of Cleveland being able to respond or have any chance to win the series.
The Orioles will welcome the Oakland Athletics to Camden Yards to start a three-game series Friday night and a 10-game home stand.
Tune in tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. EST for the Orioles Magic to continue.
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