BRADENTON, Florida—What’s happening? Kyle Bradish will make his final start on Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies at Ed Smith Stadium at 1:05 p.m.
It will be Bradish’s fifth start. He has allowed 11 runs on 13 hits in 11 1/3 innings for an 8.74 ERA. He has walked three and struck out 14. He’ll be opposed by Matt Strahm.
The game will be broadcast on WBAL/98 Rock with Geoff Arnold and Melanie Newman.
In Monday’s final Grapefruit League game, Dean Kremer will start against the St. Louis Cardinals’ Jordan Montgomery.
Catcher James McCann hasn’t played since March 20th because of a side injury.
“His side’s a little bit sore, so we’re being precautionary with him,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Hoping to get him back in the next few days.”
Cole Irvin will throw on the back fields on Monday.
Hyde, who has named Kyle Gibson as the Orioles’ Opening Day starter and Kremer as the second starter, isn’t ready to name his other starters.
Dillon Tate, who will begin the season on the 15-day injured list because of a forearm injury, probably won’t pitch until mid-May “if all goes well,” Hyde said, adding that it could be late May before he returns.
What’s happened? Tyler Wells pitched five solid innings, allowing an unearned run on two hits as the Orioles defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-4, before an announced crowd of 5,521 at LECOM Park on Saturday night.
Wells, who’s competing for a spot in the starting rotation, struck out two and didn’t walk a batter.
“Loved what he did,” Hyde said. “I thought he pounded the strike zone like he did his last start. He had a better feel for his offspeed and his fastball had good life. Five pretty clean innings.”
In his previous start against the New York Yankees in Tampa on March 20th, Wells allowed one run on five hits in 3 2/3 innings, striking out three and walking none.
“It was huge, definitely gets me mentally right,” Wells said. “Our attack plan with the coaches, [catcher Anthony Bemboom], worked out really well. I was happy to execute it and couldn’t be happier about it.”
Wells’ spring ERA is 5.74, but his last two starts have been much better than his first three.
“Execution. It’s just being able to go out there and make the pitches when you need them and obviously my defense has been picking me up as well,” Wells said. “It’s a good recipe.”
Wells is happy with his progress.
“Overall, spring has been pretty solid,” he said. “I’ve had a couple of rough outings, and I think overall the plan has been very consistent. I feel like I’ve thrown a lot of strikes. I feel like I’ve competed against guys. It’s also crazy to think … it’s hard to compare to other spring trainings because this is the first normal one we’ve had in a long time.”
ONeil Cruz led off the first with a single, then Wells retired eight straight before Cruz reached on an error and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Ke’Bryan Hayes. Rodolfo Castro singled with two outs in the fifth.
Jordan Westburg’s sacrifice fly in the fifth tied the score at 1-1. Westburg hit a two-run double and Bemboom a two-run home run in a four-run seventh.
Ryan O’Hearn, who had three hits, homered in the eighth.
DL Hall pitched 2 1/3 innings in his second appearance of the spring, allowing a run on two hits, walking two and striking out three. In his first appearance on March 20th, Hall allowed three runs, two unearned on three hits in 1 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out four.
“My feel was probably at an all-time high, so that’s always a positive,” Hall said. “Still working to get my stamina back. A little tired at the end. My feel for all my pitches has been great. I’m going to do anything I can to be pitching at the big league level. I’m going to be pushing and keep doing what I’ve been doing.”
Hall says he needs more work after missing time because of a back injury.
“I finished out of the bullpen last year, so getting back to that starter routine, getting that stamina back after taking this time off, late start,” he said.
Hall’s velocity was in the 93-95 mph range.
“You always want to light up the radar gun, but it’s getting that feel back, getting that stamina back and once we’re in Camden Yards, we’ll start letting it go,” he said. “I’m ready for whatever they throw at me. Looking forward to an opportunity to get big league hitters out, whether it’s out of the ‘pen or starting.”
Andrew Politi allowed two runs on three hits in the eighth, recording two outs. Yennier Cano pitched a spotless ninth.
What’s up with? Ramón Urías returned after he was scratched from the previous two games because of a bruised right thumb. Urías booted Cruz’s grounder for a two-base error in the fourth.
Urías was hitless in three at-bats.
What’s the word? “To say whether I deserve it or not, that’s not up to me. Unfortunately, I don’t want to answer that question directly, but I think the organization is going to do what they can do to put the best team out there.”-Wells on whether he deserves a spot in the rotation.
What’s what? The Orioles have a fascinating choice for the fifth starter’s spot. Assuming Kyle Bradish, who will start Sunday, follows Gibson, Kremer and Irvin, will they choose Rodriguez who has had an uneven spring, or Wells, who was strong for the first half of last season as a starter and has pitched well in his last two starts.
What’s the number? .378 is O’Hearn’s Grapefruit League batting average. He’s 14-for-37 this spring with two home runs and five RBIs.
What’s the record? 15-12-3. The Orioles will play the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday at Ed Smith Stadium at 1:05 p.m.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB