Stowers' homer isn't enough to prevent end to Orioles' 6-game winning streak; Phillies are up next - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Stowers’ homer isn’t enough to prevent end to Orioles’ 6-game winning streak; Phillies are up next

Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer USA TODAY Sports

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BALTIMORE—What happened? Cole Irvin allowed four runs, three earned, on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings as the Orioles lost to the Atlanta Braves, 6-3. The loss ended the Orioles’ six-game winning streak and the Braves’ win ended their five-game losing streak.

With the New York Yankees’ 4-3 loss to Kansas City, the Orioles remain 2 ½ games behind in the American League East as they get set to play the 46-22 Philadelphia Phillies in a highly anticipated weekend series at Camden Yards.

On Thursday afternoon, Ozzie Albies had four hits for the Braves, who scored two runs in the first, single runs in the fourth and sixth and two runs in the ninth. Errors by shortstop Gunnar Henderson, in the fourth, and first baseman RyanO’Hearn, in the ninth, contributed to the Braves’ run production.

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“They came out swinging and we had to change our game plan,” Irvin said. “We had to change our game plan pretty quickly in that first inning.”

Braves starter Reynaldo López allowed two hits in six innings.

Kyle Stowers hit his first home run since September 29th, 2022 at Boston. The three-run shot in the seventh closed the Orioles’ deficit to 4-3 until two runs were scored against Cionel Pérez in the ninth.

How did Irvin do? Irvin entered the game with a 10.62 earned-run average in seven appearances against Atlanta. Albies went 3-for-3 against him and is 7-for-9 (.778) with four RBIs.

“That’s a sleeping ballclub right now,” Irvin said. “They’re very good. They’re able to put some damage up and thankful to keep it in the ballpark today and limit the damage. We were in that game, every part of it. We won that series and focus on the next series at hand.”

“I thought he threw the ball well,” manager Brandon Hyde said about Irvin. “I thought he did a nice job. He went into the sixth inning. Threw a bunch of strikes and gave us a chance.”

Where was the Orioles’ offense? López allowed leadoff singles to Henderson in the first and Jordan Westburg in the second. After Westburg’s single, López retired 14 straight before Adley Rutschman walked in the sixth. He lowered his ERA to a major league-best 1.69.

“We had a tough time squaring it up on him.” Hyde said. “We only had two hits in six innings, so he was really good today.”

Stowers’ three-run home run prevented a shutout and kept the Orioles close until the ninth.

“Kyle gave us a big boost there,” Hyde said. “Nothing going offensively. Takes a great swing on a pitch that he puts in the seats. Gives us a chance … gets us back in the game. We had a couple of runners on in the ninth inning, too. I thought we did a good job battling back.”

How was Stowers feeling? Stowers, who’s had right wrist discomfort, hadn’t played since Saturday. He made the game competitive with his three-run home run.

“It definitely felt good. It had been a long time,” Stowers said. “Happy I was able to cut the score in a close game, put us back in the game.”

Stowers’ last home run came near the end of the 2022 season, and in 2023 was just 2-for-30 without an extra-base hit. This one was hit 439 feet.

“It had been a while for me, so it was good,” he said.

The Orioles had first and second with one out in the ninth before Stowers’ sinking line drive to center was caught by a diving Michael Harris II.

“We even had a chance at the end,” Stowers said. “This team doesn’t give up. We don’t quit. Every stretch I’ve been here, late innings, we find a way to fight.”

What’s the latest on Dean Kremer? Kremer, who’s on the 15-day injured list with a strained right triceps strain, threw a bullpen session on Thursday. Hyde said the Orioles are deciding when and where he’ll have a rehab assignment.

“We’re not sure of the date exactly or where it’s going to be,” Hyde said.

What’s coming next? The Orioles’ tough stretch continues with three games against the Phillies this weekend and three at Yankee Stadium next week.

“We have high belief in ourselves in this clubhouse,” Stowers said. “We feel like we can compete with anyone. We all play hard, pull for each other. You combine all those things with the talent in here. We feel we stack up with the rest of the league well.”

What’s the word? “When we’re winning those ballgames, you just want to win. Better energy when you win.”-Stowers on the Orioles’ six-game winning streak.

What’s the stat of the day? 21. Henderson extended his on-base streak to 21 games, longest by an Oriole since Ryan Mountcastle’s 28-game run last July 21st-August 23rd.

What’s going on in the minor leagues: Chayce McDermott (2-4) allowed four runs, three earned, on four hits in 6 2/3 innings as Norfolk lost to Memphis, 5-3. McDermott walked four and struck out three. Leftfielder Daniel Johnson had two RBIs.

Trace Bright (0-6) allowed four runs, three earned, in four innings as Double-A Bowie lost to Harrisburg, 5-2. Designated hitter Jud Fabian and catcher Silas Ardoin homered.

Coby Mayo was 1-for-2 with a walk in his first rehab game for High-A Aberdeen. Mayo has been on the injured list with a fractured rib. Catcher Creed Willems hit a two-run home run in the 10th inning to give Aberdeen an 8-6 win over Hickory. Third baseman Mac Horvath also homered.

The IronBirds put left-handed pitcher Ronald Guzman on the injured list.

Jacob Cravey, Trey Gibson (1-4) and Jared Beck combined on a five-hit shutout as Single-A Delmarva beat Kannapolis, 5-0. Centerfielder Aron Estrada had three hits.

What’s next? The Orioles open a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night at 7:05. Kyle Bradish (2-0, 2.62) will face Ranger Suárez (10-1, 1.81).

Transactions: The Orioles claimed right-handed pitcher Levi Stoudt off  waivers from the Seattle Mariners and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk. Stoudt was 0-1 with a 9.58 ERA in four games last year with Cincinnati. To make room for Stoudt on the 40-man roster, the Orioles transferred pitcher John Means, who just had his second Tommy John surgery, from the 15-day to 60-day injured list.

Schedule change: The Orioles’ game against the Texas Rangers on June 30th has been changed to a 7:10 start for ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.”

Call for questions: Most weekdays, I’ll be answering at least one Orioles question. Please send yours to: [email protected]

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