Orioles win series from Phillies with power display, another excellent start by Burnes - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Orioles win series from Phillies with power display, another excellent start by Burnes

Photo Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

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BALTIMORE—What happened? The Orioles hit four home runs and got another strong start from Corbin Burnes in their 8-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.

Gunnar Henderson hit his 22nd home run and eighth leadoff homer. Colton Cowser hit a two-run homer in the second, his ninth, Adley Rutschman hit his 14th homer in the third, and Jordan Westburg hit a three-run home run in the fifth, his 11th.

Philadelphia’s Zack Wheeler, one of baseball’s best starters, allowed all four home runs, the first time he’s given up that many. Wheeler gave up all eight runs.

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Burnes delivered his 10th straight quality start, allowing two runs on seven hits.

“That pitching matchup today, that’s two of the best starters in the game,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “The ability to hit premier pitching like that is not easy to do. The at-bats that our young guys, especially threw on him, being able to drive the baseball like that, it’s really, really impressive.”

The Orioles had an impressive homestand, winning two of three from the Atlanta Braves and Phillies.

“Happy with this whole homestand, how we played, how we competed,” Hyde said. “We were facing two really good teams, and I thought we left it all on the field for those six games.”

They’ll begin a three-game series with the American League East leading New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. Monday is the team’s only offday in June.

“We get a day off first, which is well deserved and needed for a lot of our guys,” Hyde said. “This has been a grind. I can see them walking off the field. They’re tired.

“To go at it the way, it’s been a tough stretch, and we’ve played really well. It doesn’t get any easier. Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. This is the big leagues. Now we’re going to go to a real cool baseball environment and hope we play well the next series.”

How effective was Burnes? Burnes allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking two. He won his fourth straight start and his fifth consecutive decision. His earned-run average is 2.14.

“I’m just enjoying watching him pitch every fifth or sixth day,” Hyde said. “He’s such a pro. Nobody sees the in-between starts preparation, what he puts into every start is incredible. He just knows how to pitch. He’s got a 96-mile-an-hour cutter and 98-mph two-seamer and keeps the ball down. That’s a really, really good lineup he held in check.

“The way the cutter/sinker with the curveball combo is some of the best stuff in the game. I love how competitive he is on the mound. It’s fun to watch two guys that are premier, premier pitchers going at it today.”

Cowser appreciates Burnes.

“Corbin’s great. He goes out there and gives it his all,” he said. “He’s a professional. He knows what he’s doing out there. He understands soft contact, strikeouts, things like that. He’s always going to keep us in the game.”

What was the Orioles’ gameplan against Wheeler? “One of the best pitchers in the league,” Cowser said. “He’s got great stuff. I think today we had a good offensive plan and went out and executed it.

“I think it was just staying in zone with him. Gunnar’s leadoff [at-bat] gave everyone else a blueprint. He was in zone, Gunnar was fouling off pitches and got one in the heart and hit it out for a homer. That’s always a great start, especially when you’re in the dugout watching the a.b. [at-bat].”

How was that air show? The fans were treated to great views of fighter jets participating in Flyover Baltimore, a part of Maryland Fleet Week.

The game was paused a few times because of how loud the jets were as fans chanted: “USA! USA!”

“I’ve never felt more American during a baseball game,” Cowser said. “I was really hoping I’d be hitting during one of them and someone got a picture or something. That would be pretty cool … Both fanbases came together and started chanting ‘USA!’ Gave me a little bit of chills.”

Hyde, who watched pregame fireworks in Cincinnati last month, a first, had another first on Sunday.

“That was incredible. I’ve seen them after national anthems, but never where you can feel it in your body, how loud it is, mid-inning,” he said.

“Pretty cool, actually … To look up in the sky and hear the ‘USA’ chant. When [Ryan] O’Hearn said when he heard the USA chant, he punched out because he wanted to hit a home run so bad because of how the crowd was reacting to the fighter jets.”

What about all these pitching injuries? Pitching coach Drew French is concerned about the number of injuries that have affected Oriole pitchers this season. Oriole starters John Means and Tyler Wells are done for the year because of elbow injuries, left-handed reliever Danny Coulombe is on the injured list with an elbow injury, and starting pitcher Kyle Bradish joined him on Saturday after hurting his right ulnar collateral ligament again in Friday night’s game.

It’s tough because they’re invested in Baltimore,” he said. “We’re invested in them, in the culture and the environment and winning and taking next steps with players.

“It is emotional because we love these players. They’re competitors. They’re warriors. We’re obviously praying for speedy recoveries and hope that the next guy is ready.”

French said the Orioles are doing what they can to prevent injures.

“It starts with communication with each individual player,” French said. “Understanding and trying to attack it from multiple angles. I’m not the only one talking to him … We’re trying to get them to feel they can be honest with us and understanding where they’re at, knowing that we can manipulate things to buy them an extra day or give them time off without an [injured list stint], things like that.”

What does it mean? The Orioles only offday this month is on Monday, and their opponents this month include four of the best teams in baseball — the Braves, Phillies, Yankees and Guardians.

“We knew what our schedule was in June,” Cowser said. “Not only with the quality of opponents we had but with the amount of games we had. Any time we can win series against anyone, it’s a positive. I think we showed as a team a lot of complete series win.”

What’s the word?  “We do our very best to win games that are in front of us and also to take care of our players at the same time. We want to be at our best in October.”-French on trying to prevent pitchers’ injuries

What’s the stat of the day? 133,067. That was the attendance this weekend. All three games against the Phillies were sold out.

“It was an awesome environment here,” Cowser said. “Their fans travel well. I’ve never played in a playoff game, but it felt like a playoff game.”

What’s happening in the minor leagues? In his first rehab start, Oriole starter Dean Kremer allowed five runs, three unearned, on four hits in Triple-A Norfolk’s 6-1 loss to Memphis. Kremer, who’s on the 15-day injured list with a strained right triceps, struck out three and walked one, throwing 59 pitches. First baseman Billy Cook hit his eighth home run.

Leftfielder John Rhodes had five hits and drove in six runs, hitting a three-run home run as Double-A Bowie beat Harrisburg, 8-3. Catcher Samuel Basallo, who bruised his right ankle on Saturday night, did not play.

Coby Mayo hit two home runs in the final game of his rehab assignment for High-A Aberdeen in its 15-12 win over Hickory. Mayo is on the injured list with a fractured rib and will return to Norfolk on Tuesday. Shortstop Carter Young hit a three-run home run and drove in four runs.

Single-A Delmarva was held to six hits in its 6-0 loss to Kannapolis.

Norfolk right-hander Jonathan Heasley (right shoulder inflammation) and Errol Robinson (left oblique strain) were placed on the injured list.

Right-hander Levi Stoudt, who was acquired this week off waivers, was demoted to Bowie from Norfolk.

What’s next? After Monday’s offday, Albert Suárez (3-0, 1.81) will face Nestor Cortes (3-5, 3.59) when the Orioles begin a three-game series with the New York Yankees in the Bronx on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.

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

 

 

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