Orioles hang on, 5-4, to sweep Marlins behind early scoring, Kyle Bradish’s pitching for season-best 8th straight victory – The Denver Post

After his start Saturday, Kyle Gibson praised the Orioles’ ability to come back in games after they rallied to beat the Miami Marlins after trailing by four runs in the second inning.

Baltimore’s bats made sure early Sunday no comeback would be needed, and starting pitcher Kyle Bradish wouldn’t have needed one anyway. The Orioles scored three runs before recording an out, Bradish pitched 7 1/3 shutout innings and the bullpen barely held on in the ninth in Baltimore’s 5-4 win over the Marlins.

The triumph completes the series sweep of a Marlins team that arrived in Baltimore with the National League’s second-best record. The sweep is the Orioles’ sixth this season. They are the only team in the majors yet to be swept this year , with the most recent one in May 2022 before Adley Rutschman’s MLB debut.

The Orioles, owners of the American League’s second-best record at 57-35, have won a season-high eight games in a row, topping a seven-game streak from April 16-24. The last time they won eight straight games was in July 2022, when a 10-game win streak transformed the Orioles from a rebuilding club into the playoff contender they are now.

“It’s been great,” Bradish said of the winning streak. “Finishing off the first half with five games right there and then coming out and sweeping the Marlins, who are a really good team, it’s really good for our confidence building on for the second half.”

The last season in which the Orioles won seven consecutive games more than once was in 2016, the last time they made the postseason. The only other teams in baseball with multiple seven-game winning streaks this season are the AL-best Tampa Bay Rays and the NL-leading Atlanta Braves. With the Rays’ loss to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday, the Orioles are just one game behind Tampa Bay for first place in the AL East.

Sunday’s matinee wasn’t one to arrive late to. Any fans among the announced attendance of 30,761 who were running behind getting to Camden Yards likely missed the majority of Baltimore’s scoring. After Bradish retired the first three batters to open the contest, the Orioles’ first three ripped extra-base hits to take an early 3-0 lead.

Gunnar Henderson and Rutschman, Baltimore’s top two picks in the 2019 draft, led off the game with doubles. Henderson, the Orioles’ second-round pick that summer, roped a 107.4 mph two-bagger to left-center field off Marlins left-handed opener Steven Okert. Rutschman, the No. 1 overall pick in that draft, drove his friend home with a 102.7 double from the right side of the plate.

Two pitches later, Anthony Santander golfed a low slider by Okert for a 428-foot home run into Baltimore’s bullpen. The long ball was the 100th of Santander’s career and team-leading 17th this season. The 28-year-old switch-hitter has batted safely in eight straight games, raising his OPS to .847 — the best among the Orioles’ qualified hitters.

“Gunnar getting us going, and Adley hitting a two-strike fastball mistake and Santander just playing great baseball right now,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Those three guys, setting the table for us, setting the tone.”

Bradish, meanwhile, delivered perhaps his best start of the season, not an easy feat for a right-hander who posted a 3.32 ERA in the first half. The 26-year-old was masterful in his initial second-half start — pounding the strike zone by only walking one, staying out of the middle of the zone to allow just three hits and utilizing his five-pitch mix to strike out eight. Bradish (6-4) lowered his ERA to a rotation-best 3.05.

“Really good, gosh,” Hyde said of Bradish’s performance. “Just had that one inning where he walked and hit the guy. Besides that, he was on cruise control.”

Bradish, who ended his first half with six shutout innings versus the New York Yankees, extended his scoreless frames streak to 15 1/3 on Sunday. The last time he allowed more than two runs in a start was June 8. He hasn’t given up more than three since May 23.

“He threw the heck out of the ball today,” reliever Danny Coulombe, who closed out the game, said

The only other Orioles starter to record two straight scoreless starts is Grayson Rodriguez, who Hyde said would return to the rotation and start Monday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Orioles scored two key insurance runs in the fourth despite not recording a hit in the inning. Bulk reliever George Soriano walked third baseman Ramón Urías and hit outfielder Colton Cowser, making his first career start at Camden Yards, and second baseman Adam Frazier to load the bases. Marlins shortstop Joey Wendle then booted a ground ball from James McCann to allow Urías to score, and Cowser came home on a Henderson sacrifice fly.

The Marlins (53-42) scored four runs in the ninth off relievers Eduard Bazardo and Coulombe to bring the winning run to the plate. Bazardo, a recent Triple-A call-up, allowed hits to three of the first four batters, including a two-run double to Jean Segura. Coulombe, the Orioles’ third-best reliever, was tasked with closing the game with All-Stars Yennier Cano and Félix Bautista both unavailable after they pitched Friday and Saturday.

Coulombe retired the first batter he faced, but after RBI hits from Jon Berti and Dane Myers, the Orioles were one run away from their worst late-inning collapse of the season. Naturally, with the speedy Myers on second, the hitter most likely to record a hit in any given at-bat was due up for the Marlins. Leadoff man Luis Arráez has marveled this season as a throwback hitter, entering Sunday with a .386 batting average.

“That’s not the guy you want to see come up with a runner in scoring position and two outs as the tying run,” Hyde said.

But Coulombe got Arráez, his former teammate with the Minnesota Twins, to fly out to left to record the first save of his nine-year career.

The 33-year-old journeyman was MLB’s active leader for most games pitched in relief without a save. He entered Sunday with the fifth-most relief appearances of all time without one.

“He’s such a tough at-bat,” Coulombe said. “I played with him with the Twins. I actually have a pretty good relationship with him. I’ve seen it a million times. Maybe just throw it right down the middle and see what he’s going to do with it because he’s not going to swing and miss, but he swung and missed twice. I was like, ‘Huh, what’s going on here?’ But, no, he’s a great player, and it was good to get that out.”

Before the sweep of the Marlins, the Orioles’ first five wins of the streak came against the wild-card contending Yankees and AL Central-leading Twins to end the first half. Extending it beyond eight games will be even tougher, though, as the NL West-leading Dodgers are the only team in baseball as hot as the Orioles. They entered Sunday on a six-game winning streak and are one of three teams with better odds to make the playoffs than Baltimore, according to FanGraphs.



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