Orioles complete sweep of Marlins with 5-4 win behind early scoring, Kyle Bradish’s pitching for season-best 8th straight victory

16 July 2023

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 season, 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.

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. The last season the Orioles won seven consecutive games multiple times was in 2016, the last time the club made the postseason.

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 batters 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.

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, 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.

The Marlins (53-42) scored four runs in the ninth off relievers Eduard Bazardo and Danny Coulombe, bringing the winning run to the plate in leadoff hitter Luis Arráez, who entered the game with an MLB-best .386 batting average. But Coulombe got Arráez to fly out to left to record the first save of his nine-year career.

The 33-year-old journeyman entered the game as MLB’s active leader for most games pitched in relief without a save.

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

This story will be updated.


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