O’s go for third August sweep in finale vs. Rockies

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There’s no telling how the Baltimore Orioles might draw up their bullpen plans for the time being.

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“It’s going to be a different drawing nightly,” manager Brandy Hyde said. “Probably do things like we did when (Felix) Bautista was not available.”

One of the top closers in baseball isn’t available for at least a few weeks, including when the Orioles wrap up a series with the visiting Colorado Rockies on Sunday afternoon.

The American League East-leading Orioles have won back-to-back 5-4 decisions in the series, and they’ll be going for a sweep for the third time this month.

Saturday marked a day of concern for the Orioles, who placed Bautista on the 15-day injured list. On Friday night, he left the mound when he needed just one more strike to secure what would have been his 34th save of the season.

Bautista has an injury to his ulnar collateral ligament, though team officials weren’t clear on the severity.

DL Hall was called up to take Bautista’s roster spot.

“He has been such a massive part of our team,” Hyde said of Bautista. “We’re hoping for the best for him. I just feel for him. We’ve got to move forward, have guys step up.”

Hall made an impression while pitching a shutout inning in relief Saturday night.

“That’s what we were looking for out of DL Hall, just fill up the strike zone,” Hyde said.

Yennier Cano pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save. He could be a key part of Baltimore’s bullpen solution.

“He wants the ball,” Hyde said. “He’s not afraid of the moment. He’s not afraid to face middle-of-the-order bats.”

Continuing the injury theme for Baltimore’s pitching, right-hander Jack Flaherty (8-8. 4.73 ERA) is slated to start Sunday. He had a scheduled start Wednesday nixed due to what was described as general soreness. He lost his past two starts, yielding a total of 10 runs in eight innings. Flaherty is 2-1 with a 1.90 ERA in four career starts vs. Colorado.

The Rockies have lost six consecutive games and 13 of their last 16.

“These are close, hard-fought games, and our guys are doing everything they can to win, both on the mound and at the plate,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “We’re close. This week has been tough in that regard.”

Black will manage game No. 1,000 with the Rockies on Sunday, marking the second most in franchise history.

The Rockies will go with left-hander Ty Blach (1-1, 4.39) as their starter. Colorado is 1-12 in the games he has pitched in this season, including a loss Tuesday at Tampa Bay, where he allowed three runs in four innings.

Blach, who has made six starts this year, pitched in four games for the Orioles in 2019 and didn’t return to the majors until 2022 with the Rockies. Three of his four outings with Baltimore came in road games, and his 1-2 record included a home loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In 129 career games, he has never pitched against the Orioles.

—Field Level Media

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