Michael R. Smith/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

BALTIMORE — One of the main pieces who contributed to the Baltimore Orioles’ success in winning last year’s American League East division title got off the best possible start in 2024, even if it took a little longer than he and the team would have wanted to start.

Bradish allowed just ine run and four hits in 4 2/3 innings in his 2024 debut, helping to lead the Orioles to a 7-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Thursday afternoon. Ryan Mountcastle and Jorge Mateo each homered and drove in two runs as Baltimore won three out of four in the first series against the team that is appearing to be the main threat to the Orioles’ division crown.

Bradish emerged as the ace of last year’s pitching staff, as his 2.83 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 168 2/3 innings pitched led to him finishing fourth in the American League Cy Young Award voting, but his debut this season was delayed by a UCL sprain at the beginning of spring training and fears were that Tommy John surgery might be on the horizon. But platelet-rich plasma injections and rehab proved enough to put him on a path back toward the mound sooner rather than later, and came back to the ball club after three minor league starts.

His five strikeouts, along with topping out at 97 mph with his pitches, was proof that Bradish is back on the road to becoming one of the established aces in the American League and possibly forming a 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation with new acquisition and former Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes.

“It’s like he hasn’t lost a beat,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Thursday afternoon’s game, with photos taken by DC-area photographer Michael R. Smith. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 17 pictures in total.

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Tags : Baltimore OriolesKyle BradishMajor League BaseballNew York Yankees

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