Gunnar Henderson, Orioles look to slug their way past Cardinals

After hitting 28 homers during his first full big league season, Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson believed he still had more power to tap.

He was right. Henderson will bring a four-game homer streak into Tuesday’s game between the Orioles and Cardinals in St. Louis.

Henderson hit his MLB-leading 16th homer of the season, a three-run shot, as the Orioles fell to the Cardinals 6-3 Monday in the opener of their three-game series.

“I thought there was a lot more development that I had and a lot better swings that I could have taken from last year,” Henderson told “I feel like I’m allowing myself to do that this year and just really take good approaches to the plate and try to honestly just get on base for the guys behind me. And whenever I can do some damage, then I’ll try and do it.”

Henderson, the 2023 American League Rookie of the Year, came into this series tied with the Houston Astros’ Kyle Tucker atop the homer leaderboard.

“Who wouldn’t say they want to be at the top in home runs in the major leagues?” Henderson said. “Just going out there and trying to help the team win, and if homers come with it, then so be it.”

The Orioles will look to rebound from Monday’s loss with Kyle Bradish (0-0, 2.63 ERA) drawing the start. He has allowed just four runs in 13 2/3 innings in his three starts, getting a late start to the season due to a sprained UCL in his pitching elbow.

In his most recent outing, Bradish allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in four innings of a 3-2 victory at Toronto.

Bradish won his only career start against the Cardinals on May 10, 2022. He struck out 11 and walked none in seven innings while allowing two runs on four hits in that game.

The Cardinals have won six of their past eight games with an offensive surge, averaging 7.3 runs in the victories. Masyn Winn (11 games), Brendan Donovan (eight games) and Alec Burleson (six games) are all riding hitting streaks. Paul Goldschmidt has hit safely in eight of his past nine games.

In Monday’s victory, the Cardinals got their run production from the No. 8 and No. 9 hitters, with Winn driving in two runs with a double and a single and Michael Siani driving in four with a single and a three-run homer.

It was the first career home run for Siani.

“(Siani) put tough at bats together. He doesn’t give in,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “He plays the game the right way. And then defensively, he is absolutely elite. He is playing center field extremely, extremely well. Big at bats today, drove in that first run and then the homer. Very positive.”

On Tuesday, St. Louis will start Lance Lynn (1-2, 4.17), who suffered a 7-2 road loss to the Los Angeles Angels in his most recent start last Wednesday. He allowed four runs on eight hits and two walks in five innings.

Lynn has worked more than five innings just once this season. He is 3-2 with a 3.57 ERA in nine career appearances against the Orioles, including seven starts.

Before Monday’s game the Cardinals called up reliever Ryan Loutos from Triple-A Memphis to get a fresh arm in the bullpen. The team demoted fellow right-hander Chris Roycroft to make room for him on the roster.

–Field Level Media