After going 1-1 in a two-game series at Boston and 3-1 at Toronto, the Orioles conclude their nine-game road trip tonight at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park. They are 1-1 in this series and 5-3 on the trip.
Kevin Gausman allowed eight runs over 2 2/3 innings Tuesday night as the Reds won 9-3. Ubaldo Jiménez threw 7 2/3 innings of two-hit ball Wednesday night as the Orioles won 2-0.
In a close game last night, the Orioles got a clutch RBI single from Jonathan Schoop in the third inning. The Orioles have gotten a few clutch hits this year and they continue to rank among the American League leaders in team batting average with runners in scoring position in the early going.
AL team leaders with RISP
.333 - Boston
.305 - Orioles
.300 - Detroit
.295 - Houston
Seth Smith has had just one at-bat with a RISP this year and had a hit, so he’s batting 1.000 in such situations. Welington Castillo is batting .429 (3-for-7), Adam Jones is at .400 (2-for-5) with Schoop at .364 (4-for-11). Three Orioles are batting .333, with J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado at 3-for-9, and Trey Mancini 2-for-6. Mancini’s two hits with RISP have been home runs. The rest of the team has a combined three.
This is worth tracking for all teams, but maybe especially for a power-laden team like the Orioles that gets around 50 percent of its runs from homers. When the homers don’t come (like last night), do they get enough clutch hits to win otherwise? The strong pitching last night was obviously the most important factor in that game, but you can always use some clutch hits.
On the mound tonight, left-hander Wade Miley (1-0, 2.45 ERA) pitches for the Orioles and former Oriole Scott Feldman (1-1, 2.87 ERA) gets the start for the Reds in the game to decide this three-game series.
Miley pitched five scoreless (with seven walks) in his first start versus the Yankees, and allowed five hits and three runs over six innings in his last start on Friday at Toronto.
I recently took a look at Miley’s good run of pitching going back his last five starts with the Orioles. In a span dating to last Sept. 18 he is 2-0 with an ERA of 2.12, with 36 strikeouts over 29 2/3 innings.
In his 11 starts with the Orioles last season, right-handed batters hit .333 with an OPS of .894 versus Miley. In his first two starts this year, those numbers are .167/.580 and he obviously must improve on those 2016 numbers to have any chance to have a solid season.
Feldman has made three starts. On Friday against Milwaukee, he pitched five innings allowing four hits and two runs on 104 pitches. On the season he has pitched 15 2/3 innings, allowing 15 hits and five runs (.259 average against) with eight walks and 15 strikeouts.
Feldman made his third opening day start this season. He has now made starts in an opener for Cincinnati, Texas and Houston.
The Orioles are 7-1 in games decided by two runs or less. They are 4-1 in one-run games and 3-0 in games decided by two runs.
Orioles win another close one: Miley pitched good again. The Orioles won a close game. Again. J.J. Hardy’s RBI single in the top of the 10th broke a tie game and provided the Orioles a 2-1 win tonight.
The Orioles improved to 10-4, winning the last two games of this series by scoring just four runs while they gave up just one over 19 innings.
Miley got a no-decision, but threw another strong game. Over eight innings, he allowed two hits and one run with one walk and 11 strikeouts. His ERA for this season is 1.89. His ERA over his last six Orioles starts is 1.91.
The Orioles completed a 6-3 road trip and are 4-0-1 in their five series this season. They are 8-1 in games decided by two runs or less. They return home to face Boston on Friday night at Camden Yards.