O’s game blog: O’s host St. Louis in series finale

After an 11-2 loss Friday and 15-7 win on Saturday, the Orioles (33-34) host the St. Louis Cardinals (31-36) in the series finale this afternoon. The winner today takes the series. Then the Orioles welcome Cleveland to town for four games starting on Monday night.

jimenez-pitching-orange-sidebar.pngRight-hander Ubaldo Jiménez (1-2, 6.71 ERA) returns to the Orioles rotation today. He has swapped spots with Alec Asher, who is now taking the bullpen role that Jiménez had taken since his last start May 22. That day, Jiménez went four innings, allowing nine hits and six runs against the Minnesota Twins.

In four bullpen appearances since then, Jiménez worked 13 2/3 innings and gave up 13 hits and eight runs. His most recent game was Monday at Chicago, when he allowed three runs over 3 2/3 innings.

In his eight starts on the year, he is 1-2 with a 7.71 ERA and has allowed 11 homers over 39 2/3 innings. In five home games (four starts), Jiménez is 0-0 with an ERA of 8.85. He has allowed six homers over 20 1/3 innings and a .306 batting average against.

Jiménez allows a batting average of .286 to lefty batters and .262 to right-handed hitters

Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn (5-3, 2.69 ERA) will make his 14th start today. In eight road starts, Lynn is 2-2 with a 3.45 ERA.

In 73 2/3 innings for the year, he has given up just 50 hits with 30 walks, 71 strikeouts and a batting average against of .189. He has thrown 5 1/3 innings or less in four consecutive starts.

Left-handed batters have hit .244 with an .835 OPS off Lynn and he has given up nine of his 12 homers to lefty batters. But right-handers hit just .135 against him with an OPS of .419.

Second baseman Jonathan Schoop had four hits, two home runs and drove in four runs for the Orioles on Saturday. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Schoop became the second player in Orioles history to have a game in which he had four hits, two home runs and four RBIs as a second baseman. Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar did so on April 26, 1997 against the Boston Red Sox, with four hits, three home runs and six RBIs

On Saturday, there were a total of 56 home runs hit in Major League Baseball’s 16 games. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the 56 homers marked the highest total for a day this season, and tied for third-most all-time. Saturday’s total lifted the season average of home runs per game to 2.52 (the major league record of 2.34 home runs per game was set in 2000). Additionally, there were 289 strikeouts in the 16 games, the second-highest single-day total of the season (there were 293 strikeouts in 17 games on June 10).

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