O’s game blog: Hellickson against Montgomery in New York

After 13-5 and 8-2 losses the last two nights, the Orioles play in New York this afternoon looking to get their first win in this four-game series.

At 72-76, the Orioles have followed a season-best seven-game win streak by going 4-11. They have lost eight of their last nine and nine of 11 games. They are 28-46 on the road.

The Orioles have 14 games left and would need to go 9-5 to finish at 81-81. A 10-4 or better finish would produce a winning season. The Orioles have not had a losing record since going 69-93 in 2011.

Last night was the 66th time this season the Orioles scored three or fewer runs and they are 15-51 in those games. In going 1-8 over the past nine games, the Orioles have hit just .193 and scored 19 runs.

Jeremy-Hellickson-throw-gray-sidebar.jpgOn the mound today, right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (2-4, 6.54 ERA) will make his ninth start as an Oriole. On Sunday at Cleveland, he produced his fourth quality start, but took a 3-2 loss when he gave up three runs and four hits over six innings.

In 10 career appearances (eight starts) against the Yankees, he is 4-2 with a 3.60 ERA. This will be Hellickson’s fifth start against an American League East opponent this season and the 59th of his career (64th appearance). In his first 63 appearances against the division, Hellickson has gone 23-16 with a 3.93 ERA. In his four starts against the division this season, he is 1-2 with an 8.53 ERA.

Hellickson has surrendered a career-high 32 home runs in 2017, tied for fifth-most in baseball. His 1.86 home runs allowed/nine innings would be a career high. His career average is 1.28.

Left-hander Jordan Montgomery (7-7, 4.24 ERA) will make his 27th start for New York. In 16 first-half starts, he went 6-4 with a 3.65 ERA. In 10 in the second-half, he is 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA. The Yankees are 11-15 in his 26 starts and 4-8 in his last 12. In four starts this season versus the Orioles, he is 1-1 with a 3.43 ERA.

Catcher Welington Castillo hit his 20th home run on Friday night. Seven O’s hitters now have 20 or more home runs for the season. Castillo joins Mark Trumbo, Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Adam Jones, Trey Mancini and Chris Davis as O’s with at least 20. The 2017 season marks the second time in Orioles history that the team has had seven players with 20 or more homers in a season. The Orioles did that also in 1996. According to STATS, LLC., the 2017 Orioles are the sixth major league team with at least seven players with 20 or more in a season and first since the 2010 Toronto Blue Jays.

The Orioles have hit 224 home runs to lead the majors. They lead the majors in homers since the All-Star break with 101. The O’s have led the majors in three of the past five seasons (2016, 2014, 2013), finishing second (2012) and third (2015) the other two years. For the past four seasons, the major league leader in homers was an Oriole with Davis in 2013, Nelson Cruz in 2014, Davis in 2015 and Trumbo in 2016.

Outfielder Austin Hays is getting a start against a lefty pitcher today. At each stop of the minors, he got better hitting left-handers. In 2016 at short season Single-A Aberdeen, he hit .343 with an OPS of .857. At Single-A Frederick this year. he hit .390 with a 1.123 OPS and with Bowie he hit .432 with an OPS of 1.1218.

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