Right-hander David Hess (2-2, 3.07 ERA) tonight gets his second look at the Boston Red Sox, the one team that hit him hard so far during his first five major league starts. Since that outing, Hess is 1-1 with an ERA of 0.96 over his past three starts.
But May 20 versus Boston, in his second big league start, he gave up five runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. J.D. Martinez hit two homers and Andrew Benintendi also took him deep in Boston’s 5-0 win. Hess had allowed just one run over the first four innings before he got knocked out during a four-run fifth.
But he’s been rolling since then, allowing one run or less in his past three starts versus Tampa Bay, Washington and Toronto. Over 18 2/3 innings, he has yielded 13 hits and two runs. Hess has four quality starts in five games and the Orioles are 2-3 in those games.
Lefty batters are hitting .288 off him and right-handers are hitting .207. Hess has allowed a .143 average when pitching with runners in scoring position and has yet to allow a hit (0-for-8) with RISP and two outs.
Last night, right-hander Dylan Bundy tossed the Orioles’ 32nd quality start of the season. The 32 quality starts are tied for fourth in the American League and are tied for fifth in the majors. Bundy is tied for eighth in the AL with nine. Orioles starters have received 138 runs of support this season, which ranks fewest in the majors. Overall, Orioles pitchers have received 229 runs of support this season, which ranks fewest in the majors.
Hess tonight faces the pitcher that beat him that day, former Orioles farmhand Eduardo Rodriguez (7-1, 3.68 ERA.) Like Hess, Rodriguez is pitching very well lately and tonight makes his 13th start of 2018.
Over his past four starts, the lefty is 4-0 with a 1.90 ERA with five walks and 26 strikeouts over 23 2/3 innings. In his last six starts, his ERA is 2.14. In four road starts, he is 2-0 with a 3.80 ERA.
Rodriguez has beaten the Orioles twice this year, going 2-0 with an ERA of 0.77, allowing one run in 11 2/3 innings. In 12 career starts against Baltimore, he is 5-5 with a 3.97 ERA. Boston is 11-1 (.917) in his 12 starts. He is one of five major league pitchers whose team has won 11 or more of his starts.
The Orioles lost 2-0 in 12 innings last night as they were held to five hits, went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and were shut out for the seventh time. The Orioles have been held to eight or fewer hits for seven straight games.
They have been miserable with runners in scoring position. Over the last five games, the Orioles are 1-for-35 (.029) with RISP. Those numbers are 6-for-67 (.090) over the past 12 games and 21-for-149 (.141) in their last 24 games.
The Orioles are 1-7 this season versus Boston and have lost 10 of the last 11 games between the teams. The first seven games this year were played at Fenway Park but the next eight will be played at Oriole Park.
The Orioles (19-46) have lost five in a row, 12 of 14 and 18 of their last 24. Boston (45-22) has won nine of 14 and 17 of its last 25. The Red Sox are 26-10 versus AL East teams and 22-11 in road games.