O’s game blog: Going for a sweep in Atlanta

The Orioles have posted 10-7 and 7-5 wins in Atlanta, and if they get one more win at SunTrust Park today, it will represent a first for this season. While the Orioles have been swept eight times this year in series at of three or four games, they have no such sweeps themselves. But they can get one this afternoon with another victory.

In the first two games of this series the Orioles have 17 runs on 22 hits and have gone 10-for-21 (.476) with runners in scoring position. That was a big change from the series that preceeded this one when the Orioles went 0-for-17 with RISP in three games at Washington. The Braves have gone 9-for-31 (.290) with RISP in the series.

When this series began, Atlanta led the NL East by three games had won six of its previous eight games with a team ERA of 2.79. But the Braves ERA is 6.38 in this series. Atlanta (43-32) has seen its lead atop the division shrink to 1 ½ games over Philadelphia. The Braves are 21-15 at home, 10-9 in June and 4-5 in interleague games.

The Orioles (23-52) have won four of their last six games. Over longer stretches, they have lost 11 of 15 and 20 of the last 28. Baltimore is 3-9-1 in road series with a win in this one and is 12-29 on the road.

A victory today would provide the Orioles with their first three-game road sweep since Aug. 25-27, 2017 at Boston. The Orioles have won seven in a row over Atlanta - a streak that dates to the 2012 season.

Orioles starters have now thrown three consecutive quality starts, allowing five earned runs over 19 1/3 for an ERA of 2.33. Kevin Gausman, Alex Cobb and Dylan Bundy have put together that run of quality starts after the team had just one QS in its previous nine games.

Chris-Davis-gray-close.pngFirst baseman Chris Davis has gone 2-for-8 in this series with a double, homer and five RBIs. He had a three-run double in Saturday’s win. Before this series Davis was 7-for-68 (.103) with 34 strikeouts over his last 19 games and he had just two RBIs without a homer in 24 games since May.

Mark Trumbo is 9-for-26 (.346) with four homers and nine RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak. Trumbo’s grand slam in the first inning Saturday was the fifth of his career and third by the Orioles in 2018. Pedro Álvarez hit one at New York April 6 and Manny Machado connected at Oriole Park versus Tampa Bay on May 11.

Right-hander David Hess (2-3, 4.82 ERA) will make his eighth start today. Over his past two starts versus Boston and Washington, Hess allowed 10 hits and 10 runs over eight innings, allowing three homers. It raised his ERA from 3.07 to its present level.

Hess has four quality starts and the Orioles are 2-5 in his outings. Lefty batters hit .288 off him and right-handers bat .229 while he gives up a .214 average when batting with RISP.

For Atlanta, right-hander Brandon McCarthy (5-3, 4.89 ERA) makes his 15th start. On the year he’s allowed 89 hits in 73 2/3 innings with 13 homers, 21 walks and 60 strikeouts. He has a 1.493 WHIP and allows 10.9 hits per every nine innings and 1.6 homers/nine.

McCarthy was traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers to Atlanta on Dec. 16, 2017 in the trade involving Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp. In seven home starts he is 2-1 with a 5.11 ERA and 1.568 WHIP.

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