As O's have outfielders struggling, will Kyle Stowers get a chance?

The Orioles offense has produced just four runs and seven hits the last two games and they have lost both. By 9-2 to Arizona and by 3-2 in 10 innings to Toronto.

The Orioles, Cubs and Phillies are the only teams in MLB this year without a three-game losing streak. The Birds need a win tonight to avoid one now. The O's earlier had a pair of two-game losing streaks that never got extended.

The Baltimore offense began last night first in the American League in slugging, second in OPS, first in homers and in runs per game at 5.08.

But Baltimore batters have produced just 3.8 runs per game, scoring 49 runs their past 13 games. Thanks to a team ERA of 2.14 in this span, the Orioles have gone 9-4.

The pitching carried them as the offense slowed a bit – good teams find a way and they have.

But right now, they have Cedric Mullins batting .088 (5-for-57) his last 17 games and Colton Cowser batting .132 (7-for-53) his past 17.

Kyle Stowers got a callup Monday from Triple-A Norfolk and Austin Hays got activated off the injured list and maybe the O’s need to get both out there to see if they can boost the offense and the offense specifically coming from the group of outfielders.

Stowers was in the big leagues for 34 games during the 2022 season and for 14 early last season. We don’t know how long this current stint back in the majors will last for him or even if he will play a lot.

But it’s another chance in the show for another talented player from the O’s farm.

This large group of prospects has done a good job at supporting each other through their ups and downs in player development. And whether, at the moment, they are in Norfolk or Baltimore. Stowers was asked pregame yesterday if he could get down at times this season when a call came to get a player from Norfolk, but that player was not him?

“I mean, so happy for those guys, right,” he said. “Guys who are so deserving, so talented. You know so, as their friend, I’m super happy. Obviously, I want to be here too, I want to compete at this level too. I don’t want to say disappointing or frustrated or anything like that, you know, just look at this clubhouse. It’s a fun group to be around. A lot of guys I came up with and a culture you want to be part of. The team is winning. What else would you want to do in this game then be on a team going for a playoff push and hopefully this year a World Series push.”

The support for these players from each other, whether they are with the Tides or Orioles, is something special and something that keeps them motivated and playing hard.

“Huge,” said Stowers of players supporting each other on the farm. “I feel like so much of life in general is about relationships and who you are around. We get to play this game with a bunch of people we like being around.

“That support is on both sides. If you come up here or if you go back down, there are people you’ve spent time with in camp or spent time with in the minors or here in the big leagues with. There is definitely that big support group. We help each other get better and push each other.”

This year at Triple-A Stowers has hit .240/.315/.541/.856 with 11 doubles, 11 homers and 32 RBIs.

“I feel ready. I feel ready to help this team win,” Stowers said Monday afternoon. "Whatever, you know, my role is, whatever I’m called to do. Just going to go out there and give my all and have a good time. Play with a lot of gratitude. Just happy to be here.”

Stowers has played parts of every season since 2021 at Triple-A. Over 221 games at that level and a whopping 948 plate appearances, he has hit 50 homers.

Maybe this time his timing is good. Maybe he has come up at a time when the O’s need offense and his chance is coming.

The AL East run: The Orioles have played 16 straight AL East series without losing one. But now they need to win the next two days to keep that run going.

Are the O’s both comfortable and confident playing within the AL East? During those 16 series, where they have gone 12-0-4, they went 36-17, a win percentage of .679.

Is comfort and confidence against their division opponents a big part of this run, I asked skipper Brandon Hyde?

“Well, it’s never real comfortable,” he said of playing in the division. “Pretty good teams and we have to play well. You know, really proud of how our team played against our division last year. I’m hoping we can do that again this year. I think a lot of teams in our division have improved.

“But these are important games. Division games are important. Our guys know it. We’re off to a good (division) start this year, just love to see it continue.”

During the 16-series run, five times the O’s came close to not winning one by losing the first game of a three-game series or the first two games of a four-game set. Each time they came back to win or tie series against Tampa Bay, New York, New York again, Toronto and Tampa Bay again. They won a trio of three-game series, splitting two four-game sets.

At 26-14, on a 105-win pace, they take the field against Toronto tonight with right-hander Kyle Bradish (0-0, 1.86 ERA) facing righty Chris Bassitt (3-5, 5.06 ERA). 

Orioles lineup vs. Blue Jays in second game of ser...
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