More on Orioles' scoreless streak heading into start of new homestand

The recovery made by rookie starter Grayson Rodriguez after the first inning of Sunday’s game in Chicago did more than keep him on the mound through the fifth and enable the Orioles to stage a comeback win and claim the series.

Rodriguez began a scoreless streak that cut through D.C. and pulled up to Camden Yards, where the Orioles are hosting the Tigers over the weekend.

The Orioles haven’t allowed a run in 26 consecutive innings. Not since the White Sox’s Jake Burger drove a 96.9 mph fastball over the right field fence Sunday afternoon with two outs in the bottom of the first.

Rain delayed the start for two hours and 22 minutes. Orioles pitching has created drought conditions on opposing batters.

The bullpen covered the last four innings at Guaranteed Rate Field, beginning with Mike Baumann, who blanked the White Sox in the sixth and seventh. Austin Voth retired the side in order in the eighth after surrendering a home run in each of his first five appearances. Félix Bautista stranded a runner in the ninth in a non-save situation.

The Orioles beat the Nationals 1-0 and 4-0 following Monday’s off-day. Starters Dean Kremer and Kyle Bradish, the latter fresh off the injured list, combined for 12 2/3 shutout innings. Baumann, Bautista, Yennier Cano, Danny Coulombe and Bryan Baker handled the rest of the workload.

The suddenly stingy Orioles lowered their staff ERA to 4.68, which ranked 20th in the majors last night. The rotation’s ERA came down to 5.79, 26th in the majors. The bullpen ranked eighth at 3.30.

Up next are the Tigers, who were last in the majors with 57 runs scored and 29th in batting average at .218 and OPS at .621. Tyler Wells will see how far he can stretch the streak in his fourth career appearance and third start against them.

Wells has allowed eight runs and 12 hits in eight innings versus Detroit. The most recent matchup also was his final appearance in 2022, on Sept. 19 at Camden Yards, before going back on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation. He allowed five runs in three innings.

The 2023 Orioles have a long way to go to challenge the single-season club record for consecutive scoreless innings. The 1974 team strung together 54 in a row from Sept. 1-Sept. 7.

Dave McNally got it started in Kansas City, holding the Royals to an eighth inning run in a complete-game victory. The Orioles returned home and defeated the Red Sox 1-0 in less than two hours, with Bobby Grich homering off Luis Tiant and Ross Grimsley tossing a three-hit shutout.

The Orioles won again, 1-0, in a game played in one hour and 49 minutes with no pitch clock. Paul Blair had a sacrifice fly off Bill Lee and Mike Cuellar blanked Boston on two hits. Earl Williams homered twice off Reggie Cleveland, who clearly was pitching for the wrong team, and Jim Palmer tossed a three-hit shutout in a 6-0 victory.

This one dragged: two hours and 15 minutes.

Here’s where it really gets impressive. The Orioles defeated the Indians 2-0 in Cleveland in Game 1 of a doubleheader, with Enos Cabell’s solo homer off Fritz Peterson in the eighth breaking a scoreless tie and McNally spinning a three-hit gem. And they completed the sweep with a 1-0 win in the nightcap, with Rich Coggins supplying the only run on an RBI double off Jim Kern in the seventh and Cuellar going the distance with five hits allowed.

I get how starters worked deeper back then and teams weren’t as reliant on relievers, but come on. This is unreal.

The Orioles carried a 3-0 lead into the ninth inning on Sept. 7 before Cleveland’s Charlie Spikes hit a two-run homer off Grimsley. Bob Reynolds earned his sixth save.

The 1957 and 1995 teams are tied for second on the scoreless list with 45, according to STATS. The Orioles had 37 consecutive shutout innings in 1992, 36 in 1982, 33 in 1960, 32 in 1983, 31 in 1972, 30 in 1969 and 2010, 29 in 1967 and 28 in 2012.

A scoreless first inning tonight would break a tie with the 1968 team and move them into a tie with the 1959 and 1979 clubs.

The major league record is 56 by the 1903 Pirates. The ’74 Orioles are second, and the ’57 and ’95 Orioles are tied for fourth with the ’31 Pirates.

It’s almost like the Orioles and Pirates are family.

Too soon?

The 1903 Pirates registered six shutouts in a row. The Orioles set the American League record in 1957 with four straight, then broke it in September 1974 and tied in in September-October 1995.

Down on the farm, Spenser Watkins is on Triple-A Norfolk’s seven-day injured list with a laceration on his “right fourth finger,” per the Orioles. I’m assuming that we’re counting from the thumb and it’s his ring finger.

Watkins was removed from Wednesday’s game after only three innings and 55 pitches, his first appearance on a mound since April 8.

Left-hander Bruce Zimmermann started yesterday and held Rochester to one run in six innings with six strikeouts. Josh Lester and Kyle Stowers homered and each had three RBIs.

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