O's game blog: A new homestand begins as the O's host Milwaukee

After a three-game series sweep at Boston, the Orioles (8-4) begin a two-team, six-game homestand tonight versus the Milwaukee Brewers (8-3).

The Orioles begin play tonight 1.5 games behind New York for the AL East lead. Milwaukee and Pittsburgh are tied for first atop the NL Central, but the Brewers lead by percentage points.

Milwaukee was rained out Thursday at Cincinnati. They began the year going 3-0 at the New York Mets and have gone 1-1 versus Minnesota, and 2-1 each versus Seattle and Cincinnati.

Milwaukee has made the playoffs five times the last six years and went 92-70 last year. They won NL Central titles in 2018, 2021 and 2023. The Brewers have won three of their last four games and are 5-1 in road games.

Former Brewer right-hander Corbin Burnes, traded to the Orioles on Feb. 1 for DL Hall, Joey Ortiz and a draft pick, will pitch Sunday against his former team. Hall and Ortiz return this weekend with the Brewers. Hall is 0-1 with a 4.82 ERA in two starts and is scheduled to pitch tomorrow. In 10 games, Ortiz is 6-for-20 with a double, one RBI and a .767 OPS. He hit .212 (7-for-33) last year in 15 games with the Orioles.

The Orioles scored six runs in the tenth inning last night to beat Boston 9-4 and complete the sweep, scoring 23 runs with 31 hits in the series. Gunnar Henderson’s two-run homer gave the O’s the lead in the tenth and they added another run on Cedric Mullins' single and three on Colton Cowser’s second major league homer of the game and of his career.

Cowser went 3-for-5 with four RBIs. In that series he was 6-for-13 with three doubles, two homers and 10 RBIs. For the year he is batting .458/.462/.917/1.378.

Milwaukee right-hander Freddy Peralta (1-0, 3.09 ERA) will get the start for the visitors. In two games he has thrown 11 2/3 innings allowing five hits and four runs with two walks to 15 strikeouts. He had a 0.600 WHIP, a 1.5 walk rate and 11.6 strikeout rate.

Lefty batters are just 2-for-24 (.083) against him this season and right-handers are batting .214 with a .794 OPS.

Since the 2021 season, over 78 games, he is 27-19 with a 3.40 ERA and 1.033 WHIP. That produces an ERA plus of 123 – 23 percent above the league average ERA.

Here is the list of O's players to have hit their first two homers in the same game, a list Cowser now joins:

Ryan Mountcastle on Aug. 30, 2020 at Toronto

* Manny Machado on Aug. 10, 2012 versus Kansas City

* Josh Bell on Aug. 21, 2010 versus Texas

* Jim Fuller on Sept. 25, 1973 versus Detroit

* Curt Blefary on April 17, 1965 at Boston

* Boog Powell on May 2, 1962 at Minnesota

The O's six runs in the tenth last night marked their most runs in an extra frame since also scoring six in the top of the 11th on July 7, 2014 at Washington. They have scored at least seven runs in three straight games for the first time since Sept. 6-9, 2023; the last time the O's scored at least seven runs in four straight games was July 18-21, 2017.

O's batters hit a season-high four home runs Thursday for the first time since Sept. 19, 2023 at Houston. Since the start of 2022, the Orioles have gone 13-2 when hitting at least four homers in a game; are 6-0 this season when hitting at least one home run.

Jackson Holliday is playing his first home game tonight. He talked about it in this entry

Holliday's first home game doesn't bring hit or Or...
Jackson Holliday talks about playing his first hom...

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