O's game blog: Another AL East series begins, this one with Tampa Bay

The Orioles are 6-4 in a stretch of four straight series and 14 consecutive games versus American League East opponents. The Birds in this span went 2-1 at home versus Boston and Tampa Bay and then went 2-2 at Toronto. 

Tonight the Orioles (39-22) and Tampa Bay (31-31) open a four-game series at the Trop.

The Orioles have gone 20 straight series since early April of 2023, without losing one against a division opponent. In that time they have won 14 of those series and tied six. They are 43-22 (.662) in the games in this stretch.

The Orioles went 32-20 (.615) last season in the division and are now 13-6 (.684).

The Orioles hosted the Rays last weekend in Baltimore and won the first two games of the series. Going for a sweep last Sunday, they led 3-0 after four innings but lost that game 4-3.

The Orioles went 8-5 against the Rays last year, their best record against Tampa Bay in a season series since 2016. They also ended a run of six straight losing seasons head-to-head with Tampa Bay. The last time the O’s won the season series in consecutive years was a streak of three seasons from 2014 to 2016.

The Orioles are 4-0-1 in their past five series versus the Rays. Their longest streak in club history of consecutive series won or tied against Tampa Bay is seven straight over the 2004-2005 seasons per Stats Perform.

They have won 10 of the last 15 games between the teams and are 19-13 the past 32 games against Tampa Bay after going 2-27 the previous 29 games.

Tampa Bay has gotten to .500 by winning three in a row and six of its last nine games. The Rays are 17-18 at home and are 10-13 in AL East games.

Tampa Bay has a -47 run differential while the Orioles are at +86 runs.

Adley Rutschman homered from both sides of the plate for the first time in the big Theleagues in Thursday's loss at Rogers Centre. This year he has an OPS of 1.183 and six of 12 homers versus lefty pitching and .664 against right-handers.

His six homers off lefties match his total from all of last season. He needed 158 at-bats to do that last year and has done so in 80 this season. Rutschman and Teoscar Hernández are the only MLB players with at least six home runs against both left-handed and right-handed pitchers this season.

Rutschman extended his hitting streak to 10 games, and his on-base streak to 14 games Thursday. During the hitting streak, he has gone 15-for-42 (.357) with a double, three homers, 10 RBIs, and a .987 OPS.

Rutschman's .307 batting average ranks fourth-best in the American League. He is tied for 11th with his 12 homers and ranks 13th in OPS (.835) and 15th in slugging (.490).

Lefty Cole Irvin (5-2, 2.84 ERA) is making back-to-back starts against Tampa Bay. He got a no-decision Sunday in Baltimore, allowing two runs and eight hits over 6 1/3 innings. He is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in five career games.

Over his last six starts, Irvin is 5-0 with an ERA of 0.97. In his nine starts only, he is 5-1 with a 2.61 ERA. 

Irvin has not allowed a first-inning run this season. And in the first plate appearance of the game, opponents produce an OPS of .459. That goes up to .702 the second time through and .853 the third time.

Righty Aaron Civale (2-4, 5.37 ERA) will make his 13th start for the home team. His last game was against the Orioles and he gave up just one run over 5 1/3 innings on 92 pitches. In four career starts, he is 2-0 with a 5.48 ERA and .870 OPS against versus Baltimore.

Civale allows an OPS of .821 this year against lefty batters and .716 versus right-handers. When he pitches with runners in scoring position he allows a .333 batting average and 1.067 OPS.

Even with back-to-back losses to close the series at Toronto, the Orioles have won 10 of their past 14 games. 

The O's Gunnar Henderson (1.012 OPS vs. LHP; .921 OPS vs. RHP) is one of three American League players with a .900 OPS or better against both lefties and righties (min. 50 plate appearances), joined by New York's Aaron Judge and Juan Soto.

Sellouts coming: The Orioles are becoming a hotter ticket. The club announced today that games next Saturday and Sunday at Oriole Park with the Philadelphia Phillies are already sold out. 



Home runs by Santander, Mountcastle and Westburg l...
Orioles updates on rotation, Hays, Mateo, Bautista...

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.masnsports.com/