O's game blog: Birds look for a series sweep of the Angels at the Yard

The Orioles (2-0), who had 10 series sweeps in the 2023 season, look for their first of the new season when they host the Angels (0-2) at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

It's the wrap-up game of a season-opening six-game homestand that continues Monday night when Kansas City visits the Yard.

The O's beat the Angels 11-3 Thursday and 13-4 last night. The O's have only trailed for a half-inning this year, when they were behind 1-0 after the top of the first Opening Day. They have scored two runs in each of their first-inning at-bats in this series.

They led 7-1 after the fourth inning Thursday and 3-1 on Saturday through five innings before they scored nine runs in the last of the sixth. The nine runs came before one out was recorded. Per Elias Sports Bureau, the O's had not scored nine runs in an inning before an out was made since at least 1957.

The 24 runs scored are the second-most the Orioles have scored in their first two games of a campaign in club history (25, 2006). On the mound, their 27 strikeouts are the most to begin a season since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954. The previous most was 23 in the 2016 season. 

Since 1901, the most runs scored by a major league team in the first two games is 30 by the 1951 White Sox, per Baseball Reference. The O's, with 24, are tied for 12th-most in the majors since 1901 in the first two games. 

Anthony Santander is 3-for-8 to start the new year with two homers and seven RBIs. He is the first Oriole to homer in the season's first two games since Steve Pearce in 2015. Since 1954, only two Orioles batters have homered in each of the team's first three games of a season: Orioles Hall of Famer Frank Robinson set the club record with three in 1966, which was later surpassed by Chris Davis when he homered in four straight to open the 2013 campaign.

Right-hander Tyler Wells (7-6, 3.64 ERA in 2023) makes his season debut today. Over 118 2/3 innings last season, he allowed 83 hits with a 0.986 WHIP, a 2.6 walk rate and 8.9 strikeout rate.

In 18 first-half starts, he went 7-4 with a 3.18 ERA and 0.927 WHIP. He made 20 starts overall and the O’s went 11-9 in those games.

He was tough on both left- and right-handed hitters as lefties hit .198 with a .606 OPS against him and right-handers batted .191/.715.

Lefty Reid Detmers (4-10, 4.48 ERA in 2023) starts the series finale for the Angels. He made 28 starts a season ago over 148 2/3 innings with a 1.352 WHIP, a 3.6 walk rate and 10.2 K rate.

The Angels' first-round draft pick (No. 10 overall) in the 2020 MLB Draft out of the University of Louisville, the team went 12-16 in his games in 2023.

Meanwhile at Norfolk: The Tides (2-0) also go for a three-game sweep this afternoon as they host Durham with John Means getting his first rehab start in Triple-A.

Norfolk has 12-8 and 12-6 wins over the Bulls to start their season.

The Tides 24 runs lead the 20-team International League with the next closest team at 16 runs. Norfolk is first in the league in team batting (.380), on-base percentage (.440) and OPS (1.060) while they are second in slugging (.620).

Kyle Stowers went 3-for-5 with two runs, a three-run home run and five RBIs last night. It was his 40th career home run for the Tides, becoming the second player in Orioles affiliate history (which dates to 2007) to reach that mark (Christan Walker, 42). His five RBIs ties Stowers’ career-high, the fifth time he’s done so and he most recently did that on July 5, 2023 at Greensboro when on rehab assignment with Aberdeen.

Jackson Holliday led he Tides in scoring Saturday, going 2-for-4 with four runs, a double and a walk. It’s his second consecutive game with a multi-hit effort and an extra-base hit and the four runs scored tied his Triple-A career-high (Sept. 23, 2023 at Buffalo).

In two games, Holliday is 5-for-9 with two doubles, a homer, four RBIs and six runs. Heston Kjerstad is 5-for-8 and Connor Norby is 6-for-11 for the Tides.

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