O's game blog: Bruce Zimmermann faces the Tigers

The Orioles have recently won two series where they lost the first game and then won the last two. They did that on the recent homestand against both Boston and Kansas City. Now they try to add Detroit to that list after Friday’s 4-2 loss at Comerica Park.

It was a frustrating night for the Baltimore offense as it stranded four runners over the first two innings and nine over the last three. Yep, they left the bases loaded in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. They went 1-for-12 on the night with runners in scoring position, stranding 14 runners.

In the past three games, the O’s scored six runs total on 21 hits and went 2-for-19 with RISP.

At 14-19, the Orioles are 5-12 on the road and 9-7 at home. They are on pace to win 69 games.

The Orioles went 4-1-1 the past six series with wins over the Angels, Red Sox, Royals and Cardinals.

With Friday’s loss, they are 2-2 on this trip, which ends on Sunday. Overall, the Orioles have won four of the last six, six of nine and eight of the past 13 games. They are 11-11 since April 20.

The O’s had a run of four straight games with a quality start, but now have none in the last three games. The Baltimore bullpen recorded 2 1/3 scoreless innings last night and has pitched to an ERA of 1.67 in the last nine games.

Left-hander Bruce Zimmermann (2-1, 2.67 ERA) will make his seventh start today. He is a few innings short of qualifying for American League leaders or he would rank eighth in AL in ERA.

Over 30 1/3 innings, Zimmermann has walked eight and fanned 30 with a 1.187 WHIP, 2.4 walk rate and an 8.9 strikeout rate. The Orioles are 4-2 in his games. Zimmermann has allowed two earned runs or less five times and has two quality starts. He has allowed just one homer all year and none the past three games, over 15 1/3 innings.

Righty Michael Pineda (1-2, 3.43 ERA) will get the ball for Detroit and make his fifth start. A former Mariner, Yankee and Minnesota Twin, he has thrown 21 innings, allowing 20 hits with four walks to 12 strikeouts. He has a 1.143 WHIP with a 1.7 walk rate and 5.1 strikeout rate.

Pineda threw well Monday versus Oakland, allowing two runs and six hits over 6 2/3 on 94 pitches. The Tigers are 2-2 in his outings and he’s allowed two earned runs or less in three games. He has thrown 60, 65, 85 and 94 pitches. In three home starts he is 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.063 WHIP.

Since May 3, the Orioles own the three top batting averages in the American League: Trey Mancini (.410), Cedric Mullins (.364), and Austin Hays (.353). Mancini and Mullins are tied for the AL lead and tied for second in MLB over that period with 16 hits. Mancini is also tied for the AL lead with a .465 OBP during that time. The O’s have the highest team average (.273) in the AL since May 3.


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