O's game blog: Chance for a sweep in the Detroit series finale

After 2-1 and 5-1 wins the last two days over the Detroit Tigers (7-12), the Orioles can complete their first three-game sweep of the 2023 season with a win this afternoon at Oriole Park.

O’s pitchers have allowed just two runs and seven hits this weekend with five walks and 23 strikeouts. Right-hander Kyle Gibson allowed one run and two hits over 6 1/3 innings last night. He walked three and tied his career high with 11 strikeouts. Gibson is now 4-0 with a 3.60 ERA. The rest of the O’s rotation has combined for just two wins.

Highest Single-Game Strikeout Totals by O's Pitchers since 2019:

12 K: John Means on 5/5/21 at Seattle

12 K: John Means on 9/20/20 vs. Tampa Bay

11 K: Kyle Gibson on 4/22/23 vs. Detroit

11 K: Kyle Bradish on 5/10/22 at St. Louis

But that rotation, despite a lack of wins outside of Gibson, has been on a roll lately. O’s starting pitchers have six quality starts this season – and the team is 6-0 in those games – but they have thrown four consecutive quality starts, allowing one run in 26 innings. Dating back to the second inning last Sunday at Chicago, O’s starting pitching has allowed one run and 17 hits in 30 innings with five walks and 35 strikeouts.

The Orioles bullpen has also been on a roll lately, allowing one earned run in 14 innings over the last five, and four earned runs in 26 1/3 innings over the past eight games, for an ERA of 1.37 in that span.

O’s pitching has allowed just two runs the last 44 innings.

O’s pitchers have allowed two runs the last four games, six runs the past five and 16 runs in the last seven games.

At 13-7, the Orioles are a season-best six games over the .500 mark and are in second place in the American League East, 4.5 games behind Tampa Bay. Baltimore’s .650 win percentage ties Texas for second-best in the AL, behind only Tampa Bay at 18-3, .857. A team playing .650 ball over a full season would win 105 games.

Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (0-0, 6.91 ERA) will make his fourth MLB start. For the year he has allowed 16 hits and 11 runs over 14 1/3 innings with seven walks and 19 strikeouts. He has a 1.605 WHIP with a 4.4 walk rate and 11.9 K rate.

Grayson Rodriguez allowed two runs over five innings his first start at Texas, five runs in 4 1/3 in his next against Oakland and four runs over five innings last Sunday at Chicago. He gave up two homers in the first inning in that game, but then pitched scoreless ball from the second through fifth innings.

Lefty batters are 6-for-21 against him, batting .286 with an .829 OPS. Right-handed hitters are 10-for-37, batting .270/.703.

Former Oriole organization lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (1-2, 3.00 ERA) gets the start for the Tigers. He has been tough on his former team, going 1-0 versus the Orioles last year in a game where he threw 6 2/3 scoreless. In 23 career games, he is 13-5 with a 2.94 ERA and .639 OPS against Baltimore batters. In 11 career starts at Camden Yards as an opponent he is 7-2 with a 2.76 ERA. 

The Orioles lead MLB with 4.11 pitches per plate appearance this season. The club has three players in the top seven of the AL in pitches per plate appearance: Adley Rutschman (fourth, 4.38), Adam Frazier (sixth, 4.35) and Anthony Santander (seventh, 4.34). Gunnar Henderson (13th, 4.23) and Cedric Mullins (23rd, 4.10) also rank in the top 25 in the AL.

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