O's game blog: Chance for the homestand to start with three-game sweep

As the Orioles have now opened a 1.5-game lead atop the American League East and have started the season’s longest homestand with two wins, today they have a chance for another series sweep.

Their third series sweep of the year came last weekend at Cincinnati and now they can add their fourth today. April 9-11 they won three straight at Boston to sweep the Red Sox by a 23-10 score. April 15-17 at home they swept Minnesota by a combined 22-9 score. Last weekend their starting pitchers threw a combined 19 1/3 scoreless innings at Great American Ball Park as they swept the Reds by a 16-2 score.

Friday they beat Arizona by 4-2 and yesterday they won 5-4 in 11 innings. Two of their past three wins have come via extra innings.

The Orioles hit two homers in Saturday’s win and lead the majors with 59 with the Dodgers next with 56. Gunnar Henderson hit his 12th homer of the year on Saturday and he is tied for the major league lead with Atlanta’s Marcell Ozuna and Houston’s Kyle Tucker.

Henderson hit 28 homers last year in 622 plate appearances or one every 22.2 PAs. This year that ratio is one every 14.3 with 12 in 172 plate appearances.

That puts Henderson on a pace to hit 51 home runs. Just two Orioles have ever 50 in a season. Chris Davis hit 53 in 2013 and Brady Anderson hit 50 in 1996.

The Orioles are now 17-2 when they hit two homers or more and 10-2 when they hit three or more. They have gone without a home run in 11 of their 38 games and are 5-6 in those contests.

The Orioles offense recently had a stretch of 12 straight games where they produced less than 10 hits and hit .220 in that span. In the last five games, they have three games of 10 or more hits and have scored 27 runs on 44 hits.

The Orioles are 12-1 this season when they have 10 hits or more in a game.

The Orioles improved to 26-12 with Saturday’s win. They joined the 1969 and 1970 Orioles for the best 38-game starts in club history, which, of course, dates to 1954.

The Orioles' bullpen has come up big in this series with 6 1/3 scoreless on Saturday and 10 scoreless in the series. Over the last 11 games, the Baltimore bullpen has an ERA of 1.40, allowing zero or one run 10 times.

Overall, Baltimore pitchers have allowed 23 runs in the past 11 games, going 9-2. And they have allowed 47 runs in the past 18 games, going 13-5.

Today the O’s try to match a season high with a fourth win in a row. They have won seven of their past eight games, nine of 11, 14 of 19 and 18 of the last 24.

They have won this series by taking the first two games and are now 7-2 in May and 9-3-1 in 13 series.

Right-hander Dean Kremer (3-2, 3.57 ERA) and his mound opponent today, righty Zac Gallen (4-2, 2.84 ERA) both faced Cincinnati in their last starts. And both pitched six scoreless innings allowing just one hit. Kremer did that last Saturday and Gallen on Tuesday night at Great American Ball Park.

The Orioles went 24-8 in Kremer’s starts last year and are 4-3 in 2024 when he has a WHIP of 0.967 with a 2.5 walk rate and 8.3 K rate.

Over his past three starts, Kremer is 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA, allowing eight hits in 18 1/3 with six walks and 20 strikeouts and a .133 average against.

Kremer, who has three quality starts, has allowed a .177 average and .640 OPS versus lefty batters while right-handers hit .200/.607 against him.

He has never faced Arizona. But in 17 career interleague starts, Kremer is 8-4 with a 3.99 ERA and 1.225 WHIP.

Gallen has made seven starts, allowing 31 hits in 38 innings with 12 walks, 41 strikeouts and a 1.132 WHIP. He has allowed three runs or less in six of his seven starts and the D-backs are 4-3 in those games.

Since the 2022 season, Gallen is 33-15 in 72 starts with an ERA of 3.02 and a 1.032 WHIP. He finished ninth for the NL Cy Young Award in 2020, was fifth in 2022 and third last year when he went 17-9 with an ERA of 3.47 over 34 starts.

He made one start last year versus the Orioles, his only career start against Baltimore. And it was one of the eight starts last season where he allowed five or more runs. He gave up eight hits and five runs over 5 1/3 on Sept. 3, 2023 at home.

Farm note: At Triple-A Norfolk, the Tides (19-19) end a two-week trek through Tennessee today with their game at Memphis. Norfolk went 4-2 at Nashville and is 3-2 in the series with Memphis. Overall, the Tides have won 10 of their past 14 games.

The Tides' Nick Maton went 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly RBI in their loss at Memphis on Saturday. In five games since returning from the injured list, Maton is hitting .474 (9-for-19) with three runs, two doubles, two home runs, and nine RBIs while hitting .417/.477/.722/1.199 in 10 Triple-A games for the season. 





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