O's game blog: DL Hall faces Tampa Bay in his MLB debut

After Friday’s win over the Tampa Bay Rays by a 10-3 score, the Orioles have a chance today to win this series and create further separation between these clubs. Today, the Rays host the O’s in the second contest of this three-game series.

The Orioles (59-53) scored in seven of their nine at-bats last night and produced a season-high 19 hits in their latest win, which was their eighth in the last 10 games. They have also won 12 of 17, 24 of 33 and 35 of the last 53 games.

Tampa Bay (58-53) has now lost three in a row and four of five games. The Rays are 7-12 in the second half and they are 27-32 since June 4.

The Orioles currently hold the third wild card spot in the American League. They are two games behind Seattle for the top spot and 1.5 back of Toronto for the second spot. And the Orioles are just ½ game ahead of both Minnesota and Tampa Bay for that WC-3. Did we mention how close this race is!

Orioles pitchers continue to have a pretty good season and their team ERA of 3.88 ranks tied for sixth-best in the AL. Since the All-Star break, the Orioles are 13-7 with a team ERA of 3.64 which ranks sixth in the AL. The Orioles have greatly improved their strikeout-to-walks ratio in the second half. For the year, they rank seventh with a ratio of 2.81 strikeouts for every walk but in the second-half that ratio is 3.53. In 178 second-half innings, the Orioles have walked 49 and fanned 173.

Today we get to see the Major League debut of O’s pitching prospect DL Hall. The lefty was drafted No. 21 overall by the club out of a Georgia high school in 2017 by then scouting director Gary Rajsich. He was signed to a $3 million bonus.

Hall has been ranked in the top 100 winter rankings by Baseball America four straight years:

No. 54 in 2019
No. 47 in 2020
No. 59 in 2021
No. 52 in 2022

Hall is currently, in updated in-season ratings, the O’s No. 4 prospect by both Baseball America and MLBPipeline.com. In the latest top 100s, he is No. 59 with BA and No. 61 by MLB.

Hall pitched in just seven games last season at Double-A and his season ended due to a stress reaction in his elbow. Surgery was not needed and he rehabbed that issue and returned this year. In 18 starts for Triple-A Norfolk, he is 2-6 with a 4.76 ERA. In his last start on Sunday versus Nashville, he gave up two runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Hall had a sizzling stretch in July, where he allowed just one earned run on eight hits over four games and 20 2/3 innings. In that span, he had eight walks (3.5 walk rate) and 40 strikeouts (17.4 K rate). His strikeout totals in those four games were eight, 14, eight and 10.

The lefty gets a 65 grade for his fastball, which can touch 100 mph from MLBPipeline.com and a 70 grade via Baseball America. Hall, who pitched in the 2019 All-Star Futures Game, was added to the Orioles 40-man roster last November.

What role will Hall be in after this start today? O’s skipper Brandon Hyde did not disclose that to reporters this afternoon at the Trop, saying they are going day-by-day for now and that Spenser Watkins is in the bullpen this weekend and back in the rotation next week.

The Orioles hitters will certainly have their hands full today with Rays lefty Shane McClanahan (10-5, 2.24 ERA), a Baltimore native making his 22nd start. In two games versus the Orioles this year, McClanahan is 0-0 with a 1.59 ERA and in six career starts is 4-0 with a 2.36 ERA.

McClanahan has allowed two earned runs or less 17 times this season. But he has shown signs of being off his game his last two starts, allowing nine runs and 13 hits over 10 2/3 innings against Cleveland and Detroit. That raised his ERA from 1.76 to 2.24. In the 13 starts before those two games, his ERA was 1.27.

McClanahan in AL rankings:

* 1st in opponent average, .183
* 1st in WHIP, 0.834
* 1st in K/BB ratio, 7.00
* 1st in K rate, 33.3 percent
* 3rd in K/9, 11.29
* 3rd in ERA, 2.24

The Orioles' Jorge Mateo set a career high with five hits, going 5-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored, and two RBIs last night. Mateo is the third player in franchise history to record a five-hit game while batting ninth, joining Rich Dauer on June 2, 1980 versus Milwaukee (5-for-5) and Mark Belanger on May 11, 1974 at Cleveland (5-for-5). He is the seventh O's shortstop (11th occurrence) to record a five-hit game, first since J.J. Hardy went 5-for-8 in a 17-inning game on May 6, 2012 at Boston, and the first in a nine-inning game since Miguel Tejada on July 9, 2005 versus Boston. 

Hall pitches into fourth inning in debut that ends...
Akin and Lyles have advice for Hall leading into d...
 

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