O's game blog: Going for a three-game sweep against Kansas City

From April 21-23, the Orioles swept three straight at home from Detroit, beating the Tigers by a combined 9-3 score. From May 19-21 they swept three at Toronto, outscoring the Blue Jays 20-10. Today they can complete a three-game sweep of Kansas City if they win this afternoon at Oriole Park. 

The Orioles (40-24) have beaten the Royals by 3-2 and 6-1 scores in this series, allowing just thee runs in two games after allowing 23 runs in three games at Kansas City in early May. The Orioles did take two of three then and are 4-1 this year against Kansas City and are 18-6 in their last 24 games at home against the Royals since 2015.

The Orioles are now 14-6-1 in 21 series this season. They did not secure their 14th series win last year until the 31st series, from July 25-28 vs. Tampa Bay. Baltimore didn't win more than 12 series of more than one game in any of the three full seasons from 2018-21 (12-32-8 in 2021, 10-34-8 in 2019, and 9-39-5 in 2018). With the win Saturday, the Orioles became the fourth major league team to reach 40 wins this season. They did not earn their 40th victory last season until their 84th game.

Right-hander Brady Singer needed 39 pitches to get through the bottom of the first inning Saturday, as the Orioles had two hits and three walks and got an RBI double by Anthony Santander and an RBI single by Ryan O’Hearn.

Gunnar Henderson blasted a 408-foot homer to center in the second inning. It was his third in six games and his eighth of the year. Henderson pounced on a first-pitch slider, had two hits on the day and is 5-for-8 in this series.

Yesterday he produced his ninth multi-hit performance of the season and fifth since May 17. In that span he is batting .305/.349/.576 (18-for-59). He has recorded two or more hits in back-to-back games for the first time in 2023. Of his last 25 hits since May 1, 12 have gone for extra bases.

Since May 1, Henderson is batting .253/.339/.515/.854 with four doubles, two triples, six homers and 14 RBIs in 33 games.

Second baseman Adam Frazier connected for his seventh homer of the season in the eighth inning, a two-run, 397-foot blast. His seven home runs tie the second-most in his career with 2020, trailing the 10 he hit in 2018 and 2019 with Pittsburgh. Frazier had eight combined home runs in 311 games the last two seasons between Seattle, San Diego, and Pittsburgh. He also recorded his seventh multi-RBI game of the season. He had two or more RBIs in six games with Seattle last season in 156 games.

Catcher Adley Rutschman recorded his American League-leading 46th walk of the season in the first inning. He leads the AL and ranks fifth in majors with 110 times reaching base safely this season (64 H, 46 BB) as of the end of that game.

Santander produced his fourth three-hit game of the season after he had three total hits in his last seven games from June 2-9. Santander tied a career high with two doubles for the 11th time and third time this season, all since May 6. He scored twice. He had two total runs scored in his last eight games from May 31 to June 9.

Right-hander Kyle Gibson (7-3, 3.87 ERA) gets the start today for Baltimore and the Orioles are 8-5 in his outings this year. Gibson allowed two runs over five innings in his last start, Tuesday at Milwaukee. Over his past six games, he is 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA and .643 OPS against. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer seven times and has produced six quality starts in 2023.

Right-hander Carlos Hernández (0-3, 4.31 ERA) is expected to start for Kansas City and likely will pitch as an opener. He has made three starts this year, throwing two scoreless innings each time. In those six innings as a starter he has allowed just two hits, allowing no walks and recording 10 strikeouts. Hernández threw one scoreless inning on 16 pitches Friday night at Oriole Park.

Henderson 462-foot home run among highlights in Or...
Orioles and Royals lineups (updated)

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