O's game blog: Rodriguez faces the Rays at The Trop

When the Orioles just played in Toronto, they won the first two games of a four-game series, but lost the third and fourth games at Rogers Centre. With that memory, the O's take the field in St. Petersburg today against the Rays after wins in the first two games of another series.

The Orioles have now gone 21 straight series versus American League East teams without losing one. They have won 14 and tied six in this span. This series will end no worse than a tie, but one more victory and the O's will win another AL East series.

At 15-6 (.714), the Orioles are the only team in the division with a winning record against the division. The Yankees are 8-8, the Blue Jays are 9-10, the Red Sox are 5-8 and the Rays are 10-15.

This year, the Birds are 3-3 against Toronto, 4-1 versus Tampa Bay, 5-1 against Boston and 3-1 against New York.

The Orioles have won seven of their last 10 games, eight of 12, and 12 of 16. At 41-22 (.651), the Birds are tied with the Guardians for the third-best record in the major leagues behind the Yankees (.682, 45-21) and Phillies (.703, 45-19). Since the start of 2023, Baltimore is 142-83 (.631), the best winning percentage and most wins in the majors.

The Orioles hit their 99th and 100th homers of the 2024 season on Saturday at the Trop as Ryan O'Hearn (No. 9) hit a solo shot in the fourth and Gunnar Henderson (No. 20) hit a three-run blast in the ninth. 

The Orioles lead the majors with 100 home runs, tied with 1996 for the second-most homers through the first 63 games of a season in O's history, behind 2016 (101); the most home runs through Baltimore's first 64 games of a season is 102 by the 2016 team. Baltimore has five players with at least 10 home runs, the most in the majors this season (no other team has more than three players with 10-plus homers): Henderson (20), Anthony Santander (13), Adley Rutschman (12), Ryan Mountcastle (11) and Jordan Westburg (10).

Henderson ranks second in the big leauges with 20 home runs, trailing only the Yankees' Aaron Judge (23). According to Stats Perform, no other player in the majors history has accomplished all three of the following in their career (same season or not): 20-plus homers in a season age 22 or younger, 20-plus homers in a season as leadoff hitter and 20-plus home runs in a season as shortstop; Henderson has done all three in just 63 games this year.

O's pitching continues to excel. On Saturday, the O's posted their fifth shutout of 2024. As of today, they rank second in the AL and third in the majors in team ERA at 3.21. They rank second in the AL and third in the majors in rotation ERA at 3.11. They are fourth in the league in bullpen ERA and seventh in the majors at 3.38.

Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (6-2, 3.28) is coming off a pitch-efficient, strong outing at Toronto. Monday at Rogers Centre, he gave up two runs (one earned) and seven hits over 6 2/3 innings on 86 pitches.

Rodriguez has allowed two earned runs or less eight times and has five quality starts. The Orioles are 7-3 in his 10 starts.

Right-hander Zack Littell (2-3, 3.56 ERA) will make his 13th start for the Rays. The team is 6-6 in those games. Last Sunday, he allowed three runs and 11 hits over six innings versus the Orioles. In four career games, he is 0-0 with a 3.29 ERA against Baltimore.

Rodriguez hitless until sixth, Rutschman sets care...
Orioles and Rays lineups for third game of series

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