O's game blog: John Means faces the Mariners in the Seattle series opener

After a walk-off win on Adley Rutschman’s two-run homer Wednesday afternoon allowed them to split their two-game series with Toronto, the Orioles' homestand will end this weekend as they host the American League West-leading Seattle Mariners.

Wednesday’s win – after the O’s went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base – improved the Birds to 3-2 on what is now a rain-shortened eight-game homestand.

The Orioles have won four of six games and also eight of 11, 15 of 22 and 19 of their past 27 games. They are 15-9 at home and 9-5 in series-opening games. When that series opener is at home, they are 5-3.

Over the last 14 games, the Orioles have been in the bottom third of the majors in scoring runs, but they have been No. 1 in the majors in team ERA. That has allowed the Orioles to go 10-4 at a time when they have scored 3.7 runs per game in the last 14 contests to rank 21st-best in the majors in this span. The team is batting .219 in this stretch with an OPS of .691.

Baltimore batters have produced just seven runs the past three games. The O’s went 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position in the Toronto series and are batting .167 (8-for-48) with RISP their past seven games.

MLB team leaders since April 29 in team ERA:

2.13 – Baltimore Orioles
2.49 – Los Angeles Dodgers
2.59 – New York Yankees
2.80 - Washington Nationals
2.86 – Chicago Cubs

The O’s team ERA for the year is down to 3.26, their lowest number since April 11. The team has allowed two runs or less in 10 of those 14 games and O’s pitchers allow a .181 batting average in this span with a .551 OPS.

The O’s bullpen pitchers combined for five scoreless innings on one-hit on Wednesday. Over those past 14 games where the team is pitching so well, the Baltimore bullpen has a 1.76 ERA.

Wednesday’s win extended the O’s streak without being swept to 105 straight regular-season series of at least two games. That ties the 1903-1905 New York Giants for the third longest all-time.

The win also extends to 17 straight series the O’s streak without losing a series to an AL East team. They are 2-0-1 in three division series this year going 7-2 in those games.

The win against Toronto was Baltimore’s fifth walk-off win of the year and 12th comeback victory.

Lefty John Means (1-0, 3.09 ERA) gets the ball for Baltimore tonight with the Orioles Brandon Hyde telling reporters today they know who is starting over the weekend but are not yet ready to announce it. It's possible this weekend we see the return of right-hander Grayson Rodriguez. He's been on the injured list since April 30 with right shoulder inflammation. 

Means is making his third start since being activated off the IL. In the first he pitched seven scoreless at Cincinnati May 4 and in his most recent on May 11 versus Arizona, he allowed four runs over 4 2/3 innings.

In three career starts against Seattle, he is 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA. That includes his no-hitter at Seattle on May 5, 2021. It was the sixth no-hitter in Orioles history and Means has not faced the Mariners since.

Right-hander Bryce Miller (3-3, 2.66 ERA) starts for the visitors. He ranks second in the AL in batting average against (.177), tied for third in WHIP (0.951) and 11th in ERA. The Mariners are 5-3 in his starts.

Seattle (24-20) is leading the AL West by 1.5 games over the Rangers. Since beginning the year 6-10, the Mariners are 18-10. The Mariners, who begin a 10-game road trip tonight, are 20-12 (.625) over their last 32 games since April 10, the second-best record in the AL during that span.

This series should feature some top-notch pitching:

* O's have a team ERA of 3.26 (3rd in AL) and Seattle of 3.33 (tied for 4th in AL).

* O's rotation ERA is 3.29 (4th in AL) and Seattle is at 3.36 (5th in AL).

* O's bullpen ERA is 3.23 (5th in AL) with Seattle at 3.27 (6th in AL). 

Mayo to IL: The Orioles today announced that Triple-A Norfolk slugger Coby Mayo is going on the injured list. His X-rays from yesterday’s collision revealed a fractured rib, and he will miss several weeks. Mayo is batting .291/.359/.605/.964 in 42 Norfolk games with 11 doubles, two triples, 13 homers and 37 RBIs. 

Mayo, who is ranked as the sport's No. 21 prospect in the top 100 by MLBPipeline.com and No. 22 via Baseball America, is tied for first among all minor league players in all classifications in homers and ranks fifth in RBIs. 





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