O's game blog: Jordan Lyles faces Texas as series continues

After taking the field last night hours after the club traded Trey Mancini, the Orioles will take the field tonight after the club traded closer Jorge López this afternoon to the Minnesota Twins for four minor league pitchers. Tonight they play the second game of a three-game series at Texas.

The Orioles (52-51) beat the Rangers 7-2 last night in the series opener. Cedric Mullins hit a homer on the game’s third pitch – his third leadoff homer of the year. It was his 14th career leadoff home run, the second-most in Orioles history behind Brady Anderson's 44.

The Orioles took a 4-0 lead in the second inning and never trailed in moving over the .500 mark. They matched last year’s win total when they went 52-110.

The Orioles had scored just 10 runs in three games in Cincinnati, and just four runs in losing the last two games at Great American Ball Park and producing just one extra-base hit in those contests.

Catcher Adley Rutschman went 3-for-4 with a walk, two doubles and an RBI Monday night for his second career three-hit game. He reached base a career-high four times. Rutschman is batting .421 (16-for-38) over his past 12 games. Last night was his 13th multi-hit game.

Rutschman is slashing .344/.474/.574 (21-for-61) with eight doubles, two homers, 15 runs scored, eight RBIs and 14 walks in 20 games since July 6. His .474 OBP ranks second in the American League and fourth in the majors during that time. Rutschman leads the Orioles and ranks ninth among big league catchers (min. 200 PA) with 2.2 fWAR, according to FanGraphs.

Anthony Santander had a bloop RBI single in the second as part of a 1-for-4 night that extended his hitting streak to 12 straight games. He is batting .383 (18-for-47) in the streak.

Ryan Mountcastle entered the Texas series going 2-for-20 his previous five games and 3-for-34 over his previous nine. Then he went 2-for-5 with an RBI single and RBI double.

Of the 18 balls hit 100 mph or more in the game on Monday, the Orioles hit 13 of them. Rutschman hit the hardest ball of the night, a 111 mph single in the second inning. He added a double in the fourth at 106 and double in the sixth hit 100 mph. Jorge Mateo’s 109.6 mph grounder in the second that went for an E4 was the second hardest-hit ball of the game.

The Orioles improved to 4-0 this season against the Rangers, winning three times by one run and last night by five runs. The Orioles are 13-8 versus AL West clubs in 2022.

The Orioles have won five of eight, 17 of 24, 22 of 34 and 28 of their past 44 games.

Right-hander Jordan Lyles (7-8, 4.56 ERA) makes his 22nd start tonight. He is coming off an outing when he pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings in Baltimore versus Tampa Bay. Lyles has thrown 118 1/3 innings on the season to rank 11th in the AL.

Righty Spencer Howard (2-2, 5.93 ERA) gets the start for Texas. Drafted by Philadelphia in round two of the 2017 MLB Draft, Howard was ranked as Baseball America's No. 27 prospect before both the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Then last year at the trade deadline he was dealt to Texas.

Howard pitched five scoreless last Thursday versus the Los Angeles Angels. Over his past four games, he is 2-1 with a 3.20 ERA. The Rangers are 3-3 in his six starts this season.

Last night was the 19th time in the past 39 games that Baltimore pitchers have allowed two runs or fewer, and the team ERA is 3.14 in those games. On those 19 occasions, the Orioles are 18-1.

The Orioles' team ERA of 3.91 now ranks seventh in the AL, and they are not far out of fifth.

AL team ERA leaders:

3.04 – Houston
3.18 – New York Yankees
3.45 – Tampa Bay
3.68 – Seattle
3.88 – Cleveland
3.89 – Toronto
3.91 – Orioles

The Orioles today announced the signings of four players to non-drafted free agent contracts. They are post-draft signings, and a couple of these were reported earlier.

But the team officially announced they have added University of Maryland first baseman Maxwell Costes, who played at Gilman School in Baltimore. He batted .278/.458/.560 in four years as a Terp, hitting 16 homers with 52 RBIs this past season, when he was third-team all-Big 10.

They also added right-hander Trey Nordmann from Lipscomb, where he posted a 3.46 ERA and 12 saves in 28 games. They signed UNLV right-hander Hayden Nierman, who went 2-0 with a 4.72 ERA in 23 games, all out of the bullpen. And they added Rice right-handed pitcher Cooper Chandler, who went 2-7 with a 5.09 ERA in 14 games and 12 starts.

Here are the minor league assignments for the players the O’s acquired via trades the past two days.

* Lefty Cade Povich – Aberdeen

* Righty Yennier Canó – on 40-man roster and optioned to Norfolk

* Righty Juan Nuñez – Florida Complex League Orioles

* Lefty Juan Rojas – FCL Orioles

* Righty Seth Johnson – Aberdeen

* Righty Chayce McDermott - Aberdeen

Orioles acquire Brett Phillips as last move at dea...
Orioles acquire OF Phillips from Rays

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