ARLINGTON, Texas - This Orioles road trip began well. Right-hander Kevin Gausman pitched six scoreless innings on Monday in a 5-0 shutout of Tampa Bay, but the Orioles have lost three straight since then by a combined score of 18-7.
They lost the series opener at Texas 8-2 last night and are 48-54 heading into tonight's second game of the series. A loss would drop them to a season-high tying seven games under .500, a mark they hit when they were 42-49.
Right-hander Chris Tillman gave up nine hits and eight runs Friday night over 4 1/3 innings and is now is 1-6 with a 7.65 ERA. Since the Orioles started the year at 22-10, they are 26-44 and the rotation ERA is 6.94 in that span. O's starters have pitched fewer than six innings in 32 of the past 41 games.
Gausman (7-7, 5.79 ERA) will make his 23rd start of the year tonight. He has allowed one run or less in four of his past six starts, three times throwing scoreless starts. He is 4-0 his past six starts. Over the last two starts, he has allowed one run and nine hits in 12 innings with five walks and 16 strikeouts.
On July 19 at Oriole Park, Gausman held the Rangers to one run and four hits over six innings on 97 pitches. In six career games (five starts) against this team, he is 2-2 with a 3.58 ERA. He is 0-2 with a 6.17 ERA in two career road starts versus Texas.
Right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx (3-0, 4.53 ERA) will make his 13th appearance, sixth as a starter, for Texas. Over his last three games (one start) he has permitted 16 hits and eight runs over nine innings.
In his five starts this season, Bibens-Dirkx is 2-0 with a 4.30 ERA. In five games (two starts) at home he is 1-0 with a 7.43 ERA, allowing 11 runs, three of them home runs, over 13 1/3 innings. He pitched in relief on July 18 in Baltimore, giving up six hits and two runs in 2 1/3 innings.
The Orioles inconsistent offense has been held to three runs the past two games and 12 over the last four. In the six games before that, they scored 51 runs. The Orioles have gone five straight games without a multi-homer game, hitting one each the past five contests.
Jonathan Schoop homered for the second straight game on Friday night. He has hit five homers over his past eight games and has an RBI in 10 of his past 11 games, with 19 RBIs in that time. Schoop's .303 batting average ranks tied for 13th in the AL while he is tied for eighth with 23 homers and ranks third with 73 RBIs.
The Orioles are 6-2 in their last eight games with Texas, but are just 1-8 in their last nine at Globe Life Park. They have lost eight of their past 11 road games overall.
Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre now has 2,998 career hits. He is 11-for-19 his last five games and 7-for-19 this year versus the Orioles. With two more hits he'll become the 31st member of Major League Baseball's 3,000 hits club.