O's game blog: Looking for a 10-game win streak against the Cubs

The Orioles have had a winning streak of 10 or more games in 11 different seasons in club history. The 2022 edition can join the list with a win tonight at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

The Orioles beat the Cubs 4-2 on Tuesday to extend their winning streak to nine straight games. That is the longest in-season streak since the club won 13 in a row from Sept. 7-22, 1999. Right-hander Jordan Lyles allowed just two runs over seven innings last night and Baltimore got a two-run homer from Ramón Urías and a solo shot from Jorge Mateo in their latest win.

Lyles allowed single runs in the first and second innings and then blanked the Cubs after that, finishing with 101 pitches. Over his past five games he has thrown four quality starts and pitched to a 2.76 ERA. O’s starters have thrown seven innings or more just six times this year, and four times Lyles has done that. Kyle Bradish and Dean Kremer have each done it once.

The Orioles reached the .500 mark Tuesday night at 44-44. The last time they were at .500 before this was last April 10 at 4-4. The last time they were .500 or better this deep into a season was in September 2017.

Now they shoot for a 10-game win streak.

Longest win streaks in O’s history:

14 games: 1973 season.

13 games: 1978 and 1999.

11 games: 1970, 1971, 1987.

10 games: 1966, 1974, 1980, 1982 and 1983.

Right-hander Spenser Watkins (2-1, 4.15 ERA), a pitcher on a roll, will make his 12th start tonight. Over his past three games his ERA is 1.02. He's allowed two earned runs and 12 hits over 17 2/3 innings against the White Sox, Twins and Rangers. He has allowed one run in each of those games.

The Orioles are 6-5 in Watkins’ starts this year and 3-1 in his last four.

Lefty Justin Steele (3-5, 4.13 ERA) will make his 17th start and will face the Orioles tonight. On the season, he has thrown 76 1/3 innings, allowing 73 hits and five homers with 36 walks, 76 strikeouts and 1.428 WHIP. The Cubs are 6-10 when he starts.

But Steele has given up just two runs in 11 2/3 innings his past two games. And he has allowed two earned runs or fewer five times his past six starts, for a 2.72 ERA in that span.

Entering today's games, all five American League East teams are currently .500 or better: New York Yankees (61-26), Tampa Bay Rays (47-40), Boston Red Sox (47-41), Toronto Blue Jays (46- 42) and Baltimore Orioles (44-44). According to The Elias Sports Bureau, the last time all five AL East teams were .500 or better at least halfway through a season was through the games of July 1, 2013: Red Sox (50-34), Orioles (47-36), Rays (44-39), Yankees (43-39), and Blue Jays (41- 41).

The Orioles begin play tonight two games out of the sixth and final AL playoff spot.

On the farm today: Double-A Bowie won this afternoon 6-5 in a walk-off. With two on and two outs in the last of the ninth, JD Mundy doubled to right, scoring both runners to turn a possible 5-4 loss into a 6-5 win. Bowie improved to 35-47 for the year, and to 8-5 in the second half.

Earlier, Colton Cowser hit a solo homer, No. 3, and Shayne Fontana hit a three-run homer in his first game back with the team after a stint on the injured list and rehab games with high Single-A Aberdeen. César Prieto went 2-for-4 with a double and starter Drew Rom allowed two runs over five innings on 90 pitches.

Aberdeen is hosting Jersey Shore tonight, with Heston Kjerstad making his IronBirds debut. Aberdeen begins play tonight at 52-29/9-6.

Low Single-A Delmarva had its four-game win streak end this afternoon, 1-0 at Carolina. Lefty Deivy Cruz threw five scoreless innings on four hits and Miguel Padilla took the loss, allowing just an unearned run and no hits over three innings. The Shorebirds’ Frederick Bencosme went 2-for-4 with a double and is batting .366/.429/.436/.865 in 28 games.


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