O's game blog: Looking for a bounce-back win over the Los Angeles Dodgers

With their eight-game win streak now over, the Orioles look to start a new one tonight as they also continue their pursuit to catch the Tampa Bay Rays atop the American League East. 

Chris Taylor’s grand slam in the sixth last night turned a two-run deficit into a two-run lead, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Orioles 6-4 in the series opener. The O’s led the game 3-0 after two innings and 4-1 after five.

The Dodgers (54-39), who have won six of their past seven series, are 7-1 the last eight games and 15-6 in their past 21. They are now 25-23 on the road, 14-9 versus AL teams and 3-4 against AL East clubs.

They improved to 22-9 in series-opening games with their 22nd comeback win of 2023. They have an MLB-best 70 come-from-behind wins since the start of the 2022 season.

The Orioles had their season-long win streak snapped; they had outscored their opponents 60-20 during the eight consecutive wins. Every victory during the streak came against a team that entered the game with a .500 or better record. Had that streak reached nine, it would've been the longest win streak for the Birds over .500 or better clubs since taking nine in a row from July 9-17, 1998.

The Orioles offense has produced 35 runs the last five games and 64 over the last nine. The team is batting .398 (33-for-83) with runners in scoring position over the past nine games.

Adley Rutschman hit his 13th homer of the season, a solo shot in the fifth inning, and he matched his home run total from last year. In 16 starts since June 26, he's batting .323/.380/.523 (21-for-65) with four doubles, three home runs, 11 runs scored, nine RBIs and six walks.

Shortstop Gunnar Henderson collected his fourth triple of the year in the second inning. Among MLB rookies, he ranks tied for first in triples, and ranks sixth with 40 extra-base-hits as of the end of Tuesday's game.

Ryan Mountcastle doubled in the first inning and knocked in the go-ahead run; he has doubled in both starts since returning from the IL on July 2.

Outfielder Colton Cowser has reached base safely in all six starts to begin his career (two hits, five walks, two hit by pitch).

Right-hander Tyler Wells (7-4, 3.18 ERA) will make his 18th start tonight. The Orioles are 10-7 in the first 17. In his last start July 8 at Minnesota he gave up two runs over six innings on 82 pitches. He is working on nine days rest today.

Wells leads MLB in WHIP (0.927) and ranks ninth in the AL in ERA. 

He has allowed two earned runs or less in eight consecutive starts since May 29, going 4-3 with a 2.83 ERA during that span, allowing a .213 batting average and .692 OPS. He has eight quality starts for the year.

Right-hander Michael Grove (1-2, 6.89 ERA) makes the start for the Dodgers. The team is 5-3 in his 2023 starts. Grove was the Dodgers' No. 24 prospect in 2022 per Baseball America and was ranked No. 18 this year.

Of his 11 appearances this season, he has made eight starts, going 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA in those games. Grove was the Dodgers' second-round pick out of West Virginia in the 2018 MLB Draft. 

The Orioles have two winning streaks of at least seven games this year. Atlanta (4x) and Tampa Bay (2x) are the only other teams with multiple win streaks of at least seven games this season. The O's eight-game win stretch marked their third winning streak of at least seven games since last season; the Birds had four such streaks in the previous 16 seasons from 2006-21.

On Friday, the O's moved to 20 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2014 season (96-66), and for the first time before August since 1997.


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