O's game blog: Looking for a series sweep against Minnesota

With their 11-3 win over the Minnesota Twins last night coupled with Toronto’s 5-4 victory over the New York Yankees, the Orioles (11-6) moved to within ½ game of first place in the American League East.

After winning their first game of the year on March 28, the Orioles were tied for first place. They have not been in the AL East top spot since, but would be later today with a win and a New York loss at Toronto in a game beginning at 3:07 p.m.

The Orioles have one series sweep this year, when they won three in a row at Boston, and could match that today against the Twins. This would be Baltimore's first sweep of Minnesota since a three-game set at Target Field from July 7-9, 2023. The Orioles haven't swept the Twins at Oriole Park since a three-game set from April 4-7, 2016.

The Orioles had a season-high 15 hits last night and have had 11 hits or more in four consecutive games. In those games the team batting average is .342 with an OPS of 1.003 and Baltimore has scored 29 runs.

In the last eight games, the Orioles have scored 53 runs on 87 hits. The Orioles have hit 11 doubles, a triple and 18 homers in that span with a team batting average of .297 and .880 OPS. The O’s, who are 6-2 in this stretch, are scoring 6.6 runs per game during the run.

The Orioles have now hit three homers in each of the last four games, the first time they have at least three in four straight games since May 21-24, 2013.

Baltimore batters have hit six homers this series and 17 in the last six games.

Entering today's games, the Orioles lead the majors with 27 home runs, tied with the 2016 O's for the most through the first 17 games of a season in club history; the most homers through the first 18 games is 29 by the 1966 club.

Ryan O’Hearn connected on a two-run home run in the eighth inning and has homered in three straight games for the second time in his career. He also did it in 2021 with Kansas City. He is the first Oriole to do so since Anthony Santander from June 23-25, 2023, O’Hearn has also recorded three consecutive multi-hit games for the second time in his career (also: 8/14-18, 2023).

Left fielder Colton Cowser registered his fifth multi-hit game of the season and fourth multi-RBI effort. Over his last eight games, Cowser has four multi-hit efforts and is 12-for-31, batting .387 with an OPS of 1.332 with four doubles, four homers and 14 RBIs.

Jordan Westburg is 10-for-20 during a five-game hitting streak with two doubles, two homers and six RBIs. He leads the Orioles with six multi-RBI games.

Cedric Mullins is batting .385 (10-for-26) during an eight-game batting streak with a double, two homers, eight runs and six RBIs.

On the mound last night, O’s right-hander Grayson Rodriguez allowed two runs over six innings on 87 pitches. He is 3-0 with an ERA of 2.63.

He gave the Orioles their seventh quality start of the year – they are 5-2 when they get one – and the club ended a run of six games without one.

The Orioles this year are 8-0 in games started by Rodriguez and Corbin Burnes.

O’s pitchers allowed four runs or less for the 13th time and the club is 10-3 in those games.

Right-hander Albert Suárez got called up today from Triple-A to make this start, replacing Tyler Wells, who went on the injured list yesterday. The Orioles saw his fastball touch 97 and 98 mph in spring training. In three games this season with Norfolk he was 1-1 with a 5.87 ERA with one walk and 17 strikeouts over 15 1/3 innings.

Suárez, 34 from Venezuela, has big league experience in 2016 and 2017 with San Francisco, going 3-8 with a 4.51 ERA in 115 2/3 innings. The Orioles signed him as a minor league free agent last Oct. 12. He has pitched mostly in foreign leagues since 2019 and last season was 4-7 with a 3.92 ERA over 173 2/3 innings in the Korea Baseball Organization. Today is his first big league game since Sept. 26, 2017 at Arizona for San Francisco. 

Right-hander Pablo López (1-2, 4.86 ERA) gets the start for the Twins. In 16 2/3 innings he has a 1.20 WHIP with four walks and 16 strikeouts. 

Suárez makes impressive debut, Mullins hits walk-o...
Hyde explains decision to start Suárez

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