O's game blog: Looking for a series win against Boston

After last night’s 2-1 win in 10 innings over Boston on a throwing error by the Red Sox, the Orioles and Sox have split the first two games of this series. They have scored seven runs combined in the games.

Today, the Orioles (7-14) host Boston (9-13) in the rubber game in the series. A win would give the Orioles their third series victory of 2022 and they are 1-1 in rubber games.

Last night was the club’s second walk-off win of the season and they are now 2-0 in extra-inning games. They are 4-4 at home and 3-8 versus the American League East, and the win ended a five-game losing streak for the Orioles.

They continue to play a lot of close games, with 13 of the 21 decided by two runs or less. Baltimore is 4-4 in one-run games and 1-4 in two-run games.

The Orioles are moving into what looks like a bit of a softer spot in their schedule. The combined records of the teams they played in their first six series – the Rays, Brewers, Yankees, Oakland and Angels – is 66-41 through Saturday, for a win percentage of .617. The combined records of the teams they play the next five series starting with this one – the Red Sox, Twins, Royals, Cardinals and Tigers – is 46-54 for a win percentage of .460.

The Orioles bullpen had another good night in last night’s win, combining for 5 1/3 scoreless innings on two hits. In two games this series, the O’s ‘pen has thrown 8 1/3 scoreless innings on three hits. And now eight times this year, the O’s ‘pen has thrown a scoreless outing.

The O’s pitching staff has an ERA of 1.80 in home games and has allowed just two homers in eight games. Last year, the Baltimore staff had a home ERA of 5.99 and gave up 155 homers in 81 games. Their home ERA was last in the AL in 2021 and the current home ERA ranks first in the AL.

To say the least, the new wall dimensions in left and left-center at Oriole Park seem to be deterring offense thus far. In the second home game of the year, the Orioles lost 5-4 to the Breqers – and that was the highest-scoring game at home thus far. Through eight home games, the two teams playing there have scored a combined 39 runs or just less than five per game. There have been just seven runs scored this weekend at Camden Yards.

The Orioles’ Cedric Mullins doubled twice on Saturday for the first time this season and for the fifth time in his career. His double in the sixth broke up Nathan Eovaldi’s no-hit bid and Mullins posted his third multi-hit game. He raised his OPS from .633 to .675. Left fielder Austin Hays (1-for-4) is batting .409 (9-for-22) in his last six games and he has reached base safely in his last nine games.

Right-hander Jordan Lyles (1-2, 5.40 ERA) will make his fifth Baltimore start. In his first and fourth – against the Rays and Yankees – his ERA is 10.24, allowing 11 runs over 9 2/3. In his second and third – against the Yankees and A's – his ERA is 0.87, allowing one run over 10 1/3.

Lefty batters are cleaning up against him batting .400 with an OPS of 1.333 and all four of his homers have come versus lefty batters. Right-hander hitters are batting .239/.568 off him.

Righty Nick Pivetta (0-3, 8.27 ERA) is off to a poor start with Boston. The team is 0-4 in his outings and his WHIP is 1.959 and walk rate is 7.2. The Orioles rank tied for fifth in the AL with 73 walks (they were 13th last year) and are eighth in walk rate at 9.2 (they were 13th last year at 7.5).

Boston (9-13) is 5-10 in AL East games and last night’s game was its fourth walk-off loss already. Boston starting pitchers have thrown 11 scoreless this series on four hits with no walks and 12 strikeouts. Boston starters have an ERA of 1.63 their past 10 games. But the Red Sox have lost six of their last eight.

Lyles, bullpen and bats combine to give Orioles se...
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