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

With a walk-off win in the series opener Monday, the Orioles and Royals will try to get this game in tonight. An O's win would give them a series win heading into the scheduled third game of this series on Wednesday afternoon.

Jordan Westburg's two-run homer in the last of the ninth last night was his first career walk-off homer as the Orioles won 6-4.

They are 3-1 thus far and are 1 1/2 games back of the American League East-leading Yankees at 5-0. The Red Sox are 3-2 while the Rays and Blue Jays are 2-3 in the division.

That was the first walk-off win for the Orioles since Sept. 17, 2023 versus the Rays when Cedric Mullins hit a sacrifice fly in the 11th inning. It also marked the first walk-off home run by the O's since July 28, 2023 against the Yankees when Anthony Santander connected on a solo shot in the ninth inning.

Last night's win marked Baltimore's second comeback victory of the season, joining Opening Day. Since the start of 2022, the O's 86 comeback wins lead the AL and rank second in the majors behind the Dodgers (88). The Birds totaled 48 comeback wins last year, tied with the Reds for the most in the majors.

With tonight's game, the Orioles will have gone 93 consecutive regular season series of at least two decisions (no ties) without being swept. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the fourth-longest regular season streak in major league history, trailing the 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals (124), 1906-09 Chicago Cubs (115), and 1903-05 New York Giants (105). Baltimore's current streak is the longest in O's history, ahead of 46 such series from 1971-72. The O's have not been swept in a regular season series of at least two games since May 13-15, 2022 at Detroit (0-3), and not at home in a series of at least two games since Aug. 27-29, 2021 vs. Tampa Bay (0-3).

Lefty Cole Irvin (1-4, 4.42 ERA last year) makes his season debut for the Orioles. In 77 1/3 innings last season, he allowed a 1.280 WHIP with a 2.4 walk rate and 7.9 strikeout rate. In only his 12 starts, Irvin was 1-4 with a 4.81 ERA and 1.310 WHIP.

After a slow start last year that saw him sent back to the minors, he had a 3.22 ERA pitching from June 10 on. In that span, he allowed a .239 average and .686 OPS with a 1.13 WHIP.

Kansas City fell to 1-3 with the series-opening loss, which was the Royals' sixth consecutive defeat at Oriole Park. They must win the next two games to avoid their ninth straight series loss or tie at Camden Yards, as they’ve lost seven and split one since their last regular season series win here in 2014, the year they beat the O’s in the postseason. In fact, they haven’t won any series against the Orioles since Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 2019 in Kansas City.

The Royals have hit eight home runs through four games, a total that leads the American League and matches the 2020 Royals for the most in franchise history through four contests. Last season, the Royals didn’t hit their eighth homer until the ninth game. Kansas City’s 17 extra-base hits and .481 slugging percentage rank second in the AL.

Right-hander Alec Marsh (3-9, 5.69 ERA last year) gets the ball for Kansas City. The 25-year-old was drafted in round two of the 2019 draft by the Royals. The team went 0-8 in his starts last season. In those gamed, he was 0-7 with a 7.64 ERA and allowed 13 homers over 35 1/3 innings. In six career games against the AL East, he is 0-5 with a 6.26 ERA.

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