O's game blog: Looking for a series win at New York

After a pitching-led 2-1 win over the New York Yankees Friday night the O’s return to the Bronx this afternoon for Game 2 of the weekend series. They will have a series win if they take one of the next two games.

At 81-76 the Orioles have clinched .500 season and now have five games left to record their first winning season since going 89-73 in 2016.

The wins by Tampa Bay and Seattle Friday eliminated the Orioles from playoff contention. Both teams now have 86 wins, and that is the max number the O's can reach. But Baltimore would lose tiebreakers to both teams, and so they are eliminated from wild-card contention. 

It was another night without much going on for the Baltimore offense, which has had a roller coaster of a road trip for the bats. On Monday and Tuesday at Fenway Park, the Orioles scored 23 runs, hit nine homers and went 10-for-26 with runners in scoring position. Now the last three games – two at Boston and one at New York – they have scored six total runs on 21 hits while going 1-for-21 with RISP.

The Orioles have scored three runs or fewer 14 times the past 25 games and got a rare win in such instances last night. They're now are 3-11 in those 14 games.

The Orioles improved to 6-11 against the Yankees this season and 2-5 at Yankee Stadium. They are now 37-42 on the road and 7-5 in their last 12 road games overall. Baltimore is now 22-24 in one-run games, while four of their last seven games have been decided by two or fewer. They are 41-40 this season in games decided by two or fewer.

The Yankees clinched the American League East on Tuesday but are 96-60 after this loss. They had won nine of 10 and 17 of their past 22 games entering this series. They fall to 56-23 at home and to 46-28 in AL East games.

Baltimore’s Cedric Mullins matched a season high with two walks, and he stole his 33rd base of the season in the first inning and his 34th in the seventh. That marked his fourth game of the year with multiple stolen bases. Mullins and teammate Jorge Mateo are tied for the AL lead in stolen bases, both two ahead of the Rays' Randy Arozarena.

First baseman Ryan Mountcastle went 1-for-4 with a first-inning RBI single. He has hit .268/.351/.443 (26-for-97) with 11 runs, three doubles, a triple, four homers, 18 RBIs and 11 walks in September.

Left fielder Austin Hays hit his 33rd double in the second inning and has now reached base in 16 straight games in which he's had a plate appearance. Hays is hitting .316 (18-for-57) with eight runs, three doubles, a triple, a homer and three RBIs in that span. He is batting .323 (20-for-62) with eight doubles, two homers, nine RBIs and six walks versus the Yankees this season.

New York’s Aaron Judge went 1-for-2 with a single and two walks last night. He remains at 61 homers, needing one more to break his tie with Roger Maris for most ever in a year in the American League. Judge has nine homers in 16 games this season against the Orioles. 

He has now reached base in 22 of 40 plate appearances over his last nine games, posting a .550 OBP in that span. He has reached at least three times in a major league-leading 49 games and is the just the second Yankee since 2000 to record as many such games in a season. Judge has reached base in each of his last 28 games and has reached base multiple times in 24 of those games, batting .419/.570/.892 (39-for-93) with 29 runs, 12 homers and 21 RBIs.

Right-hander Austin Voth (5-3, 2.77 ERA with O's) will make his 17th start for Baltimore. The Orioles are 10-6 in those games. Voth has allowed three runs over 10 innings in his past two starts against Detroit and Houston.

Lefty Nestor Cortes (11-4, 2.56 ERA) pitches for the Yankees, who are 18-9 in his 27 starts. He has allowed one earned run or none in four of his past five starts, going 2-0 with a 1.73 ERA in that span. Cortes has thrown two scoreless outings at the Orioles this year, spanning 11 innings with one walk and 19 strikeouts.


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