For the Orioles, this has been a road trip marked by close wins. They are 4-1 on the trip, winning the four games by a combined five runs after Monday’s 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Orioles (62-38) are playing .620 ball at the 100-game mark they reached last night. They now lead the American League East by 2 1/2 games over Tampa Bay, 6 1/2 over Toronto and 9.0 over Boston and New York.
The Orioles have won three in a row, five of six and 13 of 16 games. They have outscored their opponents 93-57 over the 16 games. They are 8-3 in the second half and have now gone 72 consecutive series without being swept.
In Orioles club history, the six teams that played in the World Series all won 59 or more of their first 100 games. The 1969 team posted the best 100-game mark at 69-31, followed by the 1979 team (67-33) and the 1966 World Series champions (66-34). The teams in 1970, 1971, 1997 and 2023 all went 62-38. The 1983 World Series winners won 59 games. Every O’s team that won 62 or more advanced to the postseason.
Jordan Westburg and Ryan Mountcastle hit solo homers last night, and Colton Cowser notched his first career extra-base hit with an RBI double in the ninth that broke the 2-2 tie. Westburg hit his first career homer and Mountcastle hit No. 12 this year. He blasted a slider with a 112.3 mph exit velocity, and hit the ball 451 feet out over the center field fence. It is the fourth-longest homer by an Oriole this year.
The Orioles continue to be a good team in close games, improving to 19-9 in one-run games with Monday’s win. Since early July they are 8-1 in games decided by one or two runs.
The Orioles are now 14-6 in July, 22-11 in series-opening games and 32-18 in road games.
The Orioles have one of MLB’s best road records:
.681 – Atlanta (32-15)
.640 – Orioles (32-18)
.585 – Houston (31-22)
.563 – Cincinnati (27-21)
Philadelphia (53-47) has lost five of six games and is 5-5 since the All-Star break. But over a longer stretch, the Phillies are 28-15 since June 3.
Orioles right-hander Kyle Gibson (9-6, 4.76 ERA) will make his 22nd start tonight, facing the team he was with for parts of the last two seasons in Philadelphia. Gibson’s 21 starts are tied for the MLB lead, and he ranks tied for ninth in the AL with 121 innings.
In his last six starts, his ERA has jumped up from 3.94, but two of his past three games produced strong outings against Minnesota and Tampa Bay. In the road trip opener at the Trop last Thursday, he gave up three runs and seven hits over six innings.
Gibson has 98 career wins as he takes the ball tonight. The Orioles are 12-9 in his starts this year, winning the past three.
Gibson has allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight of his 21 starts, has 10 quality starts and has thrown six innings or more 12 times, going seven innings four times.
Last night, Dean Kremer gave up one run over seven innings, and it was the O’s 39th quality start of the year. They rank sixth in the AL in QS and are 30-9 when they get one. When the O’s starting pitcher goes seven or more innings, they are 11-1.
Right-hander Taijuan Walker (11-4, 4.11 ERA) gets the ball for the Phillies, making his 21st start, and Philly is 14-6 in the first 20. Over his past three games his ERA is 5.00, but in the five games before that, his ERA was 0.84 in 32 innings with a .506 OPS against.
Walker has pitched nine quality starts this year and is 5-1 with a 2.76 ERA in nine home starts. In eight career games versus Baltimore, he is 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA, .209 batting average against and .566 OPS.
The Orioles have six homegrown players in tonight's lineup with Gunnar Henderson, Adley Rutschman, Austin Hays, Mountcastle, Cowser and Westburg.