O's game blog: Looking for another win as Tampa Bay series begins

As they begin the final series before the All-Star break tonight, the Orioles are looking to extend their winning streak and possibly get within one game of or closer to the final American League playoff spot.

Beginning play tonight, the Orioles (45-44) are 1 ½ games back of Toronto and Boston, which are both 47-43 and tied for the last AL playoff berth. The Rays hold the first AL wild-card spot currently, with Seattle holding the second and the Red Sox and Blue Jays tied for that third spot.

Seattle has won 11 in a row and the Orioles go for No. 11 tonight. The Birds beat the Cubs in Chicago 4-2 on Tuesday and 7-1 Wednesday to extend the win streak to 10 and to move one game over the .500 mark.

Before they won that second game at Wrigley Field, the O’s had not been over .500 since April 8, 2021. The O’s have outscored their opponents 52-30 during the win streak. Their team pitching has an ERA of 2.93 in the streak with their starters ERA at 3.19 and the bullpen ERA at 2.58.

Over the last 25 games, O’s pitching has allowed two runs or fewer 15 times for an ERA of 2.59 in this span. In those 15 games, the Orioles are 14-1.

The Orioles were 24-35 on June 10 and they are 21-9 since. They are 45-44 now. Last September they were 45-94.

The Orioles have swept three series in a row for the first time since 2005. They are 15-5 their past 20 games and 31-20 since May 19. Since May 1, they are 38-30.

The last time the Orioles had at least 45 wins through their first 89 games of a season was 2016, when they went 53-36.

Tonight the O’s resume play against the American League East, and they are playing much better within the division this season. They went 20-56 (.263) versus AL East clubs last year and are now 15-19 (.441). They went 3-19-2 in series against the division in 2021. This year the Orioles are 5-4-1, and that includes a mark of 3-1-1 the last five series.

While the Orioles are just 4-9 against the Yankees, they are a combined 11-10 against the Blue Jays, Rays and Red Sox. The Orioles are 11-8 in their last 19 games this season within the division. They went 1-18 last year against Tampa Bay and are 4-5 this season, going 2-1 in three series. They went 0-3 to start this season versus the Rays at Tropicana Field, but then went 2-1 each in two home series against the Rays.

AL East against the AL East:

.667 - New York (28-14)
.568 - Tampa Bay (21-16)
.471 - Toronto (16-18)
.441 - Orioles (15-19)
.314 - Boston (11-24)

The Rays (49-40) are playing well as the O's arrive. They just completed a four-game sweep of Boston and have won nine of 13 games. They are 29-17 at home and they are 9-1 in their past 10 AL East games.

Thanks to an amazing rally in the bottom of the ninth last Friday, the O's have a nice streak going in Tyler Wells' (7-4, 3.28) starts. They have won eight in a row. And Wells is 6-0 with a 2.36 ERA in those eight games.

Right-hander Luis Patiño (0-1, 13.50 ERA) starts for the Rays, making just his second big league appearance of the year. Baseball America ranked the 22-year-old as the No. 67 prospect before the 2019 season, No. 18 before 2020 and No. 23 before last year. He is the Rays' No. 3 prospect and pitched in the 2019 Futures Game. 

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