O's game blog: Looking for another win at Fenway Park

The Orioles (20-28) and Red Sox (22-25) split a doubleheader on Saturday with Boston winning the opener 5-3 before the Baltimore bullpen allowed one unearned run and no walks over 5 1/3 innings in the nightcap as they won 4-2.

The O’s bullpen has allowed four earned runs over 16 1/3 innings this series for an ERA of 2.20. The bullpen ERA for the year is down to 3.00, which now ranks second in the major leagues behind only the Astros at 2.53. The Orioles bullpen has pitched to a 2.61 ERA in 27 May games, the second-best mark in the majors this month, behind only the Astros bullpen with a 1.94 ERA in 26 games.

O’s pitchers allowed seven runs in the doubleheader to a Red Sox team that was averaging 7.5 runs per game over the previous 16 games with 120 runs scored in that span.  

All four O’s runs were scored in the fourth inning of Game 2 on a Ramón Urías RBI single and Rougner Odor’s three-run homer. Odor has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games since May 16, slashing .306/.320/.612 (15-for-49) with four doubles, one triple, three home runs, seven runs scored and 13 RBIs. During this span, he ranks among American League leaders in RBIs (third), total bases (eighth, 30), and slugging percentage (10th). Odor has raised his slugging percentage from .311 entering play on May 16 to .417 entering play today. He produced a career-long 11-game hitting streak from May 16-27, the longest by an O’s batter this season.

On the mound today for Baltimore will be lefty Bruce Zimmermann (2-2, 3.78 ERA) making his 10th start. The Orioles are 5-4 when he takes the ball this year. He has recorded a 1.217 WHIP allowing 9.1 hits per nine and 1.5 homers with a 1.9 walk rate and 7.4 strikeout rate.

Zimmermann had an ERA of 2.72 his first seven starts but has yielded nine runs on 13 hits over 11 1/3 innings in his past two games, both against the Yankees. On Tuesday, he gave up four homers – all solo shots – over 6 1/3 innings. He had allowed three home runs all year over eight starts and 41 1/3 innings heading into that game.

Zimmermann, who has not faced Boston this season, has allowed two earned runs or less in six of his starts, has pitched six innings or more four times and has three quality starts.

Of Zimmermann's 23 runs allowed this year, 14 have come in the fifth inning or later, including six of those in the fifth. Opponents are batting .226 with 33 strikeouts and nine runs scored against him in the first four innings, compared to .377 with six strikeouts and 14 runs scored in the fifth through seventh innings.

Right-hander Nick Pivetta (3-4, 4.25 ERA) gets the start for Boston, his 10th on the year. Pivetta had an ERA of 7.84 after five starts. But he is 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA and .457 opponent OPS his past four starts with three walks and 25 strikeouts over 28 innings. The Red Sox are 3-6 when he gets the start.

Cedric Mullins stole his 50th career base on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. He is the 25th player in Orioles history to steal at least 50. His 50 steals are the fifth-most by an Oriole through his first 319 career games with the team, behind only Don Baylor (72), Brian Roberts (69), Jerry Hairston (56) and Al Bumbry (52). Mullins ranks third in the AL and tied for fourth in the majors with 10 stolen bases. Jorge Mateo is second in the AL and tied for second in majors with 13 stolen bases.

The Red Sox are 1-2 this series and 2-4 against the Orioles in 2022. When this series began, Boston had won seven of eight games and 10 of the past 13 games, scoring 100 runs in that span. The Red Sox are 11-12 at home and 6-13 within the AL East.

The Orioles are 6-4 their past 10 games and 3-3 on this road trip. They are 10-15 in AL East games, going 4-9 versus the Yankees and 6-6 against the rest.

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