After their 6-3 comeback win over the White Sox Friday night, a victory today in the windy city would give the Orioles a series victory over Chicago and a chance to sweep the Sox on Sunday afternoon.
Adley Rutschman’s bases-loaded double on an 0-2 pitch in the seventh inning, turned a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead and the Orioles went on to win to improve to 8-6.
The AL East standings today
Tampa Bay at 13-1
Toronto at 9-5
Orioles, New York Yankees at 8-6
Boston at 6-8
The Orioles are two games over the .500 mark for the first time this season and have won four of five games. They are 4-3 in road games and are now 5-0 in series-opening games.
They scored six runs or more for the seventh time in 14 games last night. The Orioles have scored 35 runs in their past five games. Baltimore ranks second in the AL in runs scored per game.
7.43 – Tampa Bay
5.71 – Orioles
5.62 – Texas
5.43 – Boston
Scoring is up right now in the American League. The average runs per game per team was 4.22 in 2022 and is 4.86 this season.
The Baltimore bullpen now has an ERA of 3.72 for the year and has allowed just one run and five hits in 8 2/3 over the past two games.
Right-hander Kyle Gibson (3-0, 3.44 ERA) will make his fourth start for the Orioles today. They are 3-0 in his first three outings. He is tied for the MLB lead in wins with Gerrit Cole of the Yankees, Shane McClanahan of Tampa Bay, Tylor Megill of the New York Mets, Joe Ryan of Minnesota and Julio Urias from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Gibson has thrown 18 1/3 innings allowing 17 hits and seven runs and has a 2.0 walk rate and 5.9 strikeout rate. He is averaging just 14.1 pitches per inning and his first pitch strike percentage is a strong 68.6. It was 58.8 for him last year and the current AL average is 59.6.
O’s starting pitchers, with a 6.72 ERA for the year, have just two quality starts in 14 games. Both are by Gibson and they came in his last two starts. His ERA is 2.03 in those games versus Texas and Oakland.
Right-hander Michael Kopech (0-2, 6.75 ERA) gets the start for Chicago. He has had one terrible and one good start thus far. In his first outing of the year, he allowed five homers and seven runs in 4 2/3 versus San Francisco. Then he threw six innings on 102 pitches against Pittsburgh, giving up only two hits and one run and did not allow a home run.
Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson begin today tied with Mike Trout with 12 walks for the AL lead. Henderson’s OBP is .358 and Rutschman is second in the league at .492. The Orioles team OBP of .343 ranks third in the league.
Rutschman is batting .377/.492/.642/1.134 to rank fourth in batting, seventh in slugging and fourth in the AL in OPS. He is batting .462 (12-for-26) during an eight-game hitting streak with two doubles, three homers, eight RBIs, 10 walks and four strikeouts. He has three homers his past six games and five RBIs his last three games.