O's game blog: Looking for two in a row against the Twins

After Wednesday’s 9-4 win over Minnesota – where the Orioles scored all nine runs over the third and fourth innings – the Orioles need a win tonight to split this four-game series with the first-place Twins.

Baltimore (9-16) tied its season-high for runs, producing nine for the second time in four games. The Orioles had 12 hits in the win. Through their first 18 games this year, they didn’t have a game with 10 hits or more. Now they’ve done that three times the last seven games.

The Orioles had three players with multi-hit games and three with multi-RBI games. They also hit two homers in a home game for the first time in 2022. Trey Mancini, Cedric Mullins and Ryan Mountcastle combined to go 7-for-12 with a homer, four runs and three RBIs. Mullins hit a two-run homer and now has 10 RBIs, all coming at Oriole Park. His 10 RBIs are tied for eighth in the American League.

The Orioles scored 24 runs in the season’s first 12 games. Now they have scored 59 over the past 13, averaging 4.54 runs per game in that span.

Orioles starting pitchers have pitched to a 2.41 ERA in 12 home games this season, the third-best mark in the AL and fourth-best in the majors. Last night, Carlos Correa’s home run was only the second homer allowed by a Baltimore starter this season at home, fewest in the majors.

The O’s pitching staff has posted a 2.68 ERA in 12 home games, the second-lowest home ERA in the AL and third-lowest home ERA in the majors. This marks the lowest team ERA through the first 12 home games of a season since the 2012 squad posted a 2.17 ERA in their first dozen games at Oriole Park.

O’s batters have been hit by 17 pitches this season, tied with the Marlins for the second-most in the majors, behind only the Mets with 22. Orioles batters were hit by two pitches on Tuesday, the fifth game this season in which multiple Orioles have been hit by a pitch. And Baltimore’s five games with multiple hit batsmen are tied with the Mets for the most in the major leagues.

On the mound tonight for the Orioles is right-hander Spenser Watkins (0-0, 2.55 ERA), who will be making his fifth start. After pitching to an ERA of 8.07 in 54 2/3 innings last year, Watkins has allowed two earned runs or less in all four of his games and one earned run or less in three of the four.

Last Saturday versus Boston, he gave up one run and five hits in 4 1/3 innings. His pitch counts from his first outing through the Boston game have been 57, 67, 76 and 69.

Tonight, he makes his 15th career start and first against Minnesota. In 11 career home games in Baltimore, he is 1-4 with an ERA of 8.68.

Watkins has been outstanding this year when facing lefty batters. He has limited lefty hitters to a major league-best .065 batting average (min. 30 PAs), allowing just two singles in 31 at-bats. In his career, he’s limited lefty opponents to a .245/.305/.417 slash line across 152 plate appearances. This season, right-handed hitters are batting .333 with an OPS of 1.068 against him.

Right-hander Chris Archer (0-0, 2.93 ERA) will get the start for Minnesota. For the year, he’s allowed 11 hits and five runs over 15 1/3 innings with nine walks and 14 strikeouts. He has a WHIP of 1.304 with a 5.3 walk rate and 8.2 strikeout rate.

Archer has allowed two earned runs or less in all four of his starts and the Twins are 2-2 in those games. He gave up one run in four innings Saturday at Tampa Bay. Opponents bat .125 with an OPS of .597 against him the first time through the batting order. They are hitting .280/.837 the second time through.

Orioles hit five home runs to gain series split (u...
Orioles and Twins lineups (and notes)

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