The Orioles have enjoyed a range of emotions and results the last two days. First the stunning comeback win in the ninth Sunday at Toronto. And then an 11-0 loss last night in which they were held to just two hits by the last-place Detroit Tigers.
So, the Orioles will try to get back into the win column tonight in the second game of a three-game series and seven-game homestand at the Yard.
The Orioles (76-70) are five games behind Seattle for the final American League wild-card berth and yes, Seattle holds the tiebreaker. The Birds are 5 1/2 games back of Tampa Bay and 6 1/2 behind Toronto.
The Orioles need to finish 6-10 or better to clinch their first winning record since going 89-73 in 2016, when they made the postseason.
The loss Monday was the O's third in the last four games and ninth in the past 14 games. They went 17-10 in August, their third straight winning month, but are now 8-9 in September.
The Orioles have been shut out back-to-back home games for the first time since Aug. 4-5, 2020. The Orioles have scored just eight runs their last five home games, and three runs or fewer in 13 of the last 22 games.
Detroit is 4-0 against the Orioles this season, winning the games by a combined 23-3 score with two shutouts.
The O's were held hitless until the seventh Monday night, when they got two straight singles by Ryan Mountcastle and Anthony Santander. But those were their only hits on the night.
Detroit posted its biggest shutout margin over the Orioles since winning 14-0 on Sept. 29, 1981 at Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers' Miguel Cabrera had two singles and an RBI. He recorded his 1,842nd career RBI with a single in the first and is two RBIs shy of equaling Carl Yastrzemski for 12th in major league history. And he earned his 3,081st hit with a single in the fourth inning, tying Cap Anson for 24th on the all-time hits list.
Tigers shortstop Javier Báez went 1-for-4 and scored a run. He extended his hitting streak to seven games and is batting .371/.400/.613 (23-for-62) with two doubles, two triples, three home runs, 10 runs and 11 RBIs in 17 games this month.
O's right-hander Austin Voth (5-2, 2.78 ERA with O's only) will make his 15th start for the Orioles. With several recent off-days, his last start was skipped, but he pitched a scoreless inning in relief last Wednesday at Washington.
Over his past five starts, Voth has a 2.16 ERA, allowing a .226 batting average and .642 OPS. He has been quite good for Baltimore, allowing two earned runs or fewer in 12 of his 14 starts. And the Orioles are 10-4 in those games.
Lefty Joey Wentz (1-2, 4.15 ERA) will make his fifth start for the Tigers. Over 17 1/3 innings in the first four he has allowed 14 hits and eight earned runs with 1.038 WHIP, a 2.1 walk rate and 7.8 strikeout rate. He made two starts for the Tigers in May and two this month, and Detroit is 2-2 in those games.
In his two starts recently, he pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings against Kansas City and allowed two runs in four innings versus Houston. Over 10 2/3 in those games, he's allowed six hits and the two runs, allowing a .158 batting average and .509 OPS.
IronBirds tonight: The O's High-A Aberdeen affiliate faces a must-win situation tonight in Game 2 of the South Atlantic League championship. The IronBirds lost 5-3 Sunday at Bowling Green in the best-of-three series.
These two teams posted the best records in the league this year, with the Hot Rods, a Tampa Bay affiliate, going 78-52 (.600) and Aberdeen going 78-54 (.591). The IronBirds won a three-game series over Brooklyn to advance. Should Aberdeen win tonight, the third and deciding game will be at Aberdeen's Ripken Stadium on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m.
IronBirds playoff stats
* Jud Fabian is 4-for-14, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs
* Dylan Beavers is 4-for-17, 2B, 3B, 3 runs
* Heston Kjerstad is 4-for-16, pair of 2B, 3 RBIs
* Max Wagner is 2-for-15, RBI
* TT Bowens is 4-for-8, HR, 4 RBIs
* Billy Cook is 4-for-11, 2 RBIs.