O's game blog: Looking to bounce back with a win at Fenway Park

The Orioles have scored 23 runs on 29 hits the last two nights at Fenway Park, but they have split the two games. They won 14-8 on Monday and lost 13-9 last night.

The Orioles pitching, which recently had a three-game stretch versus Detroit and Houston where it allowed one run over three games, has now yielded 38 runs over the past four games.

The Orioles bullpen pitched just one-third of an inning during that three-game stretch, but has now given up 21 earned runs in 23 2/3 innings the past four games.

But the Baltimore offense has picked it up a bit lately. The Orioles have scored, as mentioned 23 runs this series, 42 runs the last five games and 52 in the past seven.

In this series, the Orioles have hit four doubles, five triples and nine homers while going 10-for-26 with runners in scoring position.

Baltimore recorded three triples and at least three homers for the first time in team history Tuesday night. Orioles batters have now been hit by 80 pitches this season, extending the team record. And the Birds have hit at least four home runs in consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 29-30, 2017 vs. Seattle. Baltimore hit three triples in a game for the first time since April 8, 2019 vs. Oakland.

Anthony Santander hit two more homers last night, his second straight two-homer game and his third such game in the last four O's contests. Santander now has 33 homers on the year and six over his past four games. 

Santander has hit multiple home runs in back-to-back games, the third major league player to do that this season, joining Philadelphia's Kyle Schwarber and Minnesota's Byron Buxton. He became the fifth visiting player in Fenway Park history to hit two or more home runs in a game on consecutive days, joining the Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnación (Aug. 16-17, 2014), the Athletics' Mark McGwire (June 10-11, 1995), the Yankees' Mickey Mantle (June 28-29, 1966) and Bill Skowron (April 20-21, 1957). Santander tied a career high with 10 total bases for the second time, the other was on Aug, 18, 2020 against Toronto.

The Orioles currently have a .519 winning percentage, up .198 points from last season's mark of .321. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the largest increase in winning percentage from last season to this season, ahead of the Mets, who have posted a .151 increase from .475 in 2021 to .626 in 2022, and the Diamondbacks with a .137 increase from .321 last year to .458 this year. The largest such increase in Orioles franchise history was .202 from 1988 (.335) to 1989 (.537).

The O's also gained 33 wins from 1988 to 1989, going from 54 to 87. The current team is at 80 wins and would need to finish with 85 to tie that 33-win gain year-over-year and with 86 to set a new club mark.

The Birds (80-74) have lost three of four, seven of 12 and 13 of their last 22 games. They begin tonight 3 1/2 games back of Seattle with eight to play for the final American League wild card spot, but lose the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Mariners. 

If the Orioles were to finish, say 6-2, their final record would be 86-76. Seattle (83-70), with nine games left, would need only go 3-6 or better to match that and beat out the Orioles for a playoff berth.

On the mound tonight, right-hander Dean Kremer (8-5, 3.07 ERA) gets the ball for the Orioles, making his 20th start. The Orioles are 14-5 in his starts and have won three in a row and seven of the past eight. 

Kremer is coming off a 106-pitch, complete-game, four-hit shutout of Houston on Friday. In 10 starts since Aug. 5, he is 5-2 with a 2.43 ERA.

Lefty Rich Hill (7-7, 4.65 ERA) starts for Boston. Over his past two starts, he has allowed eight runs (six earned) in 9 2/3. In five starts this month, he is 1-2 with a 5.96 ERA.

The last-place Red Sox (73-81) snapped a six-game losing streak last night. They are 38-38 at home and 10-13 this month overall. 

Gunnar is minors best: The O's Gunnar Henderson was named Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year earlier today. He batted .297/.416/.531 with 24 doubles, seven triples, 19 home runs, 101 runs scored, 76 RBIs, 79 walks and 22 stolen bases in 112 games between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. Henderson is the second O's player to win the award since it began in 1981, joining Matt Wieters in 2008. 

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