O's game blog: Looking to even the series at Arizona

PHOENIX – After scoring 23 runs on 34 hits in their three-game series at home with the White Sox, the Orioles offense got off to a slow start on their nine-game road trip that began Friday night.

They were held to one run over six innings by former O’s draft pick Zach Davies and to two runs on the night in a 4-2 loss to Arizona.

The Orioles (83-51), who have 28 games remaining in the regular season, begin play today leading the Rays by 1 1/2 games atop the American League East.

Baltimore is trying to avoid a three-game losing streak tonight, which would be their longest since dropping four in a row June 27-July 1.

Right-hander Kyle Bradish (9-6, 3.03 ERA), a native of Peoria, Ariz., about 13 miles from Phoenix, will get the start today in his home state, making his 25th start.

Bradish is a pitcher on a roll. He has allowed two earned runs or less in four consecutive starts, working to an ERA of 1.59 with a .520 OPS against in that span. Since June 14, Bradish has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 11 of 13 starts, going 7-4 with a 2.23 ERA. The Orioles are 9-4 in those games. In that span, Bradish allowed a .194 batting average and .563 OPS with a 0.94 WHIP.

As of today, Bradish is no longer eligible to qualify for AL league leaders, missing out by 1/3 of an inning. But here is where he would rank:

* Third in OPS against (.633)
* Fourth in ERA
* Fourth in batting average against (.226)
* Sixth in groundball percentage (47.8)
* Seventh in WHIP (1.107)
* 10th in BB/9 (2.4)
* 23rd in innings (133.2)

The Orioles are 16-8 in Bradish’s starts and went 5-0 in his August starts, when he was 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA.

Bradish, who has 14 quality starts for the year, is 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA and .633 OPS in nine interleague starts in 2023. He has never pitched against Arizona.

Righty Slade Cecconi (0-0, 2.57 ERA) will make his sixth appearance and fourth start of this year. He made his major league debut Aug. 2 at San Francisco and has pitched much better over 21 big league innings than he did this year in 20 Triple-A starts for Reno, going 4-8 with a 6.38 ERA.

Cecconi was once an O’s draft pick in round 38 in 2018 out of a Florida high school, but he did not sign. He did two years later when selected much higher by Arizona. He was the No. 33 overall pick in Competitive Balance Round A out of the University of Miami.

Cecconi is ranked as the Diamondbacks’ No. 9 prospect by MLBPipeline.com and No. 12 via Baseball America.

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