The second half started for the Orioles on Friday night as the first half ended – with the Orioles winning. They improved to 20 games over the .500 mark for the first time this year with a 5-2 win over Miami. Adam Frazier produced his first career two-homer game with three hits and four RBIs in the win.
The Orioles (55-35) moved to within 1 1/2 games of the Rays, who were rained out Friday and plays a day-night doubleheader in Kansas City today.
Tampa Bay won the day portion of the twinbill 6-1, so the O's are now again two games back.
The Orioles are 20 games over .500 before August for the first time since 1997.
The Orioles have a six-game win streak and have outscored their opponents 49-11 during this run. They have scored 26 runs the past three games. The Orioles have hit nine homers the past two games.
Should they win tonight, they will match their season best with a seven-game win streak. From April 16-24, they took seven in a row by winning one versus the White Sox, two against the Nationals, three versus the Tigers and one against the Red Sox.
The O’s pitching is on a roll right now:
* O’s have six straight quality starts with a 1.64 rotation ERA
* They have eight quality starts the past 10 games with an ERA of 2.20
* They have 17 QS in the past 28 games with an ERA of 3.59
* They have eight straight games with the starter going six innings or more
* O’s staff has allowed two runs or less five consecutive games
* O’s bullpen has allowed one earned run in 14 2/3 innings the last five games
The Orioles' starting pitchers now have 34 wins, tied with the Astros for third in the American League behind the Rangers (37) and Rays (35). O's pitchers have 35 quality starts to rank sixth in the AL. The Mariners are the league leaders with 47.
Right-hander Kyle Gibson (9-6, 4.60 ERA) will make his 20th start this evening. His last one was a good one in the O’s 15-2 romp at Minnesota on Sunday. While the team was bashing six homers, he was rolling on the mound, allowing three hits and two runs over seven innings.
Gibson has nine quality starts for the year and has thrown seven innings or more four times.
Lefty Braxton Garrett (5-2, 3.70 ERA) is having a solid year for Miami. The team is 14-3 when he makes the start, winning the last eight such games in a row.
A first-round pick of Miami in 2016 (No. 7 overall), over his past six starts he is 3-0 with a 2.38 ERA. In 34 innings, he has walked just three and fanned 41, allowing a .210 batting average and .609 OPS.
A few notes from Norfolk: The Triple-A Norfolk Tides, who are 56-30 overall and 8-4 in the second-half, host Scranton tonight with right-hander Garrett Stallings (1-1, 3.12 ERA) on the mound. Chayce McDermott is also expected to pitch for Norfolk tonight, making his Triple-A debut in relief.
In his first career Triple-A game Friday, Coby Mayo went 1-for-4 with a run, a two-run double and a bases-loaded walk. The double was his 31st overall this season, tying him for the lead in all of Minor League Baseball with Oklahoma City's Devin Mann. It was also the 50th extra-base hit of the season for Mayo, as he joins Shohei Ohtani (53), Mookie Betts (50) and Freddie Freeman (50) as the only players in pro ball with at least that many.
Infielder Cesar Prieto has yet to go back-to-back games this season without a hit. Since joining the Tides on June 21, he is batting .333 (22-for-66) with 10 runs, six doubles, two home runs, 15 RBIs and four walks in 16 games while slashing .366/.515/.881.
Infielder Connor Norby had two hits, including a homer, and drove in two runs in Norfolk's 11-3 win Friday night. The two RBIs put him at 150 for his career. He hasn't gone back-to-back hitless games since April 28, hitting safely in 49-of-62 games since. In that span, he's hitting .291 (75-for-258) with 40 runs, 22 doubles, a triple, 10 home runs, 41 RBIs, 21 walks. He is batting .349/.500/.849. For the entire season, Norby ranks among International League leaders in hits (tied second, 97), doubles (tied third, 24) and runs (fourth, 62).