O's game blog: Looking to get a win on this road trip

The Orioles have played three close games on this road trip, but lost them all. They began the trip with the best road record in the majors at 8-1. But they lost 4-2 and 4-3 to Tampa Bay and 5-4 last night in 10 innings to Toronto.

Tonight they play the Blue Jays again in Buffalo in the second of the four-game series.

The Orioles (14-17) have lost three games in a row and nine of 11 since they were 12-8. Of those nine losses, four have come by one run and one by two runs. They've lost the first three games on this trip by a combined four runs. The team is now three games under .500 for the first time in 2020.

The Orioles are 7-6 against the National League and 7-11 against the American League.

Toronto (16-14) begins play tonight in third in the AL East, 2 1/2 games ahead of the Orioles for the No. 8 playoff berth in the AL. The Blue Jays are 4-0 versus the Orioles and 9-3 in their past 12 games.

Right-hander Alex Cobb (1-2, 3.73 ERA) has made six starts and the Orioles are 4-2 in those games. He has thrown 31 1/3 innings, allowing 27 hits with a WHIP of 1.181, a walk rate of 2.9 and strikeout rate of 6.3 batters per nine innings.

Cobb has allowed two earned runs or less in five of his six games, thrown six innings or more once and has no quality starts. In two road games, he is 1-0 with a 2.53 ERA.

Cobb is throwing his fastball 43 percent of the time and his splitter 38 percent. That is the most for that pitch since he threw it 38 percent in 2014. Cobb is giving up an average of .161 on the pitch and it produces a whiff rate of 22 percent, the best for him since 2011.

Right-hander Taijuan Walker (2-2, 4.00 ERA) will make his sixth start and first for his new team. On Thursday, Toronto acquired him from Seattle for a player to be named.

The 28-year-old righty was selected No. 43 overall by Seattle in the 2010 draft. The Mariners went 2-3 in his starts.

Walker's last two starts were solid. Over 13 innings against Texas and the Los Angeles Dodgers, he gave up 10 hits and three earned runs with two walks to 13 strikeouts. Lefty batters have him much better than right-handers. Lefties bat .289 with a .947 OPS off Walker, while right-handers are batting .145/.456.

O's bullpen notes:

castro-miguel-delivers-gray-sidebar.jpg* Miguel Castro has allowed at least one earned run in four of his last eight appearances with an ERA of 8.22. He started the season with eight scoreless innings.

* Paul Fry has posted a 1.00 ERA in 10 August games, after recording a 6.75 ERA in July. Fry has struck out at least one batter in nine straight games, setting a new career high.

* Dillon Tate has allowed just one hit to a right-handed batter and they are 1-for-14 against him.

* Mychal Givens has allowed runs in back-to-back appearances, after not allowing a run in his first 10 games. Givens has posted a 13.15 strikeouts/nine innings ratio in his first 12 games after putting up a career-high 12.29 strikeouts/nine innings last season.

* Cole Sulser, who took the loss last night, has allowed just one hit to left-handed batters (1-for-29). Seven of his 11 appearances have come in a save situation (he's 5-for-7) and his five saves are tied for the ninth-most in the AL.

* César Valdez had his contract selected from the alternate site at Double-A Bowie on Thursday. He pitched in the Mexican League last season for Leones de Yucatan, going 15-2 with a 2.26 ERA and was named the Mexican League Pitcher of the Year.

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