O's game blog: Looking to get the bats going against Cleveland

During this month of May, the Orioles have twice won series after losing the first game of that series. They have a chance to do it again against Cleveland after losing 5-0 on Monday to the Guardians in a game that took just two hours and 19 minutes. The Orioles were held to just five hits by three Cleveland pitchers in front of 25,249 at Oriole Park on Memorial Day.

Baltimore (34-20) remained four games behind Tampa Bay for first in the American League East as the Rays also lost yesterday. The Orioles were shut out for the fourth time this season, all since May 3 and all in the last 25 games.

The Orioles are now 1-3 on this homestand and are 6-5 over the last 11 games. They went 13-9 in a 22-game stretch of games versus winning-record clubs that ended Sunday. But they lost to the Guardians (24-29) Monday as Cleveland won for just the fifth time in the last 13 games. Cleveland is now 8-10 in series-opening games and the Orioles are 13-5.

The Orioles dropped a third straight series opener and fourth in their last five series after beginning the season 13-0 in the first game of a series. They were shut out for the first time since May 14 versus Pittsburgh. The O’s have lost four of the last five games at Oriole Park after starting the season 15-7 at home.

Cleveland won a series opener away from Progressive Field for the first time since May 1 at Yankee Stadium. The Guardians shut out an opponent for the fifth time this season, the first time since May 22 against the White Sox. Their last team shutout on the road was on April 1 at Seattle, when Cleveland snapped a three-game road losing streak.

O’s right-hander Tyler Wells allowed one run and four hits over six innings, providing the club a third straight quality start. Wells issued no walks in a start for the third time this season and has tossed at least five innings in each of his 11 appearances (10 starts) this season. He leads the major leagues in WHIP (0.83) and opponent on-base percentage (.220) as of the end of Monday's game; he also ranks among qualified pitchers in hits per nine innings (2nd, 5.71), opponent batting average (2nd, .176), and walks per nine innings (7th, 1.71).

O’s starting pitchers have a 2.37 ERA with those three straight quality starts. The Birds staff has thrown a QS in nine of their past 18 games, with an ERA of 4.00 in that span of games.

Tonight they try for a fourth straight quality start for just the second time in 2023. They also did that from April 18-22.

The Baltimore offense has produced just eight runs and 26 hits in the four games of this homestand, and just 11 runs in the last five games, scoring thee runs or fewer in each of those five games.

Coming off back-to-back seven-inning outings on their Toronto-New York road trip, right-hander Kyle Gibson (6-3, 3.82 ERA) will make his 12th start tonight. In 66 innings this year he has allowed 64 hits, but just six homers and 1.303 WHIP. He's recorded a 3.0 walk rate and 6.0 strikeout rate.

Gibson went a combined 14 innings against the Blue Jays and Yankees, allowing just one run for an ERA of 0.64. He gave up seven hits with six walks and notched eight strikeouts in those games. For the year, he has allowed two earned runs or fewer six times, and he has six quality starts to lead the staff.

Righty Cal Quantrill (2-3, 4.75 ERA) gets the start for Cleveland, coming off an outing Wednesday against the White Sox in which he gave up six runs, a season high, over four innings on 64 pitches. The Guardians are 5-4 in his games.

Quantrill went 15-5 with a 3.38 ERA in 32 starts last year.

In four career games (three starts) against Baltimore, he is 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA and 1.333 WHIP.

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