O's game blog: Looking to get the offense going at the Trop

After a 4-2 loss in the series opener at Tropicana Field last night, the Orioles will play in St. Petersburg against Tampa Bay again this evening. It's the second of a three-game series and seven-game road trip.

The Orioles are 8-2 on the road and began Tuesday night with the best road record in the majors. They also had won eight in a row on the road since losing opening night at Boston. So they went longer than 30 days between road losses.

Even after that game, they still own MLB's best road record:

.800 - Orioles (8-2)
.733 - Los Angeles Dodgers (11-4)
.714 - Chicago White Sox (10-4)
.684 - Miami (13-6)

While the O's offense still ranks third in the American League behind the Yankees and White Sox in team OPS, they are scoring fewer runs lately. They have scored two runs or fewer in four of the past eight games, losing all four and scoring 29 runs in that span. While they produced seven runs or more seven times in the first 20 games, they have done that just once in the last nine games.

The Orioles were scoring 5.35 runs per game through the first 20 games, going 12-8. They have scored 3.78 runs per game over the last nine, going 2-7.

Tonight right-hander Asher Wojciechowski (1-3, 4.84 ERA) will make his sixth start of 2020 and first against Tampa Bay. He has a 1.343 WHIP and allows 9.3 hits and 2.4 homers per every nine innings pitched. He went 3 2/3 in his last start, versus Boston on Thursday, and gave up seven hits and three runs on 88 pitches. He has not pitched past five innings to this point.

Wojciechowski-Looks-Down-Gray-sidebar.jpgWhile he has pitched well against lefty batters, right-handers have hit much better. Lefties bat .231 with a .721 OPS against Wojciechowski and right-handers are hitting .304/.949. Four of his six homers allowed came against right-handed batters. Despite those numbers, the Rays have seven left-handed batters in their lineup tonight.

Among the six pitchers who have started games for the Orioles, Wojciechowski ranks fourth in average innings per start.

5.22 - Alex Cobb
4.89 - Tommy Milone
4.50 - Thomas Eshelman
4.47 - Asher Wojciechowski
3.72 - Wade LeBlanc
2.67 - John Means

Right-hander Trevor Richards (0-0, 5.94 ERA) will start for the Rays. For the year, in five games (one start) he has thrown 16 2/3 innings, allowing 22 hits. He has recorded a 1.680 WHIP, allowing 11.9 hits per nine and 1.1 homers with a walk rate of 3.2 and strikeout rate of 7.0.

Like Wojciechowski, right-handers hit him better. Lefty batters are hitting .214 off Richards with a .722 OPS. Right-handers bat .356/.830. He faced the O's in relief on Aug. 1 and allowed two runs and four hits over 2 1/3 innings.

In 2020, Richards has used his fastball just under 50 percent of the time, at an average velocity of 90.6 mph. His next most-used pitch is a changeup at 34 percent at 82.5 mph.

Some O's hitter notes:

* Hanser Alberto is 3-for-8 his past two games. But over a longer stretch he is batting .219 (7-for-32) over his previous eight games. He leads the team with 13 multi-hit games.

* Renato Núñez is 7-for-22 (.318) during a five-game hitting streak. He ended a 14-game homerless run last night with a solo shot in the first inning.

* Ryan Mountcastle went 1-for-6 his first two games with two walks. His last two he is 3-for-6 with two doubles, an RBI and two walks. According to Statcast, Mountcastle is 3-for-6 with a double when hitting a curveball. That's an early good sign.

* Cedric Mullins is batting .333 (11-for-33) his past nine games. He leads the majors with five bunt hits.

* Rio Ruiz is 2-for-15 (.133) his past five games and 5-for-35 (.143) in his last 11. He drove in a career-high four runs in Sunday's win over Boston.

OTD: On this date in 1985, first baseman Eddie Murray hit three home runs at California and tied Jim Gentile's 24-year-old club record with nine RBIs in a game. The Orioles hit seven homers in the game as John Shelby, Floyd Rayford, Gary Roenicke and Rick Dempsey all went deep in the 17-3 win.

Hunter Harvey: "I'm feeling great right now"
Martinez hopes to get Romero back soon, Cabrera's ...

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.masnsports.com/