O's game blog: O's go for sweep in brief two-game series with Nats

After producing a bit more offense last night then in several recent games, the Orioles hope they can have another night with 10 hits or more tonight. They will try to sweep a two-game interleague series at Washington.

The Orioles trailed 3-1 in the third inning Tuesday night but scored once in the fourth and twice in the fifth to beat the Nats 4-3. They had 11 hits and had produced that many just one time in the previous 21 games. They are now 31-7 on the year when they get 10 hits or more.

The Orioles hope that Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays are both starting to heat up again with the bats. Mountcastle went 2-for-3 with two walks in the win last night and hit his 22nd homer. He's batting .289/.360/.600/.960 in 12 games this month with four homers and 13 RBIs. 

Mountcastle has 60 home runs in his first 305 games, the quickest to 60 career homers in O's history. And his next hit will be the 300th of his career. Only six players in O's history have recorded at least 300 hits in their first 306 games - Trey Mancini, Manny Machado, Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Eddie Murray.

Hays has gone 4-for-7 his past two games with a double and an RBI. His bloop double in the fifth inning scored the go-ahead run for the Orioles and their bullpen made the one-run lead stand up with four scoreless. It was Hays' 31st double which leads the team.

Catcher Adley Rutschman produced his 22nd multi-hit game and that included his 30th double. That is two behind Cal Ripken's total in 1982 for the most in a season by an O's rookie. That is also the most doubles by any Oriole in the first 93 games of season. It is the second-most in a season by an O's catcher, behind Javy López, who had 33 two-baggers in 2004.

Rutschman is batting .286/.415/.472 (46-for-161) with 15 doubles, five home runs, 35 runs scored, 16 RBIs, and 35 walks in 47 games since the All-Star Break. During that time, he ranks second in the AL in walks, fourth in on-base percentage, fifth in runs scored, tied for sixth in doubles, and 10th in OPS (.887).

He ranks second among AL rookies and fourth among all MLB rookies with 4.1 Wins Above Replacement, according to FanGraphs.com.

The Orioles (73-67) have 21 games remaining. They begin play tonight five games behind Tampa Bay for the third AL wild-card spot. 

Right-hander Tyler Wells (7-6, 3.91 ERA) will make his 22nd start. He came off the injured list to make his last one on Wednesday in Baltimore. He pitched two innings against Toronto, allowing two hits and one run. The Orioles are 10-11 in his starts, losing the past four.

Lefty Patrick Corbin (6-18, 6.30 ERA) starts for Washington. He leads MLB in losses, four more than Madison Baumgarner of Arizona. On Friday at Philadelphia, he gave up five runs and 12 hits in 6 2/3 innings. But he did pitch to an ERA of 1.96 his previous three games.

But the Nationals are only 6-22 in his 28 starts and they are 2-10 in his games since July 1 and Corbin's ERA is 6.64 in that span.

On June 22, Corbin allowed three runs and seven hits in four innings against Baltimore. In nine second-half starts, his ERA is 7.34 and his WHIP is 1.728. His ERA is 9.04 in his 18 losses.

Over the 2021 and 2022 seasons he has made 59 starts, going 15-34 with a 6.04 ERA and with a WHIP of 1.575. His ERA+ is 66 in that time. 

The Nationals (49-93) have lost four in a row and six of seven games. They are 22-48 at home and now 13-32 in series-opening games.

But they have been hitting better in recent games. The Nationals rank fourth in MLB (2nd in NL) with 74 runs scored since Aug. 30. Washington paces MLB in batting average (.300) and ranks fourth in OPS (.797) and fifth in slugging pecentage (.450) over this stretch.

In 36 games since making his big league debut on Aug. 2, Joey Meneses is hitting .329 with 10 doubles, eight home runs, 22 RBIs, five walks and 23 runs scored. He's hit safely in 30 of the 36 games including 15 multi-hit efforts.

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