O's game blog: O's host Yankees to begin seven-game homestand

With 92 games down and 70 still to go, the Orioles begin their post-All-Star-break schedule tonight hosting the New York Yankees to start a three-game series and seven-game homestand.

The Orioles (46-46) ended the pre-All-Star-break portion of the schedule losing two of three at Tampa Bay in a series that ended Sunday. Their loss a week ago tonight ended a 10-game win streak. But the Orioles have won 11 of 13 games and are 16-7 in the last 23 and 22-11 over their past 33 games.

The O's 46 wins to this point were the most they've had before an All-Star break since they went 51-36 in the first half in 2016. They have 39 home games remaining and 31 road games. The Orioles are .500 or better this late in a season for the first time since entering play 71-71 on Sept. 10, 2017. The last time the Orioles had at least 46 wins through their first 92 games of a season was 2016, when they went 53-39.

Best win percentage in MLB since June 11

.727 – Los Angeles Dodgers (24-9)
.714 – Houston (25-10) and Seattle (25-10)
.686 – Atlanta (24-11)
.667 – Orioles (22-11)

Orioles hurlers have pitched to a 2.96 ERA in the last 27 games since June 17, the third-best team ERA in the majors during that period. Orioles starters own a 3.12 ERA over this stretch, which ranks third in the American League and sixth in the big leagues. And O's pitchers have a 3.33 ERA in 42 home games this season, fifth-best in the AL and seventh-best in the majors.

Right-hander Tyler Wells (7-5, 3.38 ERA) gets the start tonight, his 19th. The Orioles won eight straight Wells starts before losing last Friday, when he gave up three runs in 5 2/3 innings at Tropicana Field. But over his last six starts, he is 4-1 with a 2.56 ERA. Over his last nine starts, he is 6-1 with a 2.64 ERA.

Wells has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 12 of his outings, including in six of his past nine games. He has made three starts this year against the Yankees with an ERA of 2.57 over 14 innings with a WHIP of 0.929.

The Yankees resumed their season on Thursday and lost a doubleheader at Houston by 3-2 and 7-5 scores. While New York (64-30) still has the best record in the majors and a 12-game lead atop the AL East, the Yankees have lost seven of their past 10 games and are a more modest 8-9 this month.

But the Yankees have won 24 of 38 and are 45-22 in the last 67 games. Their plus-196 run differential leads the majors, with the Dodgers the next closest at plus-172.

New York’s 64 wins were tied with the 2018 Astros for the third most ever before the break. And they trailed only the 2018 Red Sox (68) and 1969 Orioles (65). According to Elias Sports, they are just the ninth major league team in the last 52 years (since 1971) to win 64 of their first 94 decisions of a season.

Outfielder Aaron Judge hit his Mmajor league-leading 34th homer in the second game Thursday at Houston, and he has four homers his last six games. He is just the fourth player in franchise history (seventh time) to hit at least 34 homers in the Yankees’ first 94 games of a season, joining Babe Ruth (40 in 1928; 38 in 1921; 36 in 1930 and 34 in 1920), Mickey Mantle (37 in 1961) and Roger Maris (36 in 1961).

Right-hander Jameson Taillon (10-2, 3.86 ERA) gets the ball to make his 19th start for the Yankees, who are 14-4 in his outings. Taillon gave up just one run over six innings last Saturday versus Boston. But, over his past five games, his ERA is 7.00 and opponents are batting .283 with an OPS of .880 against him.

His ERA was 3.26 in April, 2.01 in May, 4.59 in June and is 6.61 in July.

He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 14 of his 18 starts, and two or fewer in 11 of those games. His 10 wins are tied for the fourth most in the majors, and he has posted a majors-best 1.08 BB/9.0IP (12BB/100.1IP) ratio this season.

In three starts in 2022 against the Orioles, his ERA is 4.40 over 14 1/3 innings, and his WHIP is 1.326.




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