O's game blog: O's looking for another sweep in Atlanta series finale

The Orioles have five series sweeps this year, three of three games and two sweeps of four-game series. They look to add their latest sweep today.

After 4-0 and 4-2 wins over Atlanta (35-30), the Orioles (45-22) can sweep this series this afternoon at Oriole Park.

With last night's win the Orioles are 26-27 all-time versus the Braves in interleague play since 1997. 

Atlanta has lost five in a row and 12 of its past 18 games. Since starting the year at 26-13, the Braves are 9-17.

Atlanta now has what is for them a very rare five-game losing streak. In fact, the Braves have lost five straight games in a single season for the first time since losing six in a row from Sept. 25-30, 2017. The 934-game streak without dropping five straight games was the second-longest of its kind in major league history, per the Elias Sports Bureau.

Braves first baseman Matt Olson blasted a 423-foot, two-run home run in the eighth inning last night, his 10th of the year, to tie the game, 2-2. He went 2-for-3 on the night, marking his 14th multi-hit game. He extended his hitting streak to six games, one shy of his season-high.

Atlanta's Marcell Ozuna went 2-for-4, marking his team-leading 20th multi-hit game of the year. Ozuna is batting .368/.415/.605 (14-for-38) with three doubles, two home runs, eight runs, and six RBIs in June.

With their win in Game 2 of this series, the Orioles improved to 9-3 this month, 23-12 at home and to 15-6 versus teams with above-.500 records.

Since April 29, the Orioles are 28-12 with a 2.55 team ERA, allowing 24 homers with a .202 opponent batting average and .586 OPS in this span. 

Lefty Cole Irvin (6-2, 2.87 ERA) will get the start today, making his 13th appearance and 11th as a starter. The Orioles are 8-2 in his starts. His past three outings all came in starts and he has gone 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA in those games.

In seven home games (six starts) at Oriole Park, Irvin is 3-1 with a 2.52 ERA. In his 10 games only as starter, Irvin is 6-1 with a 2.67 ERA. 

For Atlanta, 30-year-old right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (3-2, 1.85 ERA) gets the start. The Braves signed him to a three-year deal worth $30 million in November, a deal that includes a team option for 2027.

A former starting pitcher with the White Sox, who had worked out of the bullpen in 2022 and 2023, is a starter again with Atlanta. 

In his past six starts since May 7, he is 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA and the Braves are 7-4 in his 11 starts. 

Lopez allowed only six earned runs through his first seven starts this year. He joined Hall-of-Famers Tom Glavine (‘02) and Greg Maddux (‘94) along with Michael Soroka (‘19) and Max Fried (‘20) in Atlanta franchise history to hold opponents to six earned runs or less in the first seven starts of the season.

His 1.85 ERA is the second lowest in the majors among pitchers with at least as many starts as López and is the lowest among all right-handed hurlers (min. 10 starts). He's held opponents to one run or less in seven of his 11 starts this season.

Lopez averages 95.3 mph on his four-seam fastball. And he has the second-highest slider whiff rate (47.1%) in the majors (min. 200 sliders thrown). Miami’s Jesús Luzardo is the only pitcher ahead of him (48.6%).

The Braves, who rank 16th in the majors scoring 4.32 runs per game, went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position last night. The Braves are just 8-for-47 (.170) with six singles and two home runs in such at-bats during their 2-6 road trip, including 0-15 in two games versus the Orioles. 

O's center fielder Cedric Mullins doubled for the fourth time this season in the third inning Wednesday night. He produced his seventh multi-hit game of the year and his second in his last four games and the O’s are 7-0 this year when Mullins records multiple hits.

Shortstop Gunnar Henderson tallied his 12th double of the season in the fifth inning. That extended his career-long on-base streak to 20 straight games, the longest by an Oriole since Ryan Mountcastle’s 28-gamer from July 21-Aug. 23, 2023.

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