O's game blog: O's make it to Fenway Park for one-night only appearance

The Orioles will be in three cities in three days and their tour is on day two today. They got rained out at home last night in the scheduled third game of their series with Toronto. Their chance at their first sweep of the Blue Jays since Aug. 27-29, 2018 was washed away by the raindrops.

Tonight the Orioles play one game versus the Red Sox in Boston. Friday they open a series in St. Petersburg, Fla. against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Orioles have made up some serious ground on several teams since the All-Star break when they were 46-46. They have gone 12-6 since to get to 58-52 and the Orioles are now tied with Tampa Bay for the third AL wild card spot. They trail Toronto by two games for the first spot and Seattle by 1.5 games for the second. The Rays, Jays and Mariners are all off tonight. 

At the break, the O’s record was tied for ninth-best in the American League. Now they are tied for the fifth-best AL record. At the All-Star game, they were five games behind Tampa Bay, which was then leading for WC-1, 4.5 behind Seattle for WC-2 and 3.5 games back of Toronto for WC-3. Not only that but both Boston (48-45) and Cleveland (46-44) were ahead of them in the standings for those spots.

Tonight, they play the one game at Fenway Park before moving onto a big weekend series against the Rays. The Orioles could get to seven games over .500 with a win and that would be their first time seven games over since May 22, 2017.

The Orioles have gone 7-1 their past eight games since Aug. 1, the day Trey Mancini was traded to Houston. They have won 11 of 15, 23 of 31 and 34 of the last 51 games.

The Orioles are now 22-24 versus AL East teams which includes a 5-3 record with two series wins against Boston. In late April, they went 2-1 at home against Boston and they were 3-2 in a five-game series at Fenway Park from May 27-30. While the O’s have a 5-11 record versus the Yankees, they are a combined 17-13 against Tampa Bay, Toronto and Boston.

The Orioles have gone 7-6-1 in series play within the AL East in 2022 after going 3-19-2 last year. They are now in a stretch of 10 straight games against division teams that they started 2-0 with 7-4 and 6-5 wins over the Blue Jays at home. Baltimore is beginning a seven-game road trip tonight that will end next week at Toronto.

Right-hander Dean Kremer (4-3, 3.43 ERA) makes his 12th start tonight, and the Orioles are 7-4 in the previous 11. After pitching to an ERA of 6.94 over a five-start stretch, Kremer had a better outing last Friday versus Pittsburgh, throwing 6 1/3 scoreless on four hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

One difference for Kremer from last season – when his ERA was 7.55 over 13 starts – is a better home run rate. In 2021, he allowed 2.9 homers per every nine innings, with 17 homers allowed in 53 2/3 innings. This year his homer rate is 0.9, allowing six in 57 2/3 innings.

Tonight, Kremer will be making his 16th career start against an AL East foe. He's pitched to a 1-7 record with a 6.68 ERA with a .288 opponent batting average. He owns a 4.11 ERA (7 ER/15.1 IP) in three starts against the division this year.

Right-hander Josh Winckowski (5-5, 4.68 ERA) will make his 11th start for the Red Sox. On the year, he has allowed 57 hits with 18 walks, 32 strikeouts and 1.500 WHIP through 50 innings. His walk rate is 3.2 and strikeout rate is 5.8. He is coming off a couple of good starts where he allowed three runs over 10 innings against the Brewers and Royals. Winckowski is 3-3 with a 6.18 ERA in six home starts at Fenway Park.

Boston (54-58) just lost two games to Atlanta by 9-7 and 8-4 scores after losing the last two games of the previous series with Kansas City. So Boston has lost four in a row and six of seven games and is 6-13 in the second half. The Red Sox are 26-29 at home, where they have lost nine of their past 12 games. 

Boston is 12-29 versus AL East teams without a single AL East series win. They are 0-11-1 in series play within the division. Contrast that with Boston’s record against the rest of baseball, which shows a record of 42-29 and series record of 13-4-4.

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