O's game blog: O's shoot for a three-game sweep at Texas

Today in the finale of a series and road trip, the Orioles are going for a three-game sweep. They have swept just one three-game series all year, and that was against Texas. They can get their second versus the same team today. In the early stages of their 10-game win streak the Orioles swept three one-run games at home versus the Rangers July 4-6.

After winning by 7-2 and 8-2 scores the last two nights, the Orioles can complete a sweep today in Arlington. The Orioles have one four-game sweep this season, and that was July 7-10 against the Los Angeles Angels, and it too came during the win streak.

The Orioles (53-51) are 3-2 on the two-city road trip that ends today and 24-31 in road games for the season. They are 7-4 the last 11 road games.

As play begins in Major League Baseball today, the Tampa Bay Rays (54-49) hold the third American League wild-card spot by one game over Cleveland (53-50) and by 1 ½ games over the Orioles, with Boston and Chicago two games back. So that is five teams separated by just two games battling for one spot. But Seattle is just one game ahead of Tampa Bay, so you could also reflect that as six teams going for two spots.

Over the last 40 games the Orioles have gone 26-14 since mid-June. In that span, their team ERA is 3.11 and in that span they have allowed two earned runs or fewer 20 times, going 19-1. They have allowed two runs in each of the first two games of this series.

Since going 14 consecutive games without a quality start, the Orioles have now gotten two in a row from Spenser Watkins and Jordan Lyles in this series. The Orioles have 24 quality starts on the year and are 16-8 in those games. Going back to Sunday, when Austin Voth pitched five scoreless innings at Cincinnati, O’s starters have an ERA of 1.04 the past three games, allowing two runs over 17 1/3 innings, with one walk to 18 strikeouts.

Lyles allowed one run over 6 1/3 last night and has an ERA of 0.75 his past two games. He threw 110 pitches last night, the ninth time this year in 22 outings he has topped the century mark.

Right-hander Kyle Bradish (1-4, 7.01 ERA) came off the injured list last Friday to start versus the Reds. Over five innings he allowed five hits and two runs with no walks and seven strikeouts on 81 pitches. He had been out with right shoulder inflammation. In three rehab starts between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk, he gave up two runs over 12 2/3 innings. The Orioles are 6-5 in Bradish’s 11 starts.

The O’s offense, which has scored 15 runs in this series, gets a test today versus Rangers lefty Martín Pérez (9-2, 2.52 ERA). His ERA is 1.42 over his past three starts and opponents have hit .149 in that span with a .474 OPS.

Texas is 15-5 in his starts this season and 8-1 in the last nine. Pérez ranks fifth in the AL in ERA, tied for seventh in wins and 12th in WHIP.

The veteran didn’t pitch nearly this well in recent seasons. From 2017-2021 his ERA was 5.05 and WHIP was 1.540 over 134 games. But this season he has allowed one earned run or none in 13 of 20 starts and has 14 quality starts.

Pérez has been tough early in his outings, with an ERA of 1.35 in the first inning and 2.25 in both the second and third innings of his starts. Lefties bat .216 with a .508 OPS against him and right-handers bat .236/.640.

About to debut: The Orioles say these drafted players and one not drafted are scheduled to debut the next two days in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League.

Today: Adam Retzbach (round 14), Adam Crampton (round 9) and Jud Fabian (Competitive Balance Round B, No. 67 overall).

Tomorrow: Silas Ardoin (round 4), Max Costes (non-drafted free agent) and Dylan Beavers (Competitive Balance Round A, No. 33 overall). They are scheduled to play five innings in their debuts.

The Orioles are 18-9 since July 1, and since June 11 they have the second-best record in the AL and fourth-best in the majors:

.733 - Los Angeles Dodgers (33-12)
.689 - Atlanta (31-14)
.660 - Houston (31-16)
.644 - Orioles (29-16)


Orioles and Rangers lineups (plus notes)
Orioles activate Phillips, option Diaz

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