O's game blog: Orioles look to win season series against Boston

With their playoff hopes dwindling to about a small flicker at this point, the Orioles take the field today at Boston. They are looking to split a four-game series and win their season series with the Red Sox.

The last time the Orioles won a season series over Boston was 2017. And today the clubs play their final game of the year with the season series tied at nine wins each.

O’s against Red Sox the last few years:
2021: 6-13
2020: 5-5
2019: 7-12
2018: 3-16
2017: 10-9

The Orioles also lost the season series versus the Red Sox in 2016, going 8-11. But in the four-year stretch from 2012 through 2015, the O’s won all four years, going in order starting in 2012, 13-5 and then 11-8 the next three seasons.

The Orioles (80-75) have lost two in a row, four of five and eight of 13, and are 9-14 the last 23 games. They no longer can have a winning September at 12-14 with two games to play in the month.

They are 4 1/2 games back of Seattle for the final American League wild card spot, five games behind Tampa Bay and 6 1/2 back of Toronto. The Orioles have not yet been eliminated by any of those clubs. For instance, in the most longshot scenario where they would go 7-0 the rest of the way and Toronto would go 0-6, the Orioles would finish ahead of the Blue Jays for a postseason berth. Both clubs would be 87-75, but that result would mean the Orioles would have won the tiebreaker.

As it relates to Seattle, even though the Mariners have lost eight of their past 12 games, they won last night and catching them is going to be very difficult for Baltimore. If the O’s did go a best-case 7-0, Seattle would need only a 3-5 finish to match the Orioles at 87-75 and would advance via the tiebreaker of head-to-head games.

The Orioles scored 23 runs in the first two games of the Boston series, hitting nine homers. And while they hit their 10th homer of the series last night, they lost 3-1 to the Red Sox as lefty Rich Hill threw six scoreless innings and the Orioles were held to seven hits.

In their outings two starts ago, the O’s pitching trio of Jordan Lyles, Kyle Bradish and Dean Kremer allowed just one run over a combined 26 2/3 innings with two walks and 22 strikeouts. That came in games against Detroit and Houston. But the past three nights at Fenway Park, the same three pitchers allowed 12 runs over 9 1/3 innings with nine walks to five strikeouts.

The Orioles and Red Sox combined for 44 runs in the first two games of this series and just four runs in Game 3 last night.

Boston (74-81) has won two in a row since snapping a six-game losing streak. The Sox are 39-38 at home and 11-13 in September.

Orioles right-hander Mike Baumann (1-3, 4.32 ERA) today will make his 12th big league appearance and third start of the year. In his two starts against Toronto and Houston, Baumann has allowed five runs and 11 hits over nine innings with two walks and four strikeouts. The team lost both those games, but he held his own against two of the best hitting teams in the major leagues.

The 27-year-old Baumann has a 4.15 ERA in four games this month, allowing six earned runs over 13 innings with a 1.308 WHIP and .726 opponent OPS.

Righty Nathan Eovaldi (5-3, 4.15 ERA) will make his 19th start for Boston and his first major league appearance since Aug. 12. Eovaldi, who is a free agent this winter, has been on the injured list since Aug. 22 due to right shoulder inflammation.

He gave up two runs over six innings against the Yankees on Aug. 12, but in his last five starts leading up to his IL stay, he had a 6.33 ERA and .858 OPS against. The Red Sox are 9-9 in his 2022 starts.

In two starts this season against Baltimore, Eovaldi is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA over 16 innings with a .175 batting average against and 0.688 WHIP. In 17 career games, he is 8-2 with a 3.29 ERA and 1.290 WHIP against the Orioles.

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