O's game blog: Orioles play their final regular-season road game of 2023

After picking up a huge 2-1 win on Saturday, the Orioles today play the final game of this series and this road trip, and the final away game of their 2023 regular season

Cleveland won the first two games of the series by 5-2 and 9-8, before the Orioles picked up a win on Saturday that kept them 1 1/2 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the American League East. The win reduced the O's magic number to win the division to five.

Anthony Santander had three hits and drove in both Baltimore runs while lefty John Means and two relievers teamed on a one-hitter. Means lost a no-hitter allowing a solo homer in the seventh and pitched 7 1/3 innings to improve to 1-1 with a 2.60 ERA. Yennier Cano and Cionel Pérez combined for the last five outs as Pérez picked up his third save.

The Orioles are 51-29 on the road and need a win today to tie the 1997 club for most wins and best win percentage in club history. That team went 52-29 on the road, playing .642 ball away from Baltimore. The 1980 O's won 50 road games, the 2023 club has 51 wins pending today's result and that 1997 club won 52.

The Orioles, who are 3-3 on this road trip, are 17-6-2 in road series this year.

The Orioles have played one-run games five times in the last seven games, going 3-2 in those games.

The Orioles are 29-16 for the season in one-run games and they are 16-8 in games decided by two runs for a combined record of 45-24 (.652) in games decided by two or fewer runs.

Means' outing yesterday gave the O's just their fourth quality start in the last 15 games. And the bullpen pitched scoreless ball for just the second time in the past nine games.

The Orioles have gone a season-long four straight games without hitting a homer.

The Orioles are 11-28 when they score two runs or fewer this year, and they are now 8-12 when scoring exactly two runs, as they did Saturday.

With their next win, this club will become the 12th team in Baltimore Orioles history with 97 or more wins. The last to do that was the 1997 team, which went 98-64.

In ending a three-game losing streak yesterday, the Orioles improved to 5-7 in the last 12 games. But over longer stretches they have won 13 of 21, 15 of 25 and 19 of their past 30 games.

Right-hander Kyle Gibson (14-9, 5.00) will make his 32nd start today, and the Orioles are 18-13 in the first 31. Gibson is tied for fourth in the league in starts and ranks tied for eighth with 180 innings. He is tied for third in the league with 14 wins, one behind Toronto's Chris Bassitt and Tampa Bay's Zach Eflin.

While Gibson has three quality starts his past five games, he is 2-2 with a 5.16 ERA in those games. In 12 second-half starts, he is 5-3 with a 5.63 ERA.

On May 30 he got the win against Cleveland, allowing three runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings while throwing 95 pitches.

Right-hander Triston McKenzie (0-1, 4.50) will make just his third major league start today, and his first since June 10. He has missed much of this season with a right shoulder issue and right elbow sprain. In that June 10 start, he allowed five runs in five innings against Houston.

The 26-year-old McKenzie has pitched twice in the minors on rehab assignments this month, allowing a combined four runs in 6 2/3 innings in one game at Double-A and one at Triple-A.

In 2022, McKenzie went 11-11 with a 2.96 ERA in 191 1/3 innings for the Guardians. 

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