O's game blog: Orioles try to keep win streak going against Braves

From May 23-27, the Orioles won five games in a row, taking four straight at Chicago against the White Sox and the next game in the next series. Now they have matched their season-long win streak by winning five in a row again. They swept four at Tampa Bay and took the homestand opener last night against Atlanta.

Tonight, they look for a season-high six straight wins in the second of a three-game series with the Braves.

The Orioles (44-22) have the second-best record in the American League, playing .667 ball. They trail first-place New York (48-21) in the American League East by 2 1/2 games. The Yankees beat the Royals 10-1 last night, have won 11 of their past 13 and are 22-6 since May 11. The O's are 19-10 since that same date. 

The Orioles keep mostly winning to keep pace with the Yankees, with the teams having a three-game series looming beginning next Tuesday in New York. 

Right-hander Albert Suárez and four relievers teamed on the four-hit shutout Tuesday night, the Birds' sixth shutout of the year and second in their past four games. Their 33 shutouts since the start of the 2022 season rank as second-most in the AL in that span and are tied for fourth-most in the majors behind the Dodgers (36), Padres (35) and Mariners (34). In five seasons from 2017-2021, the O's tossed 28 shutouts, fourth-fewest in the big leagues.

Suárez has thrown four scoreless starts in his seven starts. He has an ERA of 1.08 over his past nine games. And in his seven starts only, he is 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA.

Over the last 13 games, the Orioles have a team ERA of 1.87, going 10-3. Their team ERA the last 39 games is 2.56 with a 27-12 mark.

During the five straight wins, the O's have allowed seven runs and just four earned runs. In this span, their starting pitchers have allowed four earned runs over 29 2/3 innings and the bullpen has thrown scoreless ball in 15 1/3 innings.

Remarkably, the Baltimore bullpen has allowed no earned runs in nine games and 25 2/3 innings. And in the last 13 games, the 'pen ERA is 0.44, giving up two runs in 40 2/3 innings.

The Orioles have won 10 of 13 and 15 of the last 19 games. They are now 16-6 in series openers, 22-12 at home and 9-9 versus National League teams.

They are 25-27 all time against Atlanta since interleague play began in 1997.

Atlanta (35-29) is 10 games back of Philadelphia for the National League East lead. On May 14, the Braves were 26-13. But they are 9-16 since.

The pitching matchup tonight features former University of Nebraska teammates selected in the 2021 MLB Draft who have a combined three major league starts between them.

The Orioles' Cade Povich (0-1, 10.13 ERA) will face Braves right-hander Spencer Schwellenbach (0-2, 8.38 ERA). This morning, in this entry, I wrote about their friendship and how their college coach will be here tonight.

Povich made his big league debut last Thursday at Toronto, allowing six runs (two scored after he left the game) on five hits over 5 1/3 innings and a three-run homer to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Povich is ranked as the club's No. 8 prospect by Baseball America and No. 99 in their new top 100, and No. 9 via MLB Pipeline.

Schwellenbach is ranked as the Braves' No. 3 prospect via MLB Pipeline, and No. 6 by Baseball America and as their No. 92 in the top 100.

He has allowed 12 hits and nine runs over 9 2/3 innings in two outings against Washington and Boston. He has averaged 96.0 mph on his four-seamer and had a two-start whiff rate of 54.5 percent on his curveball and 57.1 via his changeup.

Since the start of 2023, Baltimore is 145-83 (.636), the best winning percentage and most wins in the majors. The O's are 228-162 (.585) since the start of 2022, the best record in the AL and third-best in the big leagues behind the Braves (.619, 240-148) and Dodgers (.645, 253-139).

The Orioles' 44 wins are tied for the third-most in the first 66 games of a season in team history, joining 1979, and trailing 1997 (46) and 1969 (48).

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