O's game blog: Right-hander Corbin Burnes takes the ball in Game 2 at Houston

HOUSTON - Coming off a 14-11 loss Friday in which O's pitching allowed a season-high 14 runs and saw its team ERA jump from 3.13 to 3.28, it's a good time today to send their ace pitcher to the mound. 

They do just that as right-hander Corbin Burnes (8-2, 2.14 ERA) makes his 16th start. Burnes begins today tied for first in the American League in ERA with Boston's Tanner Houck.

But heading into this outing, Burnes has a streak of 10 straight quality starts riding. In that span he is 5-2 with a 1.85 ERA and .561 OPS against since April 26.

The Orioles are 11-4 when Burnes starts, winning his last six games in a row.

In his past four games Burnes has allowed, in order, zero, one, zero and two earned runs. In those games he is 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA and a .190 batting average against.

For the year, Burnes has thrown 92 2/3 innings, allowing 72 hits and 1.036 WHIP. He's recorded a 2.3 walk rate and 8.6 strikeout rate.

He pitched to an ERA of 2.55 in six games in April, 2.17 in six games in May and has a 1.35 ERA in three games this month.

But on the other side today is right-hander Ronel Blanco (7-2, 2.43 ERA) a pitcher having a great year himself. Last Sunday versus Detroit he pitched seven scoreless and no-hit innings. He has allowed one run in 13 innings his past two games.

Blanco, who has never faced the Orioles, has allowed a .164 batting average and .566 OPS to lefty batters. Right-handers hit .163/.522 off him, and when he pitches with runners in scoring position those numbers are a stellar .118/.361.

The team is 10-3 in his 13 starts and he has eight quality starts. In seven home games, he is 2-2 with a 2.83 ERA and 0.919 WHIP.

Blanco made history in his first start of the season on April 1 versus Toronto, tossing the earliest no-hitter in club history in a 10-0 win in Houston. 

In the last two games, as the Orioles scored 28 runs, Gunnar Henderson has gone 6-for-10 with two doubles, two homers and four RBIs with six runs scored.

He now has a career-best 14-game hitting streak, during which he is 22-for-61. In those games he is batting .361 with a .721 slugging percentage and 1.156 OPS with seven doubles, five homers and 11 RBIs.

Adley Rutschman tied his career high with five hits Friday night, going 5-for-5. His past two games he is 8-for-10 with two doubles and five runs scored. He has raised his batting average in two games from .288 to .305.

Anthony Santander has homered in five of his last seven games and hit No. 20 last night - a two-run shot in the eighth. In his past seven games, Santander is batting .367, slugging .967 with six homers, 14 RBIs and an OPS of 1.361.

He has 11 homers this month with nine games to play in June. The club mark for homers in one month is 15 by Jim Gentile in August of 1961. 

The Astros made a series of roster moves today. Lefty pitcher Bryan King has been selected to the MLB roster. Righty Luis Contreras has been recalled from Triple-A.. Righty Jake Bloss has been placed on the 15-day IL with right shoulder discomfort. Right-hander Nick Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land after last night’s game. and right-hander Alex Speas has been designated for assignment.

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