O's game blog: Rodriguez against Cole in NYY series opener

The Orioles are back at Camden Yards tonight after going 4-3 on the road trip to Tampa and Philadelphia. They host the New York Yankees for three games before they head to Toronto for a four-game set.

The Orioles (62-40) head into the weekend leading Tampa Bay by 1.5 games for first place. The Yankees (54-48) are in last place in the AL East and are eight games behind the Orioles.

The Birds have lost back-to-back games losing by 4-3 on Tuesday and by 6-4 on Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park.

The Orioles have gone 6-0-2 in their past eight AL East series, not losing one since the second division series of the year in early April. They are 19-12 in division games, going 5-5 against New York. And they are 17-8 in those last eight series within the AL East.

The last time before this the Orioles went eight straight AL East series without losing one was from April 14 to June 22, 2014 (8), per the Elias Sports Bureau. The last longer such streak was from Aug.1 to Sept. 30, 2012 as they went without losing one for 11 consecutive division series.

New York is 2.5 games back of an AL wild card spot. But they have won four of five games heading into this series. The clubs split a recent four-game series in the Bronx as the Yankees won the first two games 6-3 and 8-4 before two O’s wins by 6-3 and 14-1.

New York is 22-24 in road games, 13-17 versus the AL East, 5-6 in the second half and 44-12 when scoring four or more runs.

Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (2-2, 6.91 ERA), coming off a solid outing at the Trop against Tampa Bay, pitches for the Orioles. He gave up two runs in 5 2/3 last Saturday and the Orioles are 8-4 in his 2023 starts. Six times Rodriguez has allowed four runs or more and six times he has given up two or less. He has never faced the Yankees.

Right-hander Gerrit Cole (9-2, 2.78 ERA) gets the start for New York and the Yankees are 15-6 in his outings. Since giving up five earned runs in back-to-back starts in late May against the Orioles and San Diego, he has allowed two earned runs or less seven times his past nine games. In that span, Cole is 3-2 with a 2.59 ERA and over 55 2/3 innings he has walked 10, fanned 65 and allowed a .620 OPS.

Cole was the starting pitcher for the American League in the All-Star game throwing a scoreless inning in Seattle in his sixth All-Star appearance.

He has finished in the top nine in the Cy Young voting six times, the top five five times and second twice.

While he gives up a .223 batting average and .689 OPS versus lefty batters and a .214/.574 against right-handers he allows a batting average of .371 on the first pitch.

In his only start this season against the Orioles, he gave up six hits and five runs in five innings May 23 as Cedric Mullins and Gunnar Henderson hit solo homers. In 11 career starts, he is 5-3 with a 2.80 ERA and 0.991 WHIP against the Orioles.

The O's have won five of their last eight games, 13 of their last 18, and 14 of their last 21. At 62-40 (.608), the Orioles have the best record in the AL and second-best in MLB; they are one of only two teams with a .600 winning percentage. The Birds are 124-89 (.582) since the beginning of June 2022, the second-best record in the AL and fourth-best in MLB during that time.

The Orioles have gone 30-20 (.600) in Baltimore this season, the third-best home record in the AL and sixth-best in MLB. The Birds have won five of their last seven home games after dropping four straight from June 27 to July 1.




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