O's game blog: Rodriguez on the mound as O's host Minnesota

After a 7-4 win over the Minnesota Twins Monday at Oriole Park, in a game in which the Orioles never trailed, they host Minnesota again tonight with a chance to win this series. 

The Orioles (10-6) are on a pace to win 101 games, matching their 2023 total, at this early stage of this season. The O’s begin play today 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the American League East lead. They are 6-4 at home and 5-1 in series-opening games.

The Orioles hit three homers last night. They have hit nine in their past three games, 14 in the last five games and 24 on the season. That is a total that leads the AL and is one behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for the major league lead. The Birds average 1.5 homers per game, second in the majors to Milwaukee's 1.6

The Orioles hit two or more homers eight times this season and they are 7-1 in those games.

The Baltimore offense is starting to pick up. In winning five of their past seven games, the Orioles have scored 42 runs while hitting 15 homers. In those games the team batting average is .283 with a .343 OBP, a .504 slugging and .847 OPS.

The Orioles have scored six runs or more in two straight games and have now done that eight times on the year.

Cedric Mullins, who hit a two-run homer last night, now has a seven-game batting streak. He is 9-for-21 in this stretch, batting .429 with an OPS of 1.262 during his streak with a double, two homers and six RBIs. Mullins has homered in back-to-back games for the first time since April 1-2, 2023.

Ryan Mountcastle was 2-for-4 and is batting .305 with an .859 OPS. He now has six multi-hit games on the year and ranks second on the team in such games behind Adley Rutschman, who has seven. Mountcastle and Rutschman are tied for the O’s lead in hits with 18 each.

Jordan Westburg went 3-for-4 in the win and is batting .302 with a .920 OPS. He leads the team with a pair of three-hit games. According to Stats Perform, Westburg is among the major league leaders with a .538 batting average on outside pitches, and he is hitting .500 on fastballs at 95 or more mph.

The O's Ryan O'Hearn hit a 435-foot homer against the Twins and has homered in back-to-back games for the first time since June 11-13, 2023. O'Hearn leads all big league batters, hitting .475 on non-fastballs, and bats .500 versus breaking balls.

Closer Craig Kimbrel got the final three outs last night and is 2-0 with four saves and a 1.29 ERA. He has thrown six straight scoreless games. He picked up career save No. 421, putting him one behind Billy Wagner for No. 7 on the all-time saves list.

The Twins are now 6-9 and 3-3 over their past six games. They have won one series this year, going 2-1 versus Kansas City, and split one, going 2-2 at Detroit before they came to Baltimore. The Twins have now lost five straight games versus the Orioles.

Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (2-0, 2.50 ERA) will make his fourth start tonight. He has allowed one, two and two runs in his first three and made two quality starts. For the year he has thrown 18 innings, allowing 16 hits with five walks to 21 strikeouts. Rodriguez has a 1.167 WHIP, a 2.5 walk rate and 10.5 K rate.

Rodriguez, 24, has allowed a .250 batting average (9-for-36) versus lefty batters and a .212 average (7-for-33) against right-handed hitters.

Righty Chris Paddack (0-0, 4.15 ERA) gets the ball for the visitors. In two starts this year he has thrown 8 2/3 innings, allowing 12 hits and four runs while recording four walks and seven strikeouts. The Twins are 2-0 in his starts, one at Milwaukee and one at home versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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