O's game blog: Seattle series win secured, O's open set at San Diego tonight

The Orioles lost Friday night at Seattle but won back-to-back 10-inning games by 1-0 and 5-3 to take another series over the weekend and improve to 73-45. It was an outstanding start to a nine-game West Coast road trip that continues tonight at San Diego.

O’s batters scored just eight runs on 17 hits at T-Mobile Park against a Mariners club that Sunday was leading the American League in team ERA. But they still took two of three as their pitchers allowed just three runs on 10 hits the last two games.

Before the late-game heroics yesterday by Cedric Mullins and before Shintaro Fujinami got the last three outs for a save, starter Kyle Bradish delivered another quality start. He gave up two runs and five hits over six innings on 90 pitches. He lowered his ERA to 3.18. The Orioles are now 37-11 for the year when they get a quality start.

The O’s scored first on Sunday and are now 43-11 (.796) when scoring first – the best record in the majors.

The Orioles improved to 37-18 (.673) in games decided by one or two runs and to 48-25 (.659) in games decided by three or less. They lead the majors in both stats.

Mullins hit the game-winning two-run home run in the 10th inning at Seattle and it was his second career go-ahead home run in the ninth inning or later. He also did that July 4, 2021 at the Angels.

Ryan Mountcastle singled in the fourth inning as part of a 2-for-5 day to extend his on-base streak to a career-high 20 consecutive games. It is the longest on-base streak by an Orioles hitter this season and ties for the longest active on-base streak in the American League.

Right fielder Anthony Santander reached base twice yesterday on a single and a walk and that marks his 54th game reaching base two or more times, one game shy of Adley Rutschman’s team-leading 55 such games.

Catcher James McCann went 1-for-2 with a run and two walks, reaching base three or more times for the fourth time in 2023. It was the first time McCann has recorded multiple walks in a game this year.

In the San Diego series opener tonight, right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (2-3, 5.84 ERA) makes his 16th start. In five games since he returned to the Orioles on July 17, he has a 3.45 ERA.

In 28 2/3 innings in those games, Rodriguez has 10 walks, 24 strikeouts and a 1.08 WHIP. Opponents have batted .210 with a .536 OPS against him. In this span, his groundball percentage is 58.4. And he has averaged just 16.4 pitches per inning.

In this series, the Orioles go from playing a team that was red-hot recently to the one that is not.

San Diego (56-62) is fourth in the National League West and 15 1/2 games out of first. They are 5 1/2 games behind the final NL wild card spot. San Diego has lost two in a row and six of its last seven games.

The Padres are 13-15 in the second half. They are just 6-19 in one-run games and 19-34 in games decided by two or less. The Orioles are a major league-best 37-18 (.673) in those games.

But the Padres are 19-15 versus AL teams. San Diego has allowed the fewest runs in interleague games at 3.21 per game. Padres pitchers have also pitched six shutouts in interleague games in 2023, the most in the majors.

Right-hander Yu Darvish (8-7, 4.19 ERA) gets the start tonight. He has allowed just two earned runs his last three starts with an ERA of 0.95 in that span. In his past six games, he is 3-1 with a 2.55 ERA, and he's worked at least six innings in five of those six starts. San Diego is 9-12 in his 2023 outings.

Darvish has a chance tonight to become baseball's strikeout leader for a Japanese-born player, entering the game with 1,913 career strikeouts in the majors. He trails just Hideo Nomo's 1,918 strikeouts, needing five to tie and six to set the record.

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