O's game blog: Suárez faces Oakland as O's look for another series victory

The Orioles have won six of their eight series in the 2024 season – losing series only to Pittsburgh and Milwaukee – and they can add another series win today. They host Oakland in the finale of a three-game set in which the A’s won Friday and the Orioles won yesterday.

At 17-9 with 12 wins their last 17 games, the Orioles are tied for first with the Yankees atop the American League East. But they lead the division by percentage points, playing .654 ball to .643 for New York. Those two clubs begin a four-game series at Oriole Park on Monday night. 

Baltimore’s 7-0 win on Saturday produced the Orioles' second shutout of the year, both in the last six games and both started by lefty Cole Irvin.

He pitched seven scoreless innings on four hits and is now 2-1 with a 3.49 ERA. That makes 13 2/3 scoreless on eight hits for Irvin in his past two starts. And over his last three, he has allowed just two runs in 18 1/3 innings for an ERA of 0.98 with a 0.87 WHIP in that span.

Irvin beat his former team and now has won two consecutive starts for the first time in his career. He extended his scoreless streak to 14 1/3 innings, the longest scoreless‐innings streak of his career, per the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Orioles have four scoreless starts this season – two each by Irvin and right-hander Albert Suárez. Orioles starting pitchers have an ERA of 2.77 over those nine games. O’s starters have allowed one run in 13 innings this weekend.

The Orioles hit three home runs in Saturday’s win. It’s the 13th time they have hit two or more in one game, and they are 12-1 in those games.

Gunnar Henderson went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and stole his sixth base yesterday. Over his past 11 games, Henderson is batting .391 (18-for-46) with a 1.312 OPS with two doubles, a triple, six homers and 12 RBIs.

Henderson had 10 steals in 150 games last year, and his six this season have come in only 26 games. 

Henderson’s nine homers put him one behind Mike Trout for the major league lead. His .642 slugging percentage ranks fourth in the majors and his 1.003 OPS of is third in the American League and sixth in the majors.

Right fielder Anthony Santander smashed a 113.5 mph RBI double in the fourth inning Saturday. It is the hardest‐hit ball of his career. Santander’s 18 RBIs ranks tied for 11th in the AL.

Adley Rutschman now has an eight-game hitting streak to tie his career best. During the run he is batting .417 (15-for-36) with a 1.044 OPS with a double, two homers and nine RBIs. He has five multi-hit games in the streak. All three of Rutschman’s homers have come batting right-handed, and versus lefty pitching he is hitting .439 with a 1.172 OPS His OPS is .862 against right-handers.

Suárez (1-0, 0.00 ERA), who has thrown two scoreless starts to begin his O’s career, makes his third start today. He pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings in both of his games, the first against Minnesota and the second at the Los Angeles Angels.

Lefty batters have hit .133 against him and right-handers are at .208. His four-seam fastball has averaged 95.0 mph and is getting a 39.6 percent whiff rate. His overall whiff rate of 35.3 ranks in the top six percent of the major leagues.

Athletics right-hander Paul Blackburn (2-1, 2.03 ERA) will make his sixth start. Over 31 innings he has allowed 22 hits and recorded eight walks and 23 strikeouts. He has a 0.968 WHIP. He ranks ninth in the AL in ERA and fifth in WHIP.

Blackburn got off to a great start to his season and did not allow a run over his first three starts, covering 19 1/3 innings. He has allowed seven runs in 11 2/3 his past two games, against St. Louis and the New York Yankees.

The A's (11-17) have scored three runs or fewer in each of the last nine games (21 runs total) and 19 of the 28 games they've played so far this year. They have 77 runs overall (2.75 per game), which is second-fewest in the majors to the White Sox (73).

The A’s lost six of seven to Baltimore last year for their first season series loss to the Orioles since 2017 (3-4). Oakland is 20-15 (.571) against the Orioles dating back to 2018, and that includes 10-6 in Oakland and 10-9 in Baltimore.


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