O's game blog: The Chicago series begins

The Orioles' latest road trip begins this evening and it’s a long trek. They will play 10 games over the next 11 days in Chicago, Seattle and Minnesota, beginning tonight at the White Sox.

The Orioles (31-39) just completed a 3-2 homestand, where they won two of three versus the Rays and went 1-1 against the Nationals. The Orioles have been playing winning baseball for over a month now. They are 4-2 in the last six games, 7-4 in the last 11 and 17-15 in 32 games since May 19. The Orioles are 10-9 in June.

The Birds are 13-22 in road games for the season, but are 7-6 in their past 13 away from Camden Yards. They went 4-4 on their last trip to Kansas City and Toronto. The Orioles are 3-5-2 in road series for the year and are 4-6 in series-opening games on the road.

After being shutout 3-0 on just four hits Tuesday night by the Nationals, the Orioles won 7-0 last night with 11 hits in a game shortened to six innings by rain. The Orioles hit three home runs and have now scored 70 runs their past 14 games (5.00 per game) and 261 runs the last 58 games (4.50 per game) since they scored 24 runs in the season’s first 12 games.

O’s outfielder Austin Hays became the sixth Oriole to hit for the cycle on Wednesday with an infield single in the first inning, a solo homer in the third, a triple in the fourth and a two-run double in the sixth. He joined Brooks Robinson (1960), Cal Ripken Jr. (1984), Aubrey Huff (2007), Felix Pie (2009) and Jonathan Villar (2019) as O’s to hit for the cycle. He is the first for Baltimore to do that in the first six innings of a game. He's the fourth in the majors to hit for a cycle in the 2022 season. And Hays did this after going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts on Tuesday and 4-for-31 over his previous eight games.

Adley Rutschman went 1-for-3 with a double last night and he has eight extra-base hits over his past 11 games. In that span, he is 12-for-39 (.308) with seven doubles, a homer and four RBIs.

Anthony Santander went 2-for-4 and hit a solo homer, his 13th. He has four homers his last seven games and in that span is 10-for-28 (.357) with five multi-hit games.

Last season, the White Sox went 93-69 and won the American League Central for the first time since 2008. But they lost in the first round of the playoffs, falling three games to one to the Astros in the ALDS.

Right now the Sox are 33-34, in third place in the Central, one game behind the second-place Twins and 4 ½ back of the division-leading Guardians. The Sox are 6-3 over the last nine games, going 3-0 at the Tigers, 1-2 versus the Astros and 2-1 against the Blue Jays. In that most recent series, they beat the Jays 8-7 and 7-6 before yesterday’s 9-5 loss.

Chicago is 13-12 versus AL East teams, 10-10 in June and 16-17 at home. The Sox have scored 101 runs in their past 16 games and 52 runs their last seven home games.

The White Sox rank 12th in the AL in Defensive Runs Saved (-6) while the Orioles are fifth (+31). Chicago has allowed 48 unearned runs, the most in the majors. They are 23-12 when they don’t make any errors and 10-22 when they have at least one error in the field.

Right-hander Dean Kremer (1-1, 2.35 ERA) will make his fourth start for the Orioles. Since allowing a three-run homer June 5 versus the Guardians in the first inning of his first major league start this year, Kremer has allowed just one run over his last 14 1/3 innings. The Orioles went 4-13 in his starts in 2020-21 but are 2-1 this year.

Righty Johnny Cueto (1-3, 2.95 ERA) starts for the White Sox. He is coming off an outing where he pitched seven scoreless on two hits and 93 pitches against Houston. He has made six starts this year, throwing six innings or more in each of them and recording quality starts five times. He has thrown three scoreless starts. 

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