The Orioles begin their final regular season road series of 2023 tonight when they play the first of a four-game series against the Guardians. The Orioles went 2-1 against the Astros to begin the season’s final road trip.
The Orioles are 50-27 on the road and have become the third club in team history to win 50 or more road games. If the O’s go 2-2 this series, they will tie for the best road record ever by an O’s club and 3-1 or better will set a record.
Best road records, O’s history:
.649 – 2023 (50-27)
.642 – 1997 (52-29)
.617 – 1980 (50-31)
.614 – 1994 (35-22)
Entering 2023, the Orioles had a losing record on the road in eight consecutive seasons, which was tied with the Los Angeles Angels for the longest streak among American League teams coming into the year.
Cleveland (72-81) has had a strange last two series. They went 3-0 against Texas over the weekend, outscoring the Rangers 23-6. Then they just lost three in a row at Kansas City and were outscored 19-12. This was the first time the Royals swept the Guardians since April 12-14, 2019.
Cleveland, in second in the AL Central and nine games out, is 39-36 at home and 14-14 versus AL East teams. They are 11-12-1 in home series.
Cleveland was 53-53 on July 30 but has gone 19-28 since that date. The Guardians have lost 11 of 17 since Sept. 3. The Guardians took two of three in Baltimore May 29-31.
O’s right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (6-4, 4.53 ERA) will make his 22nd start and the Orioles are 13-8 in the first 21.
Rodriguez has thrown scoreless starts twice in his past four games, going 3-1 with a 1.48 ERA in that span with five walks and 26 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings. On Saturday, after the Orioles had lost the first games to the Rays, he pitched eight scoreless on five hits in the win with no walks and seven strikeouts.
In 11 starts since July 17, when he returned from the minors, he is 4-2 with a 2.59 ERA and 1.061 WHIP. And he has gone six innings or more seven times in his past nine starts after not doing that once in his first 12 MLB starts.
One big difference for Rodriguez before and after being sent to the minors is his home run per nine rate. In his first 10 starts, he allowed 2.58 homers per nine. In his last 11 games since his return, he has allowed three homers in 66 innings for a 0.40 rate per nine innings.
Righty Hunter Gaddis (2-1, 4.85 ERA) will make the start for Cleveland, returning from the minors where he was most recently optioned out on Sept. 1. In his most recent MLB game he pitched in relief allowing one run over three innings on Aug. 29 at Minnesota.
Gaddis, 25, has made six starts among 10 appearances for Cleveland this year. He has a WHIP of 1.333 in 39 MLB innings. In his time this year at Triple-A he has gone 2-10 with a 6.14 ERA and 1.568 WHIP.
According to Stats Perform, since July 1, the Orioles have three starters in the AL's top ten in ERA (min. 50 IP): Kyle Bradish (third, 2.39), Grayson Rodríguez (fifth, 2.59), and Dean Kremer (tenth, 3.08).
Also per Stats Perform, Gunnar Henderson has 63 extra-base hits, just two shy of the club record by a rookie, held by Cal Ripken Jr. (1982, 65 XBH).