O's game blog: The Orioles and Phillies, Game 2

The Orioles' six-game stretch against the teams with the best records in the National League and American League continues under sunny skies this afternoon in downtown Baltimore. The Orioles (45-24) host Philadelphia (47-22) in the second of a three-game series at Oriole Park. They face the Yankees next week in the Bronx starting Tuesday night.

Last night's game featured a sellout crowd of 43,987 and a playoff atmosphere. A close game throughout that had a unique ending with a rain delay of one hour and 11 minutes before the 11th inning. When play resumed, Alec Bohm's two-run double off Jacob Webb gave the Phillies a 5-3 lead and win as the Orioles could not answer in the last of the 11th.

Baltimore came back three times to tie this game. Down 1-0 in the last of the third, Adley Rutschman's RBI double made it 1-1. Down 2-1 in the eighth, Anthony Santander's 15th home run tied it. Down 3-2 in the 10th, Cedric Mullins scored on a wild pitch and got his left hand in around the tag on a great slide to even the score 3-3. 

But the Orioles went 1-for-13 in the game with runners in scoring position and are 3-for-30 the last three games with RISP.

After an 8-1 win over Boston Friday night, the Yankees (50-22, .694) lead the Orioles by 3.5 games atop the AL East.

New York also now ranks first in the majors in runs per game at 5.10. The Orioles and Phillies, at 5.07, are tied for second in MLB.

The Orioles scored 24 runs in their recent four-game series at Toronto and scored 25 in a four-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays. They have scored 14 runs the past four games against the Braves and Phillies.

Overall, the Orioles have lost two in a row. But, over longer stretches, have won six of eight, 11 of 16 and 16 of their past 22 games. They are now 23-14 at home and 10-11 versus NL teams. 

Philadelphia would be in second place in the AL East, but is now leading the NL East by nine games over Atlanta. Overall, the Phillies are 2-3 the last five games, 9-4 over 13 and 10-8 the last 18 games. They are 11-4 against AL teams. Philadelphia hit two home runs last night and is now 18-1 when hitting two or more this season. The Phillies are now 17-5 (.773) after a loss, the best record in the majors in such instances.

Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (7-2, 3.27 ERA) will make his 12th start this afternoon and the Orioles are 8-3 in the first 11. He has been tougher this year on lefty hitters, holding lefties to a .205 batting average and .618 OPS and right-handers to .256/.730.

In five home starts, he is 3-1 with a 2.12 ERA. He has allowed two earned runs or less in nine of 11 outings and has five quality starts.

In 23 starts dating to July 22, 2023, Rodriguez is 12-4 with a 2.73 ERA and 1.13 WHIP with 12 quality starts.

Righty Taijuan Walker (3-1, 5.40 ERA) goes for the Phils and gave up two runs over 5 2/3 his last game. But over his past three outings, he has a 5.94 ERA. In three road starts, he is 2-1 with a 5.89 ERA. The Phillies are 4-4 in his eight outings this season. 

Last night's attendance of 43,987 was Baltimore’s second sellout crowd of the year, joining Opening Day on March 28 against the Angels (45,029). Today's game is also expected to be a sellout, meaning the Orioles will eclipse the 1-million fan mark in their 38th home game of the season. The last time the Orioles reached a million fans quicker was when they drew 1,014,843 through their first 37 home games of 2017, surpassing 1 million fans on June 21.

According to Baseball Reference, the Orioles have drawn 223,424 more fans than they had at this point last year, the second-largest increase in MLB behind the defending NL Champion Arizona Diamondbacks (+264,731). Baltimore is averaging 26,666 fans per game so far this year, and their +6,038 difference per game compared to last year is also second in MLB behind the D-backs (+7,564).


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