O's game blog: The road trip begins

After a very successful homestand – one where they went 6-4 – the Orioles begin a two-city road trip tonight in St. Louis. The Birds lost the first game of each series of the homestand, but won the first and third series of three games each, taking the last two against the Red Sox and Royals. In between those, they lost the first two games versus the Twins, but won the last two to split that four-game series.

So the Orioles are now 4-4-1 in series for the season, going 3-1-1 at home and 1-3 on the road. While they are 9-7 overall at home this year, the Orioles have lost 10 of 13 road games. They went 0-3 against Tampa Bay, 1-3 at Oakland, 2-1 versus the Los Angeles Angels and 0-3 at New York against the Yankees.

Tonight the Orioles (12-17) play the Cardinals (16-12) to start a three-game series and six-game trip that will also take them to Detroit. Baltimore plays at new Busch Stadium for the first time tonight, with the last trip to St. Louis coming in 2003. The Orioles are the only major league club yet to play at this ballpark.

The Orioles and Cardinals last met June 16-18, 2017 at Oriole Park, with the O’s taking two of three. The series featured 22 combined home runs with Baltimore hitting nine in the final two games. Trey Mancini had a monster series in ‘17, batting .462/.462/1.154 (6-for-13) with one double, one triple, two home runs, four RBIs and five runs scored in the three games.

Outfielder Austin Hays, after going 12-for-21 during a six-game hitting streak, now ranks among major league leaders since April 15 in hits (tied for first, 32), batting average (second, .386), OPS (fourth, 1.037), total bases (tied for fourth, 49), on-base percentage (tied for fourth, .447), doubles (tied for fifth, eight) and slugging percentage (seventh, .590). Hays reached base safely in nine consecutive appearances from his single in the sixth inning on May 5 through his double in the third inning of Game 2 on Sunday. He recorded seven hits and two walks during that stretch, which covered parts of three games. Hays became the first Oriole to reach in at least nine straight plate appearances since Cedric Mullins reached in 11 straight from June 4-6, 2021.

For the season, Hays ranks among American League leaders in hits (fifth, 34), doubles (tied for sixth, nine), on-base percentage (seventh, .403), batting average (eighth, .327) and OPS (ninth, .903).

Mullins had his eight-game hitting streak, the longest by an Oriole this season, snapped in yesterday’s game. Since April 16, he ranks among AL leaders in extra-base hits (tied for second, 11), runs scored (tied for third, 16), doubles (tied for fourth, seven) and total bases (tied for eighth, 41).

The Orioles have won four of five and six of their last nine games, and they are 9-9 in the last 18 games. Tonight they are trying to break a four-game road losing streak. St. Louis just completed a six-game road trip, losing the last two games at San Francisco. The Cardinals, in second place in the National League Central by two games back of the Brewers, are 5-3 over their past eight games and are 7-5 at home.

Right-hander Kyle Bradish (0-1, 5.40 ERA) will make his third major league start tonight. In his first, he allowed two earned runs and five hits over six innings on 81 pitches against Boston. Then he gave up four runs over four innings versus Minnesota on 70 pitches.

He has thrown a combined 10 innings, allowing 11 hits and six earned runs with three walks, five strikeouts and a 1.400 WHIP.

In his first two outings, Bradish has thrown his fastball 53 percent of the time at an average velocity of 94.4 mph. He uses his slider 29 percent with a 39 percent whiff rate and throws his curveball 12 percent and changeup six percent.

Lefty Pack Naughton (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will get the start for the home team. He has thrown just three innings in 2022, never throwing more than 14 pitches. In 10 career games – he was with the Angels last season – he is 0-4 with a 5.61 ERA, allowing 30 hits over 25 2/3 innings with 14 walks and strikeouts. He has a WHIP of 1.714.

On the O's farm today, Double-A Bowie lost 6-2 at Reading, but Gunnar Henderson went 2-for-3 and is now batting .321 with an OPS of .989. Low Single-A Delmarva lost 1-0 to Salem to fall to 9-19. Right-hander Juan De Los Santos gave up just the one run and three hits over six innings as his ERA is 1.67 through 27 innings.

Urías replaced in Orioles lineup
Orioles and Cardinals lineups

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