O's game blog: The road trip begins in Cincinnati against the Reds

CINCINNATI – The Orioles begin a six-game road trip tonight that will take them through the trade deadline, which arrives next Tuesday. Tonight, they begin a weekend series against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park and then they move onto Texas for three games starting Monday night.

The Orioles (50-49) just took three of four from the Tampa Bay Rays winning 3-0 at home Thursday afternoon as right-hander Jordan Lyles and three relievers teamed on a four-hitter. Lyles improved to 7-8 with a 4.56 ERA, throwing 5 2/3 scoreless against Tampa Bay. It was his second scoreless outing of the year and he has allowed just one home run all season over 53 2/3 innings at Oriole Park.

Félix Bautista got the last four outs – three via strikeouts – to record his third save. Over his past eight games, Bautista has thrown 8 2/3 scoreless and hitless innings with one walk to 14 strikeouts. Opponent batters are 0-for-25 against him in this span.

Trey Mancini’s dramatic, two-run, inside-the-park homer gave the Orioles a 3-0 lead in the Baltimore eighth. It was his 10th homer of the season and first-ever inside-the-park homer. It was the first such homer by an Oriole since Austin Hays at Philadelphia Aug. 11, 2020. And it was the first inside-the-park homer at Oriole Park since Robert Andino did it versus Boston on Sept. 26, 2011.

The Orioles begin this trip having won three of four, four of six and 15 of their last 20 games. They have also won 20 of 30 and 26 of their past 40. The Orioles are 29-19 since June 1 and 43-35 since May 1. They improved to 29-20 at home where they are 12-3 in their past 15 games.

The Orioles improved to 20-24 versus AL East teams and are 6-6-1 in series within the division after going 3-19-2 in series last year in the AL East. They have won eight of their last 14 division games and are 12-10 over the last 22.

The Reds (38-60) lost to Miami 7-6 on Thursday. Cincinnati is 4-3 during a 10-game homestand that resumes tonight versus the Orioles. Cincy has won three of its last five and 10 of its last 16 games. The Reds went 6-3 to end the first half and are 4-3 to start the second half. 

The Reds got off to a terrible 3-22 start and posted a staff ERA of 6.86 at that point. But Cincinnati is 35-38 since then.

The Orioles beat the Reds with the Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson leading the way in five games in the 1970 World Series. But all-time in regular season games, the O’s are 8-4 versus the Reds. They are 3-3 in GABP and last played here in 2017, winning two of three that April.

A total of 4,328 days elapsed between the Orioles visits to GABP in 2005 and 2017. In 2011, the Reds played in Baltimore for the first time since the 1970 World Series. Baltimore was the last city the Reds visited during interleague play.

Right-hander Kyle Bradish (1-4, 7.38 ERA) returns from the injured list to make tonight's start. He was out due to right shoulder inflammation. In his last big league start, Kremer allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings June 18 against Tampa Bay. 

He made two rehab starts with Double-A Bowie and pitched eight scoreless innings allowing just one hit. In his last outing for Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday at Durham he gave up two runs and four hits over 4 2/3 innings.

In his three rehab games, Bradish threw 36, 66 and 80 pitches.

On the mound tonight for the Reds will be lefty Mike Minor (1-7, 6.65 ERA), making his 10th start. He began the year on injured list with a shoulder strain and didn’t make his first outing this year until June 3.

Over his past three starts, Minor has an ERA of 6.28, allowing 10 earned runs in 14 1/3, yielding a .290 batting average and .946 OPS in that span. A 2019 AL All-Star, Minor is 0-6 with a 6.75 ERA at home this season.

While he has been tough on lefty batters this year, who hit .193 with an OPS of .632 against him, right-handed batters are faring much better at .333/1.095.

O's pitching has allowed two earned runs or less in 17 of the last 35 games and the team ERA is 2.99 those 35 games. The team is 16-1 in the games where they allowed two earned runs or fewer. 

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