O's game blog: The road trip begins in New York

The Orioles won another rubber match game on Sunday. Those are games to decide a series after the clubs have split the first two games. The Orioles had to win via a walk-off to get it against the Rays, but they will surely take it.

The Birds are now 5-1 in rubber match games in 2022 and 3-0 against the American League East with such wins over the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays. They also won series-deciding games against the Royals and Cardinals.

Other impressive notes out of Sunday’s win:

The Orioles have won via walk-off in five games this year, the most walk-off wins in the major leagues. The Orioles won five games via walk-off in all of 2021.

* The Orioles are 5-0 in walk-offs this year, one of six teams in the major leagues to have not been walked off against in 2022. And the Orioles went 5-7 in walk-offs in 2021.

* The Orioles are 4-0 in extra-inning games, the best extra-inning record in the majors and tied with the Rays (4-3) for the most extra-inning wins. In 2021, the Birds went 4-6 in extra-inning contests.

So they went 2-1 over the weekend versus the Rays after going 1-18 against that team last year. They entered the series with a 15-game overall losing streak and nine-game losing streak at Oriole Park against Tampa Bay. Nice to double that win total and do it via walk-offs to boot.

The Orioles last three wins have come in walk-off fashion and it’s the first time they have won three times in a four-game span with walk-off victories since Sept. 25-29, 1974. Rougned Odor produced his seventh walk-off plate appearance, ending the game on the dribbler up the first base line. Odor’s two-run homer in the 13th on Friday also beat the Rays with his third career walk-off home run.

The Orioles were 0-23 when trailing after eight innings until Sunday’s win when Austin Hays’ pinch-hit two-run single in the ninth tied the game at 6-6. The Orioles are now 6-7 in one-run games and 6-6 in games decided by two runs or less. Baltimore is 7-5 over its past 12 games decided by two or less.

After right-hander Spenser Watkins exited yesterday’s game in the first inning with a right forearm contusion, the Baltimore bullpen pitched 11 innings, allowing two earned runs in the win. This marked the first time since May 17, 1987 at California that the O’s have won a game when the starting pitcher did not record an out. And it was the 19th time in Orioles history that relievers have pitched at least 11 innings in a game, and the first since they worked 11 2/3 on Sept. 23, 2019 at Toronto.

Odor has appeared in 997 career games, three shy of 1,000 games played. He is looking to become the 48th Venezuela-born player to reach the milestone. Currently, there are 65 active players who have played in at least 1,000 career games, including 10 from Venezuela. Odor brings a seven-game hitting streak into tonight. He is 8-for-25 (.320) during his streak with three doubles, a triple, a homer and five RBIs. His .723 OPS in May has raised his season mark from .523 to .637.

The Orioles have a winning record at home at 12-11 and at home versus the AL East at 7-6. But for the year, they are just 5-14 on the road and 2-4 in road series. They are 0-6 within the division on the road, being swept at Tampa Bay and New York. When they earlier lost three in a row in the Bronx, from April 26-28, the O’s pitchers allowed eight homers and 27 runs. The Orioles have scored just 2.8 runs per game away from Camden Yards this season.

The Orioles (17-25) are 3-1 the last four games but 3-7 over the past 10 and 4-8 in the last 12. Their pitchers allowed 38 runs during a 3-4 homestand, but the Baltimore batters scored 25 runs on 38 hits the last four games.

New York (29-12) lost a doubleheader Sunday to the Chicago White Sox, scoring just one run. But the Yankees still own the best record in the big leagues and lead the AL East by five games over the Rays. New York is 15-6 at home and 15-7 against the AL East. They have won 10 of their past 14 and are 24-7 over the last 31 games. The Yankees are 10-2-1 in series play, with losses only against the Orioles and White Sox.

On the mound tonight, right-hander Jordan Lyles (2-4, 4.11 ERA) gets his ninth start. The Orioles are 3-5 in his outings and have lost the past three, even though his ERA is 3.60 in those games and he has thrown seven innings or more twice in this stretch.

Lyles has not allowed a homer in Baltimore, where he has an ERA of 2.10, and has allowed five in 20 1/3 innings on the road where his ERA is 6.64 in four starts. He has already faced the Yankees three times, going 0-2 with a 4.76 ERA.

Right-hander Gerrit Cole (4-0, 2.89 ERA) makes his ninth start as well. On Wednesday, he faced Lyles in Baltimore and gave up two runs over seven innings. Both pitchers went seven in a game the Yankees won 3-2. Cole has thrown five consecutive quality starts, going 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA and .539 opponent OPS.

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