O's game blog: The road trip opener at Boston

The Orioles begin the final road trip of the season tonight, starting a seven-game trip to Boston and New York with the opener of a four-game series at Fenway Park. The Orioles have had two straight losing homestands at Camden Yards going, 4-6 from Sept. 2-11 and going 3-4 in the homestand versus Detroit and Houston that ended on Sunday afternoon. Two of their three losses during the homestand were by one run, and another game went extra innings.

The Orioles (79-73) have 10 games left and need to go 3-7 or better to secure their first winning season since going 89-73 in 2016.

The Birds are 11-12 in September with five games left in the month and would need to go 4-1 or 5-0 to clinch their fourth consecutive winning month after going 17-10 in August, 16-9 in July, and 14-12 in June. The last time the Orioles had four consecutive winning months in a season was June (16-12), July (17-8), August (19-9) and September (17-10) 2014.

The Orioles have gone 30-36 (.455) this season versus American League East opponents. In 2021 they went 20-56 (.263) in division games. They won just three series last year against AL East clubs, going 3-19-2. This season they are 9-11-1 in AL East series.

The Orioles are 8-7 versus Boston, 8-8 against Toronto, 9-10 versus Tampa Bay and 5-11 against the New York Yankees.

With that 8-7 mark against the Red Sox, the O's have their most wins against Boston since Baltimore went 10-9 in 2017. The Orioles finished .500 (5-5) against the Sox in 2020, but have not won a season series against the Red Sox since 2017.

After losing the last two games at home versus Houston, the Orioles have lost six of 10 and 12 of their past 20 games. Over longer stretches, they have won 17 of 32 and 44 of the last 73 games. They went 7-14 in April and are 72-59 since May 1.

Right-hander Jordan Lyles (11-11, 4.50 ERA) gets tonight's start, his team-leading 31st. The Orioles are 15-15 in his 2022 season outings. Lyles has thrown 170 innings - which, at this point, is 10 fewer than his total from last season - allowing 187 hits and 1.394 WHIP and recording a 2.6 walk rate and 7.1 strikeout rate.

He has allowed one earned run or none in three of his past five outings. That includes his three-hit complete-game last Wednesday at home versus Detroit, when he allowed one run, walked none and fanned six throwing 94 pitches.

In 16 road starts, Lyles is 6-8 with a 5.48 ERA. He is 1-1 with an 8.00 ERA in four starts this season against Boston, the stats inflated by his outing on Sept. 10, when he gave up eight runs in 3 2/3 innings after a layoff, during which he missed time due to an illness.

Jorge Mateo leads the AL with 33 stolen bases, while Cedric Mullins ranks third with 31. Mateo and Mullins are the only pair of teammates in the majors this year with at least 30 stolen bases each. The last team to have two players with 30 steals apiece was the 2018 Royals (Whit Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesí) and the last pair of O's teammates to each swipe 30 bags in a season was Corey Patterson and Brian Roberts, who did so during the 2006 and 2007 campaigns.

Boston (72-80) has lost five games in a row, scoring 14 runs in that span. This followed a stretch when they went 5-3. They took two of three in a recent series in Baltimore, losing 3-2 in the series opener before posting 17-4 and 1-0 wins. Boston’s current losing streak is its eighth of the season of four games or more. The Red Sox are 37-37 at home, 9-12 this month and 20-46 in games versus AL East teams.

Right-hander Connor Seabold (0-3, 10.47 ERA) gets the start for the Red Sox, his fifth in the majors this year. The Orioles drafted Seabold in round 19 in 2014 out of a California high school, but he did not sign. He was then drafted by the Phillies in round three in 2017 out of Cal State-Fullerton. Seabold, who is 8-2 with a 3.32 ERA this season at Triple-A, is Boston's No. 22 prospect by MLB.com and No. 23 via Baseball America.

Orioles recall Gillaspie, option Akin
Orioles lineup vs. Red Sox (Akin optioned)

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