O's game blog: The series finale against New York

The Orioles (4-4) host the New York Yankees (5-3) today in the third and deciding game of this series before welcoming Oakland to town on Monday to start a four-game series as this homestand continues.

The Orioles posted a 7-6 win on Opening Day in Baltimore on Friday, but New York held the Orioles to just four singles last night as they went 4-for-30 in a 4-1 loss. The Orioles went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base in their lowest scoring game of the year.

The Orioles have scored five runs or more five times this season, but also already have three games where they have been held to four hits or less. Baltimore batters hit 11 homers in the season’s first five games, but have no homers over their last three games.

Right-hander Tyler Wells (0-0, 0.00) will make his second appearance and first start of the year. He came on in emergency relief Monday night at Texas after Kyle Bradish left that game injured. Wells threw five no-hit innings from the fourth through eighth innings at Globe Life Field. He needed just 47 pitches, 33 for strikes, to get the 15 outs.

Wells threw 16 four-seam fastballs versus the Rangers, which averaged 93.5 mph and topped at 94.7. He added 14 cutters with an average 89.0 mph velocity. He also threw nine changeups, five curveballs and three sliders.

Lefty Nestor Cortes (1-0, 1.80 ERA) makes his second start for New York. He got the win against Philadelphia on Monday, allowing seven hits and one run over five innings with no walks and three strikeouts on 80 pitches. Cortes went heavy four-seam fastball, using that pitch 69 percent of the time in that game at a 91.8 mph average velocity. He threw 17 cutters, five sweepers, two changeups and one sinker. He got 11 whiffs on 43 swings by Philadelphia batters.

Cortes, a Rule 5 pick by the Orioles in 2017 who was later returned to the Yankees on April 13, 2018, has allowed one run or less in six of his last seven starts. That dates to last Aug. 21.

Cortes went 12-4 with a 2.44 ERA last year in 28 starts.

He has outstanding numbers versus the Orioles. Last year, he only allowed one run against Baltimore in three starts over 18 1/3 innings. He went 2-0 with an ERA of 0.00, allowing 10 hits while walking just three and fanning 31 Baltimore batters. O’s hitters batted just .156 with an OPS of .366 versus him last year.

In seven career games against the Orioles, Cortes is 3-0 with a 1.06 ERA. In 34 innings he has walked eight and fanned 51 Orioles. In starts only versus the club, he is 2-0 with an 0.59 ERA.

The AL East as of this morning

Tampa Bay, 8-0
New York, 5-3
Toronto, 5-4
Baltimore & Boston, 4-4

Catcher Adley Rutschman singled in the first inning off New York right-hander Jhony Brito Saturday night to extend his on-base streak to five games. He has reached base safely in seven of his eight games this season and has drawn multiple walks in back-to-back games for the first time since Oct. 2-3, 2022.

Outfielder Cedric Mullins snapped an 0-for-12 streak with a single in the first inning off Brito. But Mullins is just 2-for-20 his past five games.

Terrin Vavra, who started in right field, worked a 12-pitch at-bat in the fifth inning. That marked his longest career plate appearance. That was his second career start in right field.

Gunnar Henderson, batting .167, has fanned nine times his last four games. 

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