O's game blog: The series finale at Kansas City

The Orioles and Royals today play the last game of their three-game series at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium. After this one, the Orioles move on to Aneheim for three games with the Angels.

The clubs have split two games, with the Royals winning 9-4 on Friday and the Orioles holding off a furious K.C. rally, 9-7 last night.

It was a wild one where the Orioles scored seven runs in the second inning to knock lefty Cole Ragans out of the game. But a 7-0 lead almost got away. When K.C. scored four in the last of the seventh, they had pulled within 8-7. Anthony Santander's third double of the night gave them a 9-7 lead in the eighth.

Craig Kimbrel pitched a 1-2-3 last of the ninth on nine pitches, getting Bobby Witt Jr., Vinnie Pasquantino and Salvador Perez as the Orioles got the win. It was his 422nd career save to tie Billy Wagner for seventh place on the all-time list. 

The Orioles ended the Royals' nine-game home win streak.

The O's (13-7) are now a half-game out of first in the American League East. Baltimore has won five of eight road games and five of its last six overall and is 8-3 the last 11 games.

The Orioles had 15 hits Saturday night and went 7-for-16 with runners in scoring position.

Left-hander Cole Irvin (0-1, 6.75 ERA) will make his fourth 2024 start this afternoon in the rubber match game. He gave up two runs and six hits over 4 2/3 to Minnesota in his most recent game. On the year over 14 2/3 innings, he has yielded 20 hits and 11 runs with a 1.705 WHIP, a 3.1 walk rate and 6.8 strikeout rate.

In two seasons with the Orioles over 27 games and 15 starts, Irvin is 1-5 with a 4.79 ERA and 1.348 WHIP. The Orioles are actually 10-5 in his 15 starts for the club.

This year, lefty batters hit .333 against him with a .908 OPS and right-handers bat .326/.880. He has struggled early in his games, allowing a 1.038 OPS on pitches 1-25 of his games while that goes down to .684 for pitches 26 through 50.

In six career games, all starts, against Kansas City, Irvin is 2-3 with a 2.83 ERA. He has allowed a .248 batting average and .669 OPS in the six games.

For K.C. today, the pitcher is 34-year-old right-hander Seth Lugo (3-0, 1.05 ERA). He is off to a strong four-game start, throwing 25 2/3 innings on 21 hits and just three runs allowed with six walks to 13 strikeouts. He has a 1.052 WHIP, has yet to allow a home run and opponent batters are hitting .226 with a .557 OPS.

The Royals are 3-1 in his games as Lugo allowed no runs in six innings to the Twins, one run in 6 2/3 versus the White Sox, two runs over six to the Astros and he threw seven scoreless with four hits on 99 pitches in his last game on Monday versus the White Sox.

He has been so efficient this year he is averaging just 14.1 pitches per inning and he’s thrown first-pitch strikes 61.8 percent of the time. Lefty batters hit .225 with a .528 OPS and right-handers are batting .227/.589 against him.

In three home starts at Kauffman Stadium, Lugo is 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA and 1.179 WHIP.

He has faced the Orioles just twice in his career, both times pitching in relief, throwing four scoreless innings on two hits with no walks and three strikeouts. In 23 career games (four starts) against AL East teams, he is 7-3 with a 2.42 ERA and .199 batting average against.

Irvin and bullpen combine on shutout, Cowser has m...
Kimbrel soaking in 422nd save and drying souvenir ...

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.masnsports.com/