O's game blog: The series finale at Oakland

OAKLAND – The Orioles have scored just one run in each game of this series at the Oakland Coliseum. But they won by 1-0 yesterday. They are hoping they don’t have to pitch a shutout to win today.

But of the Orioles' four wins this year – and they are 4-8 – three have come via a shutout. They have pitched two shutouts in their last four games and three in the last nine.

Five pitchers combined on a seven-hitter with one walk and 11 strikeouts in Wednesday’s win. It was started by Jordan Lyles, who gave up five hits over five innings. It was ended by Jorge López, who recorded a five-out save for his second save this year and third of his career.López threw 19 pitches, touching 99 mph on the radar gun. 

The Orioles are one of seven major league teams with more than one shutout:

* Three shutouts – Orioles, Mets
* Two shutouts – Royals, Angels, Yankees, Padres, Cardinals

Outfielder Ryan McKenna doubled and scored the game’s only run on an error in the fifth inning for the Orioles. McKenna was also part of a relay play that cut down a run at the plate in the Oakland second inning.

Lyles allowed one walk and fanned six in his seventh career start against Oakland and his fourth start at the Oakland Coliseum. He is 10-8 with a 4.65 ERA in 48 appearances in April. The game Wednesday represented his 185th career start and his 292nd appearance.

Outfielder Anthony Santander went 2-for-4 with a single and double and has reached base safely in all 12 games to start the season. He ranks fifth in the American League and sixth in the majors with a .469 on-base percentage. In this series, he is batting .364 (4-for-11) with two walks.

Oakland won the series opener 5-1 Monday and then 2-1 the next night before the O’s win yesterday, so just 10 runs have been scored in this series by both teams.

Some notes on the O’s struggling offense:

* They have just three runs on 20 hits in this series, going 1-for-19 with runners in scoring position
* They have scored two runs or less in nine of their 12 games
* They’ve scored 24 runs for the season
* They have not homered in their last four games, hit just one in the past seven games and only four on the season

Right-hander Tyler Wells (0-1, 6.35 ERA) will make his third start today. His first two have lasted a combined 5 2/3 innings where he has allowed four runs. He gave up all four in 1 2/3 innings in a game at Tampa Bay. Then at home versus the Yankees on Saturday he threw four scoreless innings on 64 pitches. After that game, manager Brandon Hyde said Wells would be limited to outings of around four innings in most of his starts.

Right-hander Paul Blackburn (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will make his third start and face the Orioles for the third time in his career. He pitched five scoreless on 71 pitches against Tampa Bay and then threw five at Toronto, allowing two runs on 73 pitches Saturday in his most recent game.

The 28-year-old Blackburn, who made his first opening day roster this yera, was drafted in 2012 by the Cubs with the No. 56 overall pick.

In two career starts versus the Orioles, both in 2017, he has an ERA of 3.72. Over 9 2/3 innings, he allowed four runs.

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