O's game blog: The series opener against the Los Angeles Angels

Anaheim, Calif. – The Orioles' road trip has moved to California as the Angels (64-73) host them (85-51) tonight at Angel Stadium to start a three-game series. 

The Orioles improved to 28-13-3 in series play and to 12-7 in rubber match games after taking Sunday’s game 8-5 at Arizona to win that series 2-1.

The Orioles scored just two runs in losing Friday, but scored 15 runs on 25 hits, going 8-for-20 with runners in scoring position, in the series’ final two games.

Los Angeles (64-73) has struggled big time recently and got swept three in a row over the weekend at Oakland with losses by 9-2, 2-1 and 10-6. The Angels have lost six of seven and 10 of their past 13 games.

On Aug. 1, they were 56-51 and had decided to not trade Shohei Ohtani at the trade deadline. But they are 9-22 since that date.

They are 32-33 at home. The Angels wrapped up a 3-6 road trip Sunday at Oakland. They went 1-5 on their most recent homestand.

The Angels’ top pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, first baseman Nolan Schanuel, has already made the majors. After they selected him No. 11 overall out of Florida Atlantic, where he batted .447, he hit .365 in 22 minor league games and got a quick call up.

Schanuel made his major leauge debut on Aug. 18 against Tampa Bay, just 40 days after being selected. He joined lefty Brian Anderson (1993) and Danny Goodwin (1975) as the only Halos to debut in their draft year.

Schanuel hit safely in his first 10 major leauge games before going 0-for-7 in his last two games over the weekend. In 12 games with the Angels, he is batting .273 with an OPS of .724.

Schanuel has reached base safely in each of his first 12 major league games. He set a franchise record with a 10-game hitting streak to begin his big league career before having the streak snapped Friday night. The previous Angels record for longest hit streak to begin a career was David Eckstein at nine straight in 2001.

O’s right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (4-3, 5.03 ERA) will start tonight’s series opener. On Monday versus the White Sox, Rodriguez threw six scoreless on one hit and averaged 98.4 mph on his fastball. He averaged 99.6 mph in the first inning.

After not going six innings in his first 12 major leauge starts, Rodriguez has gone six or more in five of his last six. The one game he did not do that he pitched 5 2/3 innings.

In eight starts since his mid -July return to the Orioles, he is 2-1 with a 2.83 ERA and five quality starts. In 47 2/3 innings in this span, he has allowed a .199 batting average with a .535 OPS and 0.99 WHIP.

Lefty Kenny Rosenberg (0-0, 6.43 ERA) pitches for the Angels. He has made two major leaugue outings this year, both in August, allowing five runs over seven innings with seven walks and strikeouts.

He spent much of this season at Triple-A, going 7-7 with a 4.95 ERA and 1.510 WHIP in 20 games over 100 innings.

The Orioles are 2-2 against the Angels in 2023 and 18-10 versus American League West teams. Los Angeles is 13-13 against the AL East. The O's are 9-3 versus the Angels since the start of the 2022 season.

The Orioles have one of baseball's best records vs. sub .500 teams:
.705 - Atlanta (43-18)
.689 - LA Dodgers (42-19)
.683 - Orioles (41-19)

The Orioles' .683 win percentage against sub-.500 teams would be their best in a single season since 1979 (37-11, .771).

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