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

The Orioles begin a two-city eight-game road trip tonight at Kauffman Stadium against the host Royals. The Orioles were rained out at home versus the Cubs last night, so they went 3-4 on what was scheduled to be an eight-game homestand.

The Orioles went 1-2 against the Mariners and Guardians to begin the homestand before hitting five homers in Tuesday’s 9-3 win over the Cubs. The second game of the series was washed out. The Orioles are now 15-15 at home.

The Orioles are just 9-18 on the road this year but went 4-4 on their last trip to New York and Boston, going 1-2 at Yankee Stadium and 3-2 at Fenway Park. The Birds are 3-5 in road series.

The Orioles went 7-14 in April and 14-16 in May and now are 3-3 in June.

Kansas City begins play tonight with the worst record in the majors at 18-37 (.327). The Royals were shut out in the first two games of their most recent series with the Blue Jays by scores of 8-0 and 7-0 before winning 8-4 last night at home. The Royals have still lost three of four games, eight of 10 and 15 of their past 19. They were 14-22 on May 18 before going 4-15 since that date. They are 10-19 at Kauffman Stadium.

Kansas City lost two of three in Baltimore as the clubs split a doubleheader on May 8 before the Orioles won the series finale 6-1 the next day. The Royals went 7-12 in April and 9-20 in May and is 2-5 this month. They are winless, 0-6-1, their past seven series.

After Wednesday’s rainout, the O’s just pushed everyone in their rotation back one day. So on the mound tonight will be right-hander Jordan Lyles (3-4, 4.50 ERA) who will be making his 12th start. In his past two – against Boston and Seattle – he allowed eight runs (seven earned) and 18 hits over 9 1/3 innings as his ERA increased from 4.10.

He has thrown six innings or more four times and each one produced a quality start. He’s allowed two earned runs or less in five of his 11 games. The Orioles are 4-7 in his outings.

Kansas City’s starter is lefty Kris Bubic (0-3, 9.33 ERA) who is making his seventh start. Despite his poor numbers for the year, his last outing was a good one as he pitched five scoreless versus Houston on Saturday. He allowed five hits, throwing 98 pitches, in his third-career scoreless outing.

Bubic has a WHIP of 2.073 and has allowed 11.8 hits per nine innings this year with a 6.9 walk rate and 6.4 strikeout rate. The team is 2-4 in his starts. In two career games against Baltimore, he is 0-0 with a 2.38 ERA, allowing three runs in 11 1/3 innings.

Farm honors: The Orioles have named Grayson Rodriguez of Triple-A Norfolk as their Minor League Pitcher of the Month for May and Gunnar Henderson, who joined the Tides this week, as Player of the Month.

In the month of May, Rodriguez started in six games and recorded a 3-1 record, allowing a 2.25 ERA. He limited opponents to a .177 batting average and a 0.97 WHIP with 48 strikeouts and 11 walks.

With Double-A Bowie, Henderson played in 24 games with 23 runs, seven doubles, two triples, four home runs, 16 RBIs, 19 walks, six stolen bases while slashing .333/.462/.617 with a 1.079 OPS.

In O's roster news today on the farm:

* Infielder Patrick Dorrian moved from Norfolk to Bowie
* Outfielder Isaac Bellony and infielder Erinson Placencia moved from low Single-A Delmarva to high Single-A Aberdeen
* Outfielder Stiven Acevedo and infielder Frederick Bencosme moved to Delmarva from the Rookie-level Florida Complex League
* Outfielder Elio Prado was placed on the Delmarva injured list

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