O's game blog: The series opener at Seattle

After taking three of four games at Chicago, the Orioles' road trip moves on to Seattle tonight for the first of a three-game series. A win would give the O’s a big leg up on another series victory and a winning road trip, and would also clinch a winning month for the Orioles for the first time in nearly five years.

They are 13-10 in June, outscoring their opponents 112-94 (+18). They need one win in their next three games to clinch their first winning month since August 2017, when they went 17-12. The Orioles have secured their first .500 month since July 2019 (12-12).

The Orioles took two out of three games the last time they visited the Mariners, from May 3-5, 2021. And the last time they played in Seattle, on May 5, 2021, left-hander John Means threw the sixth no-hitter in Orioles history in a 6-0 victory at T-Mobile Park. It was the first Orioles no-hitter since a combined effort by Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson on July 13, 1991 at Oakland, and the first individual, complete-game no-hitter by an Orioles pitcher since Jim Palmer on Aug. 13, 1969 versus Oakland.

O’s batters struck out 16 times in Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the White Sox, which kept the O’s from completing a four-game sweep. The Orioles had a four-game win streak end in that loss, their longest winning streak in a single season since they won four in a row from Sept. 4 (in the second game of a doubleheader) through 8, 2020, and their longest overall since winning four in a row from Sept. 27, 2020 to April 4, 2021.

Over their streak, O’s pitchers owned a 0.55 ERA (two earned runs over 33.0 inning pitched), their first time holding their opponents to two earned runs or fewer over a four-game span since June 5-8, 2016 (2 ER/36.0 IP). And the Orioles are one of six teams to limit opponents to only two earned runs in a four-game stretch this season, along with the Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and San Diego Padres.

Right-hander Tyler Wells (5-4, 3.34 ERA) gets the start in the series opener as he looks to stay on a good roll. He pitched five scoreless innings on 95 pitches last Wednesday versus Washington and has given up one run over 11 innings his past two starts. Wells has allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of his last six games, throwing to an 2.25 ERA in that span. Over the six outings, he has allowed 22 hits in 32 innings, recording 10 walks and 17 strikeouts along with a .190 opponent average and .573 OPS.

The Orioles are 7-7 in Wells’ 14 starts for the season. He has made four quality starts this year and has thrown six innings or more in three of his last five games.

Right-hander George Kirby (2-2, 3.12 ERA) will make his 10th start for Seattle. On May 31 at Baltimore he pitched six scoreless innings at Camden Yards in a 10-0 win, getting eight strikeouts while allowing just one walk and four hits over 94 pitches.

Kirby, Seattle’s No. 1 draft pick (No. 20 overall) in 2019 out of Elon, had an ERA of 4.50 in his first four starts of the 2022 season. His ERA is 2.17 over his past five games.

Both the Orioles and Mariners have 34-40 records. The Orioles are in last place in the American League East, seven games behind fourth-place Toronto. The Mariners are in fourth in the AL West and are half a game behind the third-place Los Angeles Angels as play begins tonight.

The O's record against each division: 

* AL East, 15-19 (.441)

* AL Central, 10-11 (.476)

* AL West, 4-6 (.400)

* NL East, 1-1 (.500)

* NL Central, 4-3 (.571).

AL team extra-base hits leaders in June:

99 – Toronto
86 – Orioles
85 – New York Yankees
78 – Boston, Minnesota

Adley Rutschman is slashing .320/.370/.640 (16-for-50) with 10 doubles, two home runs, nine runs scored, seven RBIs and four walks over his last 14 games, hitting safely in 11 of them and reaching base in all but one. His 10 doubles since June 10 are tied for the most in the majors over that span, while his 12 extra-base hits rank second. He has doubled in five straight games, the longest active streak in the big leagues and the longest by an O's batter since Brian Roberts doubled in five straight from Aug. 11-16, 2009. Rutschman is the first O's batter with an extra-base hit in five consecutive games since Austin Hays from Aug. 24-28, 2021.

 

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