O's game blog: The series opener in Anaheim

ANAHEIM, Calif. – With their latest series win secured via a 5-0 shutout of the Royals on Sunday, the Orioles' two-city road trip has reached California where they play the next three games in Anaheim against the Angels. 

The Orioles are 14-7 and have won six of their last seven and nine of the their past 12 games, scoring 75 runs in those games. The Orioles have won back-to-back series and are 5-2 in series for the year.

The 2024 O’s came up two games short of the 1966 World Champion Orioles, which started the year 16-5 – the club’s best-ever 21-game start.

The Orioles are 6-3 in road games and 2-1 in road series.

With the Yankees loss this afternoon to the Athletics, the O's and Yanks are tied in the games behind standings, but the O's have the American League East lead by percentage points at .667 to .652. A win tonight would give Baltimore the division lead by a half-game.

Right-hander Albert Suárez, 34, will make his second start tonight after throwing 5 2/3 scoreless innings last Wednesday against the Twins. Suárez gave up three hits with no walks and four strikeouts on 75 pitches, 50 for strikes.

After pitching in both Japan and Korea the past several seasons, that game marked his first in the majors since Sept. 26, 2017, meaning he went 2,395 days between major league outings.

Suárez showed a lively and big moving fastball in that game, averaging 95.9 mph on the pitch and topping at 97.8. He threw 47 four-seamers against the Twins with 17 cutters, seven changeup and four curveballs. He got 14 whiffs on 42 swings and got 11 whiffs on 27 swings versus his heater.

It was a remarkably good outing for a pitcher who a few days earlier gave up five runs in 4 1/3 innings for Triple-A Norfolk and had an ERA of 5.87 with the Tides.

Suárez went 4-7 with a 3.92 ERA for Korea Baseball Organization’s Samsung Lions last year, allowing 129 hits (three home runs) with 88 strikeouts in 19 KBO appearances. He became a free agent following his release from the Lions due to a calf injury. He then made 11 starts with a 3.79 ERA pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League before signing with the O's on Oct. 12, 2023. He started this season with Norfolk. He had been originally signed by Tampa Bay as an international free agent on July 2, 2006.

The Orioles opened the season beating the Angels by 11-3 and 13-4. The 24 runs they scored in the season's first two games rates second-most in the first two to start the year behind 25 runs from the 2006 team.

But they lost the third game of that series 4-1 when lefty Reid Detmers (3-0, 1.19 ERA) shut them down over five innings. He gets the start tonight for the Angels.

He is having some start to his season with a WHIP of 0.971 and no homers allowed in four games and 22 2/3 innings. He has allowed one, one, zero and two runs in his four starts (and the Angels are 4-0 those games) with a 2.8 walk rate and 11.9 strikeout rate.

He faces an O's team which leads the majors in both homers (33) and homers per game (1.57), a category the team ranked 19th in last year at 1.13 per game.

But Detmers has not allowed a home run to any of the last 156 batters he’s faced in starts. It’s the second-longest active streak by any pitcher in starts, only trailing Kutter Crawford’s streak of 173. 

The Orioles ability to square up and drive baseballs this year can be seen in these team stats where they all rank at or near the top of the majors:

* Exit velocity - 90.5 mph (1st in MLB)
* Barrel percentage - 10.0 (1st in MLB)
* Hard-hit percentage - 44.5 (2nd in MLB)

A barrel is a ball hit at least 98 mph with a launch angle of 26 to 30 degrees. A ball struck that well will often go a long way in a hurry. For each mph over 98, the launch angle range expands for a ball to earn barrel classification. The O's have hit a higher percentage of these balls than any other club. A hard-hit percentage is the percent of balls put in play at 95 mph or over. 

The Angels (9-13) are 2-4 at home and have already played 16 games versus AL East teams, going 6-10. They are 1-2 against Baltimore, 2-4 versus Boston and 3-4 against Tampa Bay. 

Most recently, the Angels have lost four in a row, five of six and seven of nine games.

Suárez rolls again as O's win series opener (Kjers...
Hyde updates Mountcastle and Hays before Angels se...

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