O's game blog: The series with Washington begins at the Yard

After winning just one game all of last year against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Orioles have already won two of three series against the Rays this season. They are 4-5 versus Tampa Bay after Sunday’s win gave them a series victory. The O’s lost the first three games of the year at Tropicana Field but are now 4-2 in the last six versus the Rays.

But after going 15-19 versus the American League East – and 11-8 in their last 19 division games – the Orioles begin a stretch of 21 consecutive games outside of the division tonight. They host the Washington Nationals for the start of a two-game interleague series and the first two of four games these clubs will play in 2022.

The Orioles (30-38) have won three of four and six of their past nine games. They are 8-6 over the last 14 games, 9-8 this month and 16-14 since May 19. They are 17-16 at home this season. And they are 4-3 in games against National League opponents.

The Nationals (24-46) ended an eight-game losing streak with Sunday’s 9-3 win over Philadelphia. But Washington has lost 11 of its past 14 games, and is 6-15 in series-opening games and 3-7 in road series openers. The Nats are on a pace to finish 56-106.

Last season, the Orioles went 3-3 against the Nationals. They were swept in three games at Nationals Park from May 21-23 before sweeping Washington in three games at Oriole Park from July 23-25. The Birds have gone 48-38 against the Nats since the team moved to Washington in 2005, including 26-17 against them at home. The Orioles have gone 4-3 in interleague play this season and own an all-time record of 219-251 against NL opponents in the regular season.

Sunday marked Baltimore's third consecutive one-run game, its longest streak since playing five straight one-run games from Sept. 1-6, 2021. The O's have played 22 one-run games this season - fourth in the AL and tied for fifth in the MLB - and they have gone 10-12 (.455) in these games. Of Baltimore's 22 one-run games, 17 have come against opponents who currently have a winning record, the most in the MLB, and the O's have gone 8-9 (.471) in these games.

Ryan Mountcastle is slashing .288/.342/.667 (19-for-66) with seven doubles, six home runs, 13 runs scored, 16 RBIs and a 1.009 OPS over 17 games in June, hitting safely in 13 of them. He ranks among AL leaders for the month in a variety of categories, ranking third in extra-base hits, tied for sixth in doubles, tied for seventh in slugging percentage, tied for ninth in total bases and tied for 10th in RBIs. Mountcastle leads the club with a .480 slugging percentage, and his 12 home runs rank tied for the team lead with Anthony Santander. With two home runs on June 15 at Toronto, Mountcastle became the fastest homegrown player in Orioles history to hit 50 career home runs (231 games).

Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman had just two extra-base hits in his first 15 major league games and now has six in his last nine games. In that span, Rutschman is batting .313 (10-for-32) with an OPS of .934. He has five doubles, a homer and four RBIs with three multi-hit games those last nine contests.

Right-hander Jordan Lyles (4-5, 5.10 ERA), who was scratched from his scheduled start Sunday due to a stomach bug, will be on the mound tonight in the series opener, making his 14th start. Lyles seemed to take a small step forward with his pitching in last Tuesday's win at Rogers Centre, where he allowed four runs in 5 1/3 against Toronto. The Orioles are 5-8 in his 13 appearances this year, including a mark of 2-6 over the past eight.

Lyles is 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA in five home starts and has yet to allow a homer in 30 2/3 innings at Oriole Park. He has allowed two or fewer earned runs in four of his five starts at home this season and three of his four quality starts have come at Camden Yards. In eight starts on the road, he is 3-4 with a 6.70 ERA, allowing 10 homers in 41 2/3 innings.

Righty Erick Fedde (4-5, 4.88 ERA) gets the ball for Washington and will make his 14th start. In 62 2/3 innings he has recorded a WHIP of 1.564 with a 1.0 homer rate, 4.5 walk rate and 7.3 strikeout rate. The Nats are 7-6 in his outings. Over his last four starts, Fedde is 1-2 with an ERA of 8.47, allowing a .361 average and .899 OPS. In two career games versus the Orioles, he is 1-0 with an ERA of 0.79.

On the farm today: The low Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds roster underwent big changes this afternoon. Per the team announcement, these players were added to the Delmarva roster:

* OF Elio Prado reinstated from the IL.

* C Michael Mantecon from high Single-A Aberdeen.

* These players join Delmarva from the rookie-level Florida Complex League roster, including RHPs Darlin Alcantara, Dylan Heid and Yaqui Rivera, LHP Deivy Cruz and IF Anthony Servideo.

Subtracted from the Delmarva roster:

* RHPs Thomas Girard, Dan Hammer and Nick Richmond transferred to Aberdeen.

* OF Stiven Acevedo transferred to FCL Orioles along with C Brayan Hernandez, and IFs Roberto Martinez and Moises Ramirez also were sent to the FCL.

* C Andres Angulo has been reinstated from the Delmarva IL and transferred to Aberdeen.




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