O's game blog: The Texas series begins

ARLINGTON, Tex. – After losing two of three at Boston and allowing nine runs each game, the Orioles will look for immediate improvement in their pitching and defense tonight. Baltimore opens a three-game series at Globe Life Field against the Rangers.

The O’s scored 23 runs but allowed 27 at Boston and lost the last two days to the Red Sox by 9-8 and 9-5 scores.

Tonight right-hander Kyle Bradish (4-7, 4.90 ERA in 2022) will make his 2023 season debut. Bradish pitched 117 2/3 last season allowing 119 hits and pitching to a WHIP of 1.402 with a 3.5 walk rate and 8.5 strikeout rate. Bradish had six quality starts among his 23 starts and averaged 16.9 pitches per inning.

The Orioles went 14-9 in his starts last season and went 9-4 in his last 13 when he produced a very strong finish. After coming off the injured list in late July, Bradish was 3-3 with a 3.28 ERA in his last 13 games, allowing a .607 OPS. In his last eight starts of 2022, he pitched four quality starts and three scoreless outings, going 3-2 with a 2,76 ERA allowing a .169 batting average and .500 OPS. He gave up just two homers over 45 2/3 innings in those games and allowed two runs or less five times.

Bradish faced Texas just once last season and it was at Globe Life Field, where he allowed one run and three hits over five innings on Aug. 3 on 93 pitches.

The Orioles went 6-0 against the Rangers last season, their first sweep of a season series against a single opponent since 2020 against the Phillies (3-0) and their first season sweep of at least six games against a single opponent since 2010 against Los Angeles-AL (6-0), That marked Baltimore's first season sweep of any length against Texas, and the first time the Rangers had ever been swept in a season series by an American League opponent.

O's batters have slugged seven home runs through the first three games, tied for the most in team history at this point of the year with the 2006 club. The most home runs through Baltimore's first four games of a season is nine by the 1966 squad and the 2000 team.

Right-hander Jon Gray (7-7, 3.96 ERA in 24 starts in 2022) pitched 127 1/3 innings for Texas last season allowing 105 hits with a 1.131 WHIP, 2.8 walk rate and 9.5 K rate. He was their Opening Day starter last year.

He went 4-1 with a 3.35 ERA in eight home starts and was 1-3 with a 4.54 ERA in eight starts in the second half. He struggled in the first innings of his games, allowing a 7.12 ERA, .869 OPS against and six homers in that frame.

Lefty batters hit him much better last year batting .248 with a .731 OPS while right-handers hit just .201/.602 against Gray.

finished 3-1 with a 1.02 ERA (5 R-2 ER/17.2 IP) over 5 G/4 GS this spring, posting 4 BB/14 SO with a 0.85 WHIP and .177 opponent batting average…was scratched from a scheduled start on 3/3 vs. SF (back stiffness), but made all other starts with no issues…

While the Orioles (1-2) lost their opening series at Fenway Park, Texas was at home and swept the Philadelphia Phillies by scores of 11-7, 16-3 and last night 2-1.

Last night's game marked the Rangers’ first Globe Life Field appearance on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. The last Rangers appearance came had been April 15, 2018 at Houston. Before yesterday, the last time Texas was on SNB in at home in Arlington was May 19, 2013 vs. Detroit.

The Rangers are one of three American League teams and also three in baseball that are 3-0 right now joining Tampa Bay and Minnesota. 

The Rangers are 3-0 for the first time since 2011, a season in which they won the AL championship. Playing under first-year manager Bruce Bochy, Texas is three games over the .500 mark for the first time since August of 2019. 


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