O's game blog: Trying to end a losing streak

Orioles prospect Ryan Mountcastle makes his major league debut tonight as the Orioles host Boston at 7:35 p.m. Mountcastle, the 2019 International League MVP and O's Minor League Player of the Year, will bat sixth and play in left field.

Last year at Triple-A Norfolk, he batted .312/.344/.527 with 35 doubles, a triple, 25 homers, 83 RBIs and an OPS of .871. He led the International League in hits (162) and total bases (274).

Here is where Mountcastle has been ranked over the years by Baseball America on the O's top 30 and the publication's top 100 lists:

* End of 2016 - No. 7
* End of 2017 - No. 3
* End of 2018 - No. 2 (and No. 71 in the top 100)
* End of 2019 - No. 3 (and No. 90 in the top 100)
* Offseason before this year - No. 5
* In season after 2020 draft - No. 6.

The Red Sox scored three early runs last night and added four in the ninth to beat the Orioles 7-1 to start a four-game series. The Orioles have been outscored 33-17 during a five-game losing streak and are 1-6 in their past seven. The Birds are 12-13 overall and 5-7 within the American League East.

Boston (8-18) snapped a nine-game losing streak Wednesday and won a second in a row last night. During the losing streak, Boston pitching allowed 86 runs and gave up eight runs or more seven times. The Red Sox are 4-8 on the road and 5-15 versus the AL East.

Boston is 9-3-2 in its last 14 series against the Orioles, dating to September of 2017 and they are 20-4 in their last 24 games at Oriole Park.

Means-Delivers-Black-Sidebar.jpgOn the mound tonight, lefty John Means (0-1, 10.57 ERA) will make his fourth start. The Orioles were hoping he could pitch through two innings in his start last against Washington, but he was knocked out in the first inning. He gave up three runs and four hits over two-thirds of an inning, throwing 32 pitches.

Means made five starts in 2019 against Boston and went 3-1 with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.071 WHIP. Means has faced AL East opponents in 17 games (12 starts) throughout his career. He holds a 7-4 record and 4.89 ERA in those games. AL East opponents are batting .251 against him. In 21 career games (19 starts) at home, Means is 8-6 with a 3.34 ERA, compared to 4-6 with a 5.29 ERA in 14 games (11 starts) on the road.

Right-hander Colten Brewer (0-1, 4.50 ERA) will serve as an opener for the Red Sox tonight and make his second career start. This year, over eight games and one start, he has thrown 14 innings, allowing 15 hits with eight walks and 15 strikeouts. His WHIP is 1.643 and he holds a 5.1 walk rate and 9.6 strikeout rate. He threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings against the Orioles in the first series of the year in Boston.

O's right fielder Anthony Santander extended his current hitting streak to 15 games Thursday to mark a career high, passing his 12-game stretch from Aug. 25-Sept. 7, 2019. Santander is hitting .354 (22-for-62) with seven home runs, seven doubles, a triple and 18 RBIs in this 15-game stretch since the nightcap of an Aug. 5 doubleheader. It is the longest hitting streak by an Oriole since Trey Mancini's 17-game hitting streak from Sept. 11-29, 2017.

Santander has reached base in the first inning of the last seven games with three home runs. During that span, in the opening frame he is 6-for-6 with a double, three homers, four RBIs and a walk.

Longest current Major League Baseball hitting streaks:

15 - Santander, Orioles
11 - Alex Verdugo, Boston
10 - Anthony Rendon Los Angeles Angels and Luke Voit, New York Yankees

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