O's game blog: Looking to end the road trip with a three-game sweep

bradish and rutschman

The Orioles' West Coast road trip began with an impressive series win at Seattle against a red-hot Mariners team, and they won the last two games of the series in 10 innings. They lost two of three at San Diego, but a win today would give them a three-game sweep at Oakland to end the trip.

A winning road trip is already secured and so is a series win at Oakland. But they will end the trip at 6-3 with a victory this afternoon.

The Orioles (76-47) have a chance to go 30 games over the .500 mark today and take a 2 1/2 game lead over the Tampa Ray Rays atop the American League East. Toronto is 8 1/2 games back with Boston 11 behind and New York 16 games out.

The Orioles scored eight runs in three games in Seattle, scored nine runs in three at San Diego and have scored 16 runs in the first two games at Oakland. They have 25 hits in this series with five doubles, a triple and three homers.

They have gone 8-for-22 (.364) with runners in scoring position this series after going 8-for-34 (.235) with RISP the first six games on the trip.

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Orioles and Athletics lineups to finish series

henderson and hays

OAKLAND – Anthony Santander is out of the lineup again this afternoon, as the Orioles conclude their 10-day road trip and attempt to sweep the Athletics.

Santander is day-to-day with back soreness.

Ryan McKenna is in right field and Gunnar Henderson is the designated hitter. Austin Hays is in left field and batting cleanup.

Jordan Westburg moves down from fourth to seventh. He’s starting at second base, with Ramón Urías at third and Jorge Mateo handling shortstop.

Ryan Mountcastle extended his on-base streak to 25 games last night. Jonathan Schoop is the last Oriole with a 26-game streak in 2017.

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Henderson's 20th home run highlights Orioles' 9-4 win over Athletics (updated)

henderson homer oakland

OAKLAND – Using an opener tonight didn’t work for the Athletics. Bringing in a rookie behind him didn’t work.

The idea of a Jerry Garcia tie-dye promotion also backfired, with the Orioles truckin’ around the bases.

The Orioles scored three times in the first inning, built on their lead with Gunnar Henderson’s long two-run homer in the second, and defeated the Athletics 9-4 before an announced crowd of 8,942 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Henderson had three hits and three RBIs by the fourth inning, and the Orioles improved to 75-47 overall, 39-24 on the road, 27-13 in series openers and 16-5 in openers away from Camden Yards.

The win also assured that they would go 79 consecutive series without being swept. They still lead the Rays by two games in the division.

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O's game blog: Kyle Gibson faces Oakland in the series opener

kyle gibson pitching gray

After an off-day, the Orioles' road trip moves on to Oakland tonight for the start of a three-game weekend series. 

The Orioles (74-47) lead the American League East by two games over Tampa Bay, which also plays on the West Coast tonight against the Los Angeles Angels. 

The Orioles lost their last two games at San Diego. But over longer stretches they have won four of seven, 11 of 17, 17 of 27, 25 of 37 and 26 of 40. Playing .612 ball, the Orioles have the best record in the AL and third-best in MLB behind the Braves and Dodgers. 

Oakland (34-87) has had a miserable season pretty much since the start of the year. They began the season going 3-16 and 5-23.

It has gotten a bit better recently, with Oakland going 22-37 (.373) over the last 59 games dating back to June 6 after going 12-50 (.194) over the first 62 contests. Oakland is playing .281 baseball after 121 games. At this pace they would finish the year at 46-116. The last two Major League teams to finish with a winning percentage under .290 are the 2003 Tigers (43-119, .265) and 1962 Mets (40-120, .250).

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Orioles shut out in bid for series sweep (updated)

rutschman tagged out

The writing seemed to appear on the wall early today. Not the one in left field that robs home runs. The proverbial wall with clues to the game’s outcome.

Gunnar Henderson registered the first two outs by charging a bunt and throwing across his body, and diving to his left to corral a ground ball. Two batters, two more reasons to believe that Henderson is going to be special.

That part was accurate.

The Orioles immediately staged a rally in the bottom of the first inning but failed to score. And they failed to take a lead today or complete the series sweep against a team with the worst record in the American League.

Don’t always trust the wall.

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O's game blog: Orioles look for sweep in Oakland series finale

spenser watkins white

The Orioles win on Friday night over Oakland, by a 5-2 score, came with the help of three late runs in the eighth inning. Their 8-1 win last night came via early offense as they built a 6-1 lead by the fourth inning.

Today, the Orioles (71-61) go for a series sweep of Oakland. They have swept two three-game series this year, both versus Texas, at home July 4-6 and at Texas Aug. 1-3. They swept a four-game series July 7-10 versus the Los Angeles Angels at Camden Yards.

The Orioles are looking for their first sweep of the A's since a four-game set in Baltimore from Aug. 14-17, 2015, and their first season series victory over Oakland since 2017 (4-3). The teams have split six games this year. 

Baltimore begins play today 1 1/2 games behind Toronto for the final American League wild-card berth, and they are 3 1/2 games back for the first and second wild card spots.

The eight runs last night were the most by the Orioles since their 15-10 win over Boston Aug. 19.

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Orioles lineup vs. Athletics

henderson and santander

The Orioles will go for the sweep of the Athletics today with Gunnar Henderson starting at second base for the second time in the majors.

Henderson is 6-for-15 with two doubles, one home run, one RBI, a stolen base and two runs scored in his four major league games. His four-game hitting streak is the longest by an Oriole to begin his career since Joey Rickard (seven) from April 4-12, 2016.

Adley Rutschman is the designated hitter. Ramón Urías is playing third base.

Cedric Mullins hit his 50th career home run last night. He’s in center field again today.

Anthony Santander, starting in right field, is the first Orioles switch-hitter with 25 home runs in a season since Bobby Bonilla hit 28 in 1996.

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Late rally Sunday provides momentum for road trip

Robinson Chirinos hugs Rougned Odor white

OAKLAND – The Orioles will play in Oakland tonight to start a 10-game road trip that will take them to both coasts and produce series against the Athletics, Angels and Yankees. It will be challenging, but at least they start it on a high note after Sunday’s 5-0 shutout win over the Yankees in Baltimore.

If you were among the large number of fans wondering how much longer they could go without getting clutch hits, the answer was seven more innings as Sunday’s game began. But after going 3-for-30 in the three games before yesterday with runners in scoring position and 7-for-77 for the year through eight games, they finally came through.

And it was the oft-criticized Rougned Odor whose two-run single opened the floodgates, so to speak, and the Orioles got three straight hits with RISP after being 7-for-83 for the year as Odor stood in to pinch-hit in the eighth of a 0-0 tie.

The Orioles beat the Yankees in the series, also winning in 11 innings Friday night. Who knows what might have happened this weekend at the Yard without the hail on Saturday night, which altered the O’s pitching plans.

Speaking of pitching, since Friday, when we pretty much found out lefty John Means would be out for a significant period of time, O’s starters have allowed one earned run. So far – yes, in the smallest of samples – they stepped up.

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Opposite dugout: Power-packed A's in hunt for AL West crown, wild card

Opposite dugout: Power-packed A's in hunt for AL West crown, wild card
Manager: Bob Melvin (8th season) Record: 87-57 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: 3B Matt Chapman (.280 with 22 HR, 53 RBIs), 2B Jed Lowrie (.274 with 21 HR, 89 RBIs), RF Stephen Piscotty (23 HR, 74 RBIs), DH Khris Davis (41 HR, 108 RBIs), 1B Matt Olson (25 HR), RHP Mike Fiers (11-6, 3.36 ERA), RHP Blake Treinen (37 saves, 0.93 ERA). Season series vs. Orioles: 3-0 Pitching probables: Sept. 11: RHP Mike Fiers (11-6) vs. RHP Alex Cobb (5-15), 7:05 p.m., MASN2 Sept. 12: TBA vs. RHP Andrew Cashner...
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Defending World Series champion Astros remain favorites in AL West

Defending World Series champion Astros remain favorites in AL West
Who says rebuilding lasts forever? It only seems to be the case. The Astros, who had 100-loss seasons each year from 2011 to 2013, won their first World Series last season. This season, they are the favorite to win the American League West. And they could be the first team since the 1999-2000 New York Yankees to win consecutive World Series. In the rest of the AL West, the stories are the same. The Mariners, Angels, Athletics and Rangers have potent lineups, but rotation questions. The...
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Zach Britton on his left knee and other clubhouse quotes

Zach Britton on his left knee and other clubhouse quotes
After playing over four hours, blowing leads of five runs and two runs, but winning on a walk-off extra innings homer, the Orioles emerged with a victory today but also some concern over their closer. And not necessarily because left-hander Zach Britton finally blew a save for the first time since Sept. 20, 2015. But because after the game it was revealed that a left knee injury has been bothering Britton recently. He will have an MRI on the knee tomorrow. "Gosh, I've probably had it since...
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Manny Machado's walk-off HR gives O's win over Oakland

Manny Machado's walk-off HR gives O's win over Oakland
The Orioles lost leads of 6-1 and 7-5, but they didn't lose this game. In fact, they won it in walk-off fashion, but it took awhile. After Oakland tied the game in the ninth off Zach Britton, the Orioles won it in the 12th inning when Manny Machado led off with a homer to left-center that just made it into the stands. That gave the Orioles an 8-7 win as they improved to 10-2 in extra innings. Machado hit No. 28 on a 1-1 slider from Simon Castro. He has seven homers and 18 RBIs over his last 11...
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O's game blog: Dylan Bundy pitches Oakland series finale

O's game blog: Dylan Bundy pitches Oakland series finale
Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy has been pretty good when pitching on extra rest this year. He takes the mound today with 10 days rest as he tries to pitch the Orioles past Oakland in the third and deciding game of this series. Bundy's last start was Aug. 12 against the same Oakland team he faces today. He got the win that night, allowing three runs over six innings. In his last three starts, Bundy is 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA. In four starts with six days or more rest in 2017, Bundy is 3-1 with a...
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Opposite dugout: After selling at last month's deadline, Oakland focused on future

Opposite dugout: After selling at last month's deadline, Oakland focused on future
Manager: Bob Melvin (7th year) Record: 54-70 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: LF Khris Davis (33 HR, 86 RBIs), CF Rajai Davis (.236, 26 stolen bases), 2B Jed Lowrie (.271/.346/.435), RHP Paul Blackburn (3.46 ERA), RHP Blake Trienen (2.65 ERA, 3 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: 2-2 Pitching probables: Aug. 21: RHP Chris Smith vs. LHP Wade Miley, 7:05 p.m., MASNAug. 22: RHP Paul Blackburn vs. RHP Ubaldo Jiménez, 7:05 p.m., MASNAug. 23: LHP Sean Manaea vs. RHP Dylan Bundy, 3:05 p.m.,...
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Opposite dugout: Trading off assets means A's are focused on future

Opposite dugout: Trading off assets means A's are focused on future
Manager: Bob Melvin (7th season) Record: 50-64 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 2B Jed Lowrie (.271 with 33 doubles, 110 hits), LF Khris Davis (.242 with 31 HR, 80 RBIs), DH Ryon Healy (.255 with 21 HR, 63 RBIs), LHP Sean Manaea (8-6, 4.15 ERA), RHP Santiago Casilla (2-5, 16 saves). Season series vs. Orioles: 1st meeting (4-3 in 2016) Pitching probables: Aug. 10: LHP Wade Miley vs. RHP Chris Smith, 10:05 p.m., MASN2Aug. 11: RHP Ubaldo Jiménez vs. RHP Paul Blackburn, 10:05 p.m., MASN2Aug. 12:...
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Astros and Rangers hope they have enough pitching to remain top of AL West

Astros and Rangers hope they have enough pitching to remain top of AL West
Spring training is gearing up, and in the American League West, the Astros and Rangers are expected to be the top two teams. But do the Astros have enough pitching? The same question goes for the Rangers. Seattle expects to contend as well, and Oakland, with a healthy rotation and deep bullpen, could be a surprise team. Here's a look at the pitching in the AL West: Houston: The Astros might have the best lineup in the American League, but the rotation appears thin. ... The X-factor is...
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Wrapping up 9-6 win (Ondrusek optioned, Hart joining Orioles)

Wrapping up 9-6 win (Ondrusek optioned, Hart joining Orioles)
OAKLAND - While confirming this morning that he was getting a day off and not dealing with a health issue, J.J. Hardy noted that the Orioles had won the last two games with Ryan Flaherty at shortstop. He playfully challenged the media to look it up while sifting through the dates in his head. Maybe he's onto something. Or perhaps the Orioles simply were due to break out to avoid being swept in Oakland. Mark Trumbo hit a grand slam and drove in five runs, Pedro Alvarez drove in three, Chris...
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A few notes on the offense after a breakout game at Oakland

A few notes on the offense after a breakout game at Oakland
When the Orioles scored three runs in the fourth inning today, they matched their total from the first three games in Oakland. In the fifth inning, they topped that on one swing. Mark Trumbo hit a fifth-inning grand slam and drove in five, while Pedro Alvarez added three RBIs, as the Orioles beat Oakland 9-6 to salvage the finale of the four-game series. They had scored three runs or fewer in three straight, six of eight, 11 of 16 and in 16 of 26 games since the All-Star break. But, the offense...
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Orioles and Athletics lineups

Orioles and Athletics lineups
OAKLAND - Ryan Flaherty is playing shortstop today for the Orioles, making his first start since July 24. He doesn't have an at-bat since July 30. Chris Davis has returned to the cleanup spot, followed by Mark Trumbo. According to STATS, LLC., second baseman Jonathan Schoop owns the second-longest active games started streak in the majors with 113, trailing the Royals' Alcides Escobar with 122. Schoop is the only player in the majors to play every inning and each out of his team's games this...
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O's game blog: Chris Tillman will try to stop another losing streak

O's game blog: Chris Tillman will try to stop another losing streak
He will certainly need some run support to do the job this afternoon, but once again Chris Tillman (14-4, 3.50 ERA) will try to stop an Orioles losing streak. The right-hander has proven very adept at halting streaks this year. In fact, he has helped the club snap five streaks of three consecutive losses or more. He's done this three times alone in the last 31 games, and all three streaks were of at least four straight losses. The rundown:April 27: Pitched 6 2/3 scoreless against Tampa Bay,...
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