When David Lough charged down the line for the winning run on Wednesday night, it not only gave the Orioles an important victory, but it provided them with their first series win all year against an American League Central opponent.
Until they took two of three from Chicago, the Orioles had lost four and tied two series this year against the Central. In order, they went 1-2 at Detroit, 1-2 against Kansas City, 1-2 at Minnesota, 0-3 at home against Detroit, 2-2 at Kansas City and 2-2 against Cleveland.
Today, it’s back to games against the AL East as the O’s host Tampa Bay in a day-night doubleheader that starts at 1:05 p.m. The Orioles are 6-0-2 in their last eight AL East series, not losing one since dropping two of three against Toronto from April 11-13.
Since beginning the year 4-5 in AL East games, the Orioles are 17-8 for a .680 winning percentage.
The Orioles are 21-13 in AL East games for the season and they are 7-1 against Tampa Bay one year after going 6-13 against the Rays.
Meanwhile, T.J. McFarland is a pitcher on a roll right now, in case you have not noticed.
He threw two scoreless innings on just 16 pitches Tuesday night. He has thrown four straight scoreless outings, covering 7 1/3 innings.
“Yeah, I’ve been throwing strikes and things have been coming together on the mound mechanically and it’s been paying off,” McFarland said. “Definitely great defense behind me the last couple outings and I’ve gotten a lot of ground balls, so that’s been helping.”
Six of his seven appearances this month have been scoreless and McFarland has allowed one run over 14 2/3 June innings for an ERA of 0.61. He also a ground-to-air out ratio of 3.00 this month.
He said a recent mechanics tweak has helped his sinker.
“Just made everything sharper and been getting on top of the ball more. Just trying to keep getting outs and giving our team a chance to win.”
He has pitched at different times in the game recently and not just in a long-relief role. He’s ready for anything.
“That is the way it is down there. When the phone rings, it could be anybody and you have to be prepared,” McFarland said.
Sisco kid: Single-A Delmarva catcher Chance Sisco has a sizzling bat going right now. He had two more hits last night, giving the Orioles’ 2013 second-round pick five straight multi-hit games. Sisco, the club’s No. 10 prospect according to Baseball America, is 13-for-19 (.684) with three doubles and eight RBIs during that stretch.
In 21 games this month, the 19-year-old is batting .427 with eight doubles, a homer, 17 RBIs and a 1.079 OPS. In 56 games for the Shorebirds this season, Sisco is batting .342 with three homers, 32 RBIs, a .465 slugging percentage and an .881 OPS.