O’s game blog: Wade Miley pitches Oakland series opener

After they lost two of three to the Los Angeles Angels, losing the last two games of that series, the Orioles host the Oakland Athletics tonight to start a three-game series.

At 60-64, the Orioles have lost four of their last five and eight of last 12 games. They are 0-3-1 in the last four series, even after winning the opening game of all four sets. For the season, the Orioles are 21-20 in series-opening games and 13-7 in such games at home. They are 36-25 at Oriole Park and 12-6-2 in 20 home series.

The Orioles are four games behind for the second American League wild card spot. Minnesota and Los Angeles are tied for that spot and those two teams are 1 ½ games ahead of Kansas City and Seattle, 2 ½ ahead of Texas and four games up on both Baltimore and Tampa Bay. Toronto is five games back.

Oakland is 54-70, which is the second-worst record in the AL, ahead of only Chicago. The A’s are 20-39 in road games and, like the Orioles, have lost eight of their past 12 contests. The A’s and Orioles split a four-game series during the O’s recent West Coast swing.

miley-white-follow-through-close.jpgOrioles lefty Wade Miley (6-10, 5.21 ERA) will make his 26th start tonight. In two starts on that trip, he went seven innings allowing one unearned run on three hits on Aug. 10 versus Oakland. In his last start on Aug. 15 at Seattle, he went 4 2/3 innings and allowed five hits and three runs.

In the three starts before the game in Seattle, Miley had gone 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA, allowing four earned runs over 17 innings. But in the 10 starts before that span he went 2-6 with a 9.69 ERA. The Orioles are 13-12 in his 25 starts. In 11 home starts, Miley is 2-4 with a 4.94 ERA.

Right-hander Chris Smith (0-2, 5.26 ERA) will make his eighth appearance and seventh start for the A’s. He took the loss Aug. 10 versus Miley and the Orioles, allowing five runs in six innings. He gave up four homers that night, as Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo connected and Trey Mancini homered twice. The 35-year-old Smith has pitched in three road games, going 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA.

The start time for Sept. 10 at Cleveland has been moved from 1:10 p.m. to 8:05 p.m. ET. This is due to the selection of the game for ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.” This marks the Orioles’ first “Sunday Night Baseball” appearance since Sept. 13, 2015 versus Kansas City. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Orioles are 13-17 all-time when appearing on “Sunday Night Baseball.”

In 19 games since joining the Orioles on Aug. 1, infielder Tim Beckham is hitting .438 (35-for-80) with eight doubles, two triples, five home runs and 12 RBIs and has at least one hit in 17 of his first 19 games with the O’s, including each of the first 12. According to STATS, LLC., Beckham was one of three Orioles with a hitting streak of at least 12 games to begin their O’s career, joining David Newhan (15 games, 2004) and Javy Lopez (13 games, 2004).

Oakland has committed a major league-high 99 errors and leads the majors allowing 73 unearned runs. The A’s rank second in the AL in most stolen bases allowed with 92. The A’s have lost six of their last seven games at Camden Yards.

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