O’s game blog: Orioles begin a four-game set in the Bronx

The Orioles are about to begin the second leg of their two-city road trip. They got swept three straight at Houston and take a 1-5 record into tonight’s series opener in Yankee Stadium. The clubs will play a four-game series through Sunday.

The Yankees, who open with 13 straight within the AL East, are 4-2. They split four with Toronto and just swept two from Tampa Bay scoring 18 runs.

From 2014-16, the Orioles won the season series three straight years from the Yankees, going 13-6, 10-9 and 10-9. This was the first time the Orioles won three straight season series against New York since 1980-82. But New York won 12 of 19 last year versus the Orioles and went 8-2 at home.

The Yankees have won three straight series from the Orioles, going 8-2 in those 10 games. They have not won four straight series since they did so from Sept. 17, 2010 to July 31, 2011.

Cashner-Bears-Down-on-Mound-Sidebar.jpgRight-hander Andrew Cashner makes his second start as an Oriole tonight. He allowed three homers his season debut last Saturday night in the 6-2 to Minnesota at a chilly Camden Yards. Over five innings he gave up six hits and five runs (four earned), throwing 79 pitches. The three homers were the most he had given up since he yielded four on July 8, 2016 pitching for San Diego against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 28 starts for Texas last season, he allowed one homer or none 26 times.

“My sinker was kind of flat,” Cashner said after that game. “I think I needed to do a better job of getting on top of it. It’s not a great start, but there’s a lot to build off it. I was really excited (for the first start). I’ve just got to pitch better for us to be where we need to be. But it just comes down to making better pitches. I was surprised my sinkers didn’t run more.”

With Texas in 2017, he went 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA. He had a groundball rate among starters that ranked ninth in the American League at 48.6 and he tied for 11th in the league with 18 quality starts. He was also pitch-efficient, ranking seventh in the league at 15.8 pitches per inning. He was second in homer rate allowed at 0.89 per nine. He led all of the major leagues with a batting average against of .170 when pitching with runners in scoring position.

Cashner is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in three career starts against New York. Over 20 innings he walked three and fanned 12. In 11 career starts against opponents from the AL East, Cashner is 5-3 with a 2.63 ERA. He has held opponents in the division to a .217 batting average while striking out 40 and walking 23.

His mound opponent is right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. Last season he went 13-12 with a 4.74 ERA after going 14-4 with a 3.07 ERA in 2016.

Tananka got the start last Friday in his season debut at Toronto. He went six innings allowing three hits and one run with no walks and eight strikeouts. He threw 79 pitches and 40 were sliders on which he induced 11 swings and misses. Tanaka pitched well for New York in the 2017 playoffs, going 2-1 with a 0.90 ERA in three starts.

From Orioles PR: On this date in 1999, the Orioles won the season opener, 10-7, over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in front of 46,733 fans at Oriole Park. The first four hitters in the Orioles lineup (CF Brady Anderson, SS Mike Bordick, 1B Will Clark, and RF Albert Belle) combined for nine hits and nine RBIs, while right-hander Mike Mussina went five innings for the win.

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