O’s game blog: Orioles host the White Sox in series opener

After being swept in a three-game series for the second time this year, the Orioles host the Chicago White Sox tonight to begin a three-game series. The Orioles (8-15) are 1-9 at home and have lost six straight at Camden Yards. Chicago (8-12) is 5-4 over its past nine games.

The White Sox are 4-0 at night and 4-12 in day games. That’s a lot of games in the sunshine so far for the Sox. The Orioles are 4-8 at night and 4-7 in day baseball. Chicago is 2-4 against the AL East, going 0-3 versus Tampa Bay and 2-1 against New York. The Sox are 12-4 in their last 16 road games against AL East teams, dating to 2018.

Orioles right-hander David Hess (1-3, 5.57 ERA) will make his fifth start of the year this evening. On Wednesday versus Tampa Bay, Hess went just two innings plus two batters and allowed eight hits, including three home runs and six runs.

Hess-Set-White-sidebar.jpgThe Rays really teed off on him. Their first five batters put balls in play at 97 or more mph with four of them over 100 as they scored three in the first. Tampa Bay went 8-for-13 versus Hess for the game and put nine balls in play at 100 mph or more in a pretty stunning display with the lumber.

Since he threw 6 1/3 no-hit innings April 1 at Toronto, Hess has made three starts. He has pitched 12 2/3 innings allowing 19 hits, 13 runs and seven homers

Right-handed batters hit just .212 against him but lefty batters are hitting .321 with an OPS of 1.095 off the right-hander. The Orioles are 1-3 in his starts.

Acquired in a trade with the Dodgers in November, left-hander Manny Bañuelos (1-0, 3.48 ERA) gets the start for the White Sox. He’s made four appearances this season, all in relief. He got the win in his last outing on Monday versus Kansas City, allowing one run in three innings. For the year he’s thrown 10 innings and has given up seven hits and four runs with seven walks, nine strikeouts and with a WHIP of 1.355.

Bañuelos has made just 11 MLB appearances between the 2015 Braves and 2019 White Sox. Tonight will be his first start since he took the mound for Atlanta at Washington on Sept. 6, 2015. Lefty batters are 1-for-12 (.083) against him this season while right-handers are 6-for-21 (.286). He has never faced the Orioles.

The Orioles lead the majors in team caught stealing percentage at 64.3 percent (9-for-14). The Colorado Rockies are next at 45.5 (5-for-11).

Chicago’s Tim Anderson leads the AL with a .418 average, the third-highest mark by a White Sox player after 20 team games since at least 1913. Anderson also leads the AL in stolen bases (9) and ranks among the leaders in OBP (3rd, .443), OPS (4th, 1.085), hits (T5th) and slugging percentage (8th, .642).

Mountcastle honored: Triple-A Norfolk’s Ryan Mountcastle has been named the International League’s batter of the week. Over the week, Mountcastle hit .370 and led the IL with four home runs, eleven RBIs, eight runs scored, 24 total bases and a .889 slugging percentage. Mountcastle collected multiple hits in four games and each time one of the hits was a long ball. The eleven runs he drove in bring his season total to 17, second-most in the league.

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