O’s game blog: Orioles road trip begins at Fenway Park

Will going on the road be good for Orioles pitchers? So far in 2019, they’ve been much better and allowed fewer homers on the road than at home.

During the season-opening 4-2 trip to Yankee Stadium and Rogers Centre, O’s pitchers allowed six homers and posted an ERA of 4.33. During the just-completed 1-6 homestand they yielded 28 homers with an ERA of 8.29.

Right-hander David Hess (1-1, 2.70 ERA) gets the start tonight to open a four-game series at Boston. For the year, Hess has thrown 13 1/3 innings allowing six hits and four runs with five walks, 12 strikeouts and a WHIP of 0.825.

Hess had an ERA over 6.00 entering August last year. But since Aug. 3, 2018 he is 2-5 with a 3.13 ERA over 11 starts with five quality starts. In 14 career games versus AL East opponents, Hess is 4-5 with a 3.36 ERA. In nine career road games against the AL East, he is 2-3 with a 2.61 ERA.

Hess-Incredulous-Gray-sidebar.jpgHess is throwing with a velocity increase this year. Per BrooksBaseball.net, his fastball averaged 92.5 mph last year and is at 93.9 this season. He has averaged 93.9 and 93.8 mph over his two 2019 starts.

Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (0-2, 12.38 ERA) will make his third start for Boston. The Red Sox are 0-2 in his games where he has thrown eight combined innings allowing 16 hits and 12 runs (11 earned) with a WHIP of 2.750. At Fenway Park last year he was 7-4 with a 3.70 ERA.

In five starts last season versus the Orioles, Rodriguez was 3-0 with a 1.31 ERA and 24 strikeouts to four walks over 20 2/3 innings. In 15 career games (13 starts) he is 6-5 with 3.74 ERA and WHIP of 1.246. Baltimore batters have a slash line of .247/.298/.381 against the former Oriole.

Where the Orioles rank in the American League
* Batting average of .229 (11)
* Runs scored of 58 (tie 4)
* OBP of .296 (12)
* Slugging is .373 (11)
* Batter strikeouts, total of 108 (10th most)
* Walks drawn, 37 (12th fewest)
* Team ERA of 6.50 (14)
* Starters ERA of 5.40 (12)
* Bullpen ERA of 7.50 (15)

The Orioles went 4-2 on that opening trip, going 2-0 in two series. In 2018, they went 3-21-2 in 26 road series when they started the season 3-17 in their first 20 games on the road.

The Orioles have lost seven of eight games since their 4-1 start. They lost three in a row to Oakland, allowing 31 runs. Boston is 1-1 on its current homestand and 4-9 on the season. The Red Sox trailed Toronto 5-0 in the third inning last night but rallied to win 7-6. Boston began the year on the road going 1-3 at Seattle and Oakland and 1-2 at Arizona. Boston’s starting pitchers have an ERA of 8.79 to rank 15th and last in the AL.

Draft note: The Orioles will have the No. 1 pick in the MLB draft in June and Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman is obviously getting heavy consideration to be their pick.

Heading into the weekend, Rutschman has played 31 games and is batting .426/.580/.842 with 12 homers and 40 RBIs. He is 11-for-23 during his current six-game hitting streak with four homers and 11 RBIs.

Farm notes: The Orioles are sending four pretty solid pitchers out on the farm tonight with lefty Keegan Akin starting at Triple-A Norfolk, righty Hunter Harvey for Double-A Bowie, lefty DL Hall for Single-A Frederick and right-hander Grayson Rodriguez for Single-A Delmarva. Harvey, Hall and Rodriguez were first round draft picks.

Bowie lost 2-0 to Harrisburg last night and the Baysox were no-hit by starter Erick Fedde and two relievers. It was the first time Bowie was no-hit since by Akron on July 7, 2003. Norfolk is 1-7 and has lost six in a row. Delmarva is 5-1 and has a team ERA of 1.93. Rodriguez fanned 10 over five scoreless innings in his first start.

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