O’s game blog: Andrew Cashner pitches series opener with the Yankees

After a 1-5 road trip where the Orioles lost the last two games in Cleveland, the club begins a one series, four-game homestand tonight. The Orioles host the New York Yankees in the series opener.

The O’s offense produced 12 runs on 20 hits on Thursday and Friday in Cleveland with six doubles and four homers, and Baltimore batters went 6-for-17 with runners in scoring position. But in the last two games they scored one run on six hits with a team batting average of .102 (6-for-59). Their only extra-base hit was a Trey Mancini homer on Saturday. So the Orioles have gone scoreless over the last 14 innings as this series begins.

cashner-delivers-white-sidebar.jpgOn the mound tonight, right-hander Andrew Cashner (4-2, 4.10 ERA) will make his 10th start. The Orioles are 5-4 in his starts, but 0-3 in the past three. Cashner’s last win was April 23 versus the White Sox.

But the right-hander has been pitching well with two-consecutive quality starts, allowing three runs and eight hits over 12 innings. He has three quality starts his past four outings with a 3.13 ERA. In that span, Cashner has allowed eight runs and 19 hits over 23 innings. In three starts at OPACY, he is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA.

Cashner got a start in Game 2 of Wednesday’s doubleheader at New York and gave up two runs over six innings. He has made three starts already in 2019 versus the Yankees with an 0-2 record and 7.20 ERA.

Left-hander J.A. Happ (3-3, 4.44 ERA) goes for the Yankees, making his 10th start. He has a 1.192 WHIP, has walked 2.2 per nine innings with 6.8 strikeouts allowing 2.0 homers. The Yankees are 6-3 in his starts, winning five of the past six.

Happ has made three starts this season versus the Orioles, going 1-1 with a 5.93 ERA and has given up five homers over 13 2/3 innings. In Wednesday’s doubleheader, he started Game 1 and was the winning pitcher allowing three runs over 5 1/3 on 64 pitches.

The Orioles (15-31) have lost five of six, nine of 11 and 15 of the last 20 games. They are 6-15 at home and 1-5-1 in home series. Since winning their first two series of the year, the team has one series win when they took two of three from the Chicago White Sox April 22-24.

The Yankees (28-17) lead the AL East by a 1/2-game over Tampa Bay after taking of three from the Rays each of the last two weekends. That is the majors fourth-best record behind Houston (31-16), Minnesota (30-16) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (31-17).

New York is 10-3 the past 13 games and 20-7 since April 19, the best record in MLB in that span. They’ve lost consecutive games just once since April 13. Since April 19, they have gained ground on Tampa Bay going 20-7 to the Rays 13-12 in that time.

Lowther honored: Double-A Bowie lefty Zac Lowther has been named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week. He started two games for the Baysox last week and had a record of 2-0 with 15 strikeouts and a 0.00 ERA. He had games of 7 2/3 and five scoreless innings. Lowther is 4-3 with an ERA of 1.91 over eight starts, for the third-best ERA in the EL. His ERA is 0.75 his last four games with three scoreless outings. Lowther is working on a scoreless run of 15 2/3 innings.

Single-A Delmarva won its 32nd game of the season yesterday, improving to 32-9. The Shorebirds 32 wins and .780 winning percentage rank as the best in all of minor league baseball’s 120 full-season teams). Delmarva pitchers own an average of 10.87 strikeouts/9, best among Orioles affiliates and third-best in Single-A/ Their .255 team batting average ranks tied for the second-best in Single-A and their .980 fielding percentage is tops among teams in Single-A and their 29 errors are second-fewest.

The Orioles today released right-hander Lucas Long, a 2017 Double-A Eastern League All-Star for Bowie. The 26-year-old Long was a round 24 draft pick in 2014. He was 0-2 with a 9.53 ERA this year in seven games for Triple-A Norfolk.

O’s winning percentage this year by division

.391 vs. AL East (9-14)
.250 vs. AL Cent (4-12)
.286 vs. AL West (2-5)

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