O’s game blog: John Means gets the start against Boston

After Sunday’s rainout, the Orioles get back on the field tonight. The homestand, now down to eight games, continues as they open a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox.

The Orioles (12-22) beat Tampa Bay 3-0 Saturday night behind Dylan Bundy’s 7 1/3 innings. He threw 96 pitches in getting his first win of the year and first since Sept. 18. He snapped a career-long six-game losing streak.

Boston (17-18) scored 30 runs in winning the last three games of a series in Chicago against the White Sox. The Red Sox have scored 98 runs the last 16 games, for 6.1 per game. They are playing much better than when the Orioles split a four-game series in Boston April 12-15. They have won six of seven and 11 of the last 16 games. Boston is 6-7 versus the AL East and 9-11 in road games.

Orioles hitting notes:

* Jonathan Villar is 6-for-17 (.353) during a four-game hitting streak. Villar has hit .306 (15-for-49) with six doubles over his past 12 games.

* Trey Mancini is batting .362 (17-for-47) and has hit safely in 10 of his last 12 games. He went 2-for-4 on Saturday to record his 12th multi-hit game, which is tied with Villar for the team lead. Mancini is batting .500 (13-for-26) in the first inning. He has not homered over his past 19 games.

* Dwight Smith Jr. hit his sixth homer on Saturday to tie Renato Núñez and Mancini for the team lead. He leads the Orioles with 22 RBIs. Smith is 9-for-20 his past five games and has driven in 12 runs over his past 13 games.

* Hanser Alberto is batting .361 (13-for-36) his last 10 games.

* Stevie Wilkerson is batting .400 (6-for-15) during a four-game hitting streak with a homer and four RBIs.

Saturday marked just the Orioles second win when scoring three or fewer runs and they are now 3-18 when scoring four runs or less.

means-fires-white-sidebar.jpgLeft-hander John Means (3-3, 2.81 ERA) will make his ninth appearance and fifth start of 2019 tonight. In four games out of the bullpen, Means is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA, a 1.043 WHIP and 15.3 strikeouts per nine innings. In his four starts, he is 1-3 with a 3.50 ERA, 1.222 WHIP and 6.0 strikeouts per nine innings.

For the season, Means has pitched 25 2/3 innings, allowing 23 hits and eight earned runs. He’s given up four home runs with seven walks, 25 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.169. In four games (two starts) at Oriole Park, Means is 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA and he’s allowed one homer in 10 1/3 innings.

Means has allowed a .188 batting average and .715 OPS when pitching to left-handed batters, and marks of .244/.705 versus right-handers. He yields an average of .158 when pitching with runners in scoring position.

Right-hander Josh Smith (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will start for Boston. He has thrown one scoreless inning in the majors in 2019 and that was Friday at Chicago against the White Sox. In three starts this season at Triple-A, he went 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA. Over 16 2/3 innings he gave up 18 hits with five walks and 23 strikeouts.

News from the farm: Triple-A Norfolk’s Chance Sisco is the International League batter of the week. Sisco led the IL during the week with a .565 batting average, five home runs, 15 RBIs, 30 total bases, a .655 on-base percentage and a 1.304 slugging percentage. He improved his average on the year from .203 to .293. and his five home runs and 22 RBIs are tied for the team lead with Ryan Mountcastle.

The Single-A Frederick Keys announced that infielder Willy Yahn and right-handed pitcher Michael Baumann have been named the Carolina League’s Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week respectively for April 29-May 5. Yahn hit .524/.524/.952 with a 1.476 OPS in five games. During this time, he went 11-for-21 with two home runs, eight RBIs, three doubles and four runs scored.

Baumann threw 6 2/3 no-hit innings with a career-high 12 strikeouts on Tuesday against Wilmington. In four starts this season, Baumann has tallied a 3.86 ERA to go with 34 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings pitched (16.4 SO/9IP). Opponents are slashing just .211/.260/.310 with a .570 OPS against Baumann.

The Orioles today promoted infielder Mason McCoy from Frederick to Double-A Bowie. McCoy, 24, was one of the Carolina League’s best hitters over the first month. In 27 games, he slashed .379/.416/.509 with a .925 OPS to go with two home runs, 17 RBIs, nine doubles, 21 runs scored and three stolen bases. Going into Monday’s off day, McCoy is first in the CL in hitting and hits (44), tied for second in total bases (59) and runs scored, fourth in slugging percentage, tied for fourth in doubles, fifth in OPS and seventh in on-base percentage.

And last, but not least, Single-A Delmarva won again today. The Shorebirds beat Asheville 6-1 to complete a 7-0 road trip and improve to 24-4. Delmarva has the best winning percentage in all of the minors at .857 with Double-A Harrisburg next at .793 going 23-6.

Winning pitcher Ofelky Peralta gave up one run over five to improve to 2-0 with an ERA of 1.07. He’s fanned 35 in 25 1/3. Cadyn Grenier went 3-for-3 with two walks and two RBIs. Seamus Curran hit a 469-foot solo homer and JC Encarnacion added a two-run double.

Best records in each minor league classification:

AAA: El Paso .700 (21-9)
AA: Harrisburg .793 (23-6)
High-A: Down East .742 (23-8)
Low-A: Delmarva .857 (24-4)

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