O’s game blog: Needing a win to avoid a four-game sweep

The Orioles need a win this afternoon to avoid getting swept in a series for the fifth time this year. The first four have come twice against New York and twice against Minnesota. The Orioles lost three straight at Camden Yards to the Yankees from April 4-7. They were swept in a doubleheader, which technically counts as a series, on May 15 at Yankee Stadium.

The Orioles are 3-10-2 in 15 series this year, going 1-5-1 at home and 2-5-1 on the road. Today they are trying to break a five-game losing and win for the first time since Friday’s 5-1 win at Cleveland.

Right-hander Dylan Bundy (2-5, 4.66 ERA) was the winning pitcher that night and he gets the ball this afternoon for the Orioles. Bundy allowed one unearned run in 5 2/3 innings on 118 pitches at Progressive Field. Two errors that night extended his pitch count and kept from recording a quality start.

Bundy knew he might throw a lot of pitches that night after the bullpen had a rough game the night before. His 118 pitches was the second-most he’s ever thrown in the majors. His career high is 121 pitches set on May 24, 2018 at Chicago in a complete-game win with 14 strikeouts against the White Sox.

Over four starts coming into Friday’s game, Bundy’s ERA was 3.47. Now it is 2.79 in his last five starts over 29 innings. In that span, Bundy has allowed no earned runs in two of his past three games and is an out short of three quality starts. His average fastball velocity was 90.6 mph versus the Indians and topped at 92.7 mph. Perhaps in part because he threw 37 changeups against a heavy lefty batting lineup, Bundy threw just 41 percent fastballs that night, his lowest percentage of the year.

While Orioles pitchers have allowed 28 runs and 11 homers in losing the last three nights to the Yankees, O’s hitters have scored 16 runs on 28 hits after producing just one run in the last two games at Cleveland.

Richie Martin slugged his first career home run to lead off the fifth inning on Wednesday night. The homer came off of lefty CC Sabathia. Martin, born Dec. 22, 1994 was 6 when Sabathia made his major league debut in 2001 with Cleveland

Hanser-Alberto-Turns-Double-Play-White-Sidebar.jpgHanser Alberto went 1-for-5 last night and collected his first career four-hit game on Monday. He is hitting .426 (20-for-47) against left-handed pitching this season, best in the majors among qualifying hitters. He is a .433/.455/.633 (13-for-30) hitter in nine games against the Yankees this season with one home run and three doubles. Alberto’s 1.088 OPS ranks second among qualifying O’s hitters against New York and 16th in the American League against the Yankees this year.

New York right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (3-3, 3.09 ERA) will today make his 11th start. He has allowed just one run in 13 innings his past two games. Tanaka is 5-3 with an ERA of 3.58 in 13 career starts versus the Orioles.

Black (and Orange) Friday: With six months before Black Friday in November, the O’s will celebrate ‘Halfway to Black (& Orange) Friday on Friday, May 31, when the Orioles host the San Francisco Giants at 7:05 p.m. From now until Saturday at midnight, the O’s will offer a 50 percent discount on tickets to the May 31 game in select areas, with tickets starting at $10. The offer is valid exclusively at Orioles.com/BlackFriday. Also, the first 20,000 fans 15 and over on May 31 will receive a 1954 Retro Bird T-Shirt.

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