O’s game blog: Looking to split a four-game series

The Orioles have lost just one of their past three series and they’ll need a win this afternoon to split this series with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays have won two of three in this series which ends this afternoon at Oriole Park.

The past four series has seen the Orioles go 2-1 versus Cleveland, 1-2 versus Tampa Bay, 2-1 against Toronto and 2-1 against the Rays.

The Orioles (28-64) are 6-6 in the last 12 games and 12-33 at home. The Orioles won Game 1 of Saturday’s twinbill 2-1 and lost 12-4 in the nightcap.

Hyde-Perplexed-Dugout-Sidebar.jpgThey allowed 15 hits last night and that marked Baltimore’s 44th game this season with 10+ hits allowed, tied for the league-lead with Kansas City. They are 5-39 in those games, losing 15 of the last 16. The six home runs allowed in the second game was the 45th game surrendering two-or-more home runs and their fifth with six-or-more home runs allowed, with four of the five coming at home.

The Rays are 38-117 (.325) in this series with 11 doubles, nine homers and 29 runs scored. The Rays six homer game matched a franchise single-game record, last done on May 7, 2009 against the Yankees. The Rays have at least 15 hits five times this year and twice in this series, where they have games of 20, three and 15 hits.

O’s lefty John Means took the loss in Game 2, allowing six runs and three runs in six innings. The runs and homers allowed are season highs. He suffered his first loss since May 18 at Cleveland. Last night marked the second time in his career he has given up multiple home runs in an outing, also April 29 versus the White Sox.

Hanser Alberto recorded his fourth home run of the season, fourth of his career at home, and first since May 20 against the Yankees. His streak of 163 at-bats without a home run was the second-longest active streak in the majors behind Kansas City’s Billy Hamilton (240 at-bats).

Outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. finished the night going 0-for-5 and is still looking for his first hit in the month of July. He extended his career-high hitless-streak to 26 at-bats which leads the American League.

Stevie Wilkerson hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning of the win in the opener. In the doubleheader he went 3-for-7 with four RBIs.

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