O’s game blog: Tom Eshelman faces Red Sox

After back-to-back blowout wins by 9-2 over Washington and 11-2 over Boston, the Orioles host the Red Sox again tonight. It’s Game 2 of a three-game series and nine-game homestand. The Orioles (30-66) are 3-4 on the homestand that ends Sunday afternoon.

Last night the Orioles improved to 4-7 against Boston, 15-29 versus the American League East and scored 10 runs or more for the fifth time in 2019. They won their 30th game in Game 96 in 2019 and did that in Game 104 last season.

The Orioles are 8-8 over the past 16 games with wins over the Indians, Rays, Blue Jays, Nationals and Red Sox. They have outscored their opponents 86-73 in this span. They have a team slash line of .257/.314/.433 and have hit 22 homers in the 16 games with a team ERA of 4.40.

Martin-Trots-Home-Orange-sidebar.jpgRichie Martin hit his team-leading third triple of the season on Friday and came around to score on the play due to an error by the right fielder. According to Statcast, Martin rounded the bases in a time of 15.01 seconds, the fourth fastest home-to-home in the majors this season and the fastest home-to-home for an Oriole since Statcast began tracking such data.

Outfielder Anthony Santander connected on his fifth home run of the season on Friday. His 20 RBIs since being recalled on June 7 are the most on the Orioles. He is also batting .343 (24-for-70) with three home runs and 14 RBIs in 18 home games.

Hanser Alberto currently ranks ninth in the AL and 16th in the majors among qualifying hitters with a .304 average. He has hit safely in 37 of his last 50 games, with multi-hit contests in 18 of those 37. Since May 20, he is hitting .328 with 10 doubles, one triple, three home runs, 18 RBIs and 21 runs scored. Alberto ranks fifth in the AL and 13th in the majors in average during this span.

On the mound tonight, right-hander Tom Eshelman (0-1, 5.06 ERA) will make his third start for the Orioles. In the first two he has pitched 10 2/3 innings allowing 11 hits and six runs with a fastball that has averaged 86 mph. He has thrown his fastball 47 percent of the time in those games using his curve 21 percent, slider 19 and changeup 13.

Right-hander Rick Porcello (7-7, 5.37 ERA) will make his 20th start for Boston. Over his last four games, he is 2-1 but his ERA is 10.50. Over 18 innings, he has given up 30 hits, with a .357 average against and OPS against of 1.026. In eight road starts, he is 2-3 with a 5.74 ERA.

The Red Sox are 10-5 in Porcello’s last 15 starts and 9-3 when he throws at least six innings. He has a 4.29 ERA in 10 night games and a 6.61 ERA in 9 day games. Porcello has made 21 career starts against the O’s and owns a 4.69 ERA.

The Red Sox are 4-4 since the All-Star break, after they had won each of their previous 4 games. The Sox are 9-5 in July, 19-11 in their last 30 games, and 42-28 (.600) since April 29.

Adley’s debut: O’s first-round pick Adley Rutschman made his long-awaited pro debut today in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. He batted fifth as the designated hitter and went 1-for-4. He drove a ball deep that was caught in his second at-bat, but he then homered to right his third time up. So let the legend of Adley begin. He is expected to stay in Florida several more days and likely head to short-season Single-A Aberdeen next weekend.

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