The Orioles are out to break an eight-game losing streak tonight when they host the Kansas City Royals in the second game of a three-game series at Oriole Park.
The Orioles (39-86) have lost 13 of 14 games, allowing 129 runs and 39 homers in that stretch. They gave up two homers last night and have allowed 257 for the year. That is one away from Cincinnati’s major league record allowing 258 home runs in 2016.
Lefty John Means allowed three runs (two earned) in five-plus innings last night. O’s starting pitchers have just two quality starts over the last 22 games with an ERA of 8.17 in that span.
Tonight, right-hander Dylan Bundy (5-13, 5.25 ERA) will make his 24th start. He is one loss off the American League lead. Bundy’s WHIP is 1.342 for the year and he allows 3.1 walks per nine innings and 9.2 strikeouts.
In his last start against the Yankees, he gave up six runs in 5 2/3 innings. In 12 home starts, Bundy is 1-8 with a 5.61 ERA. In six second-half starts, he is 1-3 with a 7.14 ERA.
The O’s Rio Ruiz homered in the ninth inning last night, his eighth of the year. He’s hit three homers over his past seven games and 21 plate appearances and three homers in his past three home games.
Baltimore’s DJ Stewart drove in two runs Monday night. When he drove in the first run with a one-out double in the second inning, he snapped an 0-for-8 since returning from the seven-day concussion injured list. Stewart picked up his second multi-hit game of the season and first since his three-hit performance on May 28 against Detroit. It was also his fourth career multi-RBI game.
Kansas City (45-80) won the series opener Monday and is 4-6 over its past 10 games. The Royals won for just the second time in their past 11 games at Oriole Park, dating to Sept. 13, 2015.
Kansas City will start right-hander Brad Keller (7-13, 4.10 ERA) tonight. Last Wednesday, he had a no-hitter through six against St. Louis, but he wound up allowing three hits and runs in six-plus innings and took a loss. Keller has thrown 158 innings, which is fifth-most in the AL. He allows 0.9 homers per nine with 3.7 walks and 6.7 strikeouts.
He has lost his last four starts with an ERA of 4.85. But he’s gotten just four runs of support and the Royals were blanked in two of those games. He threw well in his one career start against the Orioles, at home last Aug. 31. Over eight innings, he allowed four hits and two runs on 114 pitches in a 9-2 victory. In 14 career games (eight starts) against AL East teams, he is 4-3 with a 5.40 ERA.
AL leaders in losses
14 - Aaron Sanchez, Toronto/Houston
13 - Bundy, Baltimore
13 - Keller, Kansas City
The O’s offense has produced just 12 runs over the last four games. In that span, they are 3-for-26 (.115) with runners in scoring position.
By now, you’ve very likely heard that O’s top draft pick Adley Rutschman was promoted today from short-season Single-A Aberdeen to Single-A Delmarva. He is not likely to play tonight for the Shorebirds.
Rutschman went 5-for-5 last night with a solo homer and three-run triple for Aberdeen. It was the best game of his short pro career. The player the Orioles drafted 1/1 in June raised his batting average to .325 and OPS to .894.
Rutschman has a 10-game hitting streak going. During the run, he is batting .462 (18-for-39) with six doubles, a triple, a homer and 14 RBIs.
Tonight’s game will start in a very brief delay with first pitch to come around 7:15 p.m.