O’s game blog: Looking for two in a row against the Rays

The Orioles (3-3) host Tampa Bay (4-4) tonight in the second of a three-game series. Baltimore won 6-3 last night as the O’s bullpen fanned nine and allowed one run over five innings. The O’s got back-to-back homers from Anthony Santander and Pedro Severino in the fourth and Hanser Alberto, who is batting .440, added a solo shot in the eighth.

Before last night the last time the O’s hit back-to-back homers was Sept. 23 in the fifth inning at Toronto, when it was Jonathan Villar and Austin Hays.

The O’s trailed 1-0 after the first inning last night. They have allowed first-inning runs in three straight games and have been outscored 8-3 in that inning in those games.

Thumbnail image for LeBlanc-Throws-Black-Fenway-Sidebar.jpgLeft-hander Wade LeBlanc (1-0, 6.35 ERA) will make his second start for his new team. On Sunday he got the win at Boston, allowing four hits and four runs in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up solo homers to Christian Vázquez and Kevin Pillar, and two runs charged to him scored after he left the game. He threw 76 pitches, 49 for strikes.

For Seattle last year, LeBlanc went 6-7 with a 5.71 ERA in 26 games with eight starts. Over 121 1/3 innings he allowed 145 hits with 31 walks and 92 strikeouts. He gave up 10.8 hits per nine innings with a 2.1 homer rate to go with 2.3 walks per nine and 6.8 strikeouts.

LeBlanc, 35, pitched 13 times as the bulk innings pitcher last year - a pitcher who did not start but went multiple innings in relief of an “opener.” In those games he pitched to a 4.09 ERA. He pitched five games out of the ‘pen in which he went six innings or more and allowed one earned run or none. That was the most such games in the majors since Boston’s Bob Stanley did that five times in 1982.

The Rays starter is 26-year-old right-hander Tyler Glasnow (0-0, 2.25 ERA), who went four innings against Atlanta in his first start of the year Monday. He gave up just one hit and one run with two walks and nine strikeouts. Glasnow threw 40 four-seam fastballs among his 72 pitches that night and averaged 97.6 mph, topping at 100 mph. He got 15 swings and misses in the outing, 11 off his fastball.

He was on the 60-day injured list in 2019, from May 11 to Sept. 7, with a right forearm strain. It marked his second career stint on the injured list, following July 24 to Aug. 28, 2016 with right shoulder discomfort.

The Rays acquired Glasnow on July 31, 2018 in a deal that sent Chris Archer to Pittsburgh. Since his Rays debut on Aug 1, 2018, he is 7-6 with a 2.94 ERA and 140 strikeouts in 23 starts. Opponents have hit just .197 against him. Last year he went 6-1 with a 1.78 ERA in 12 starts for Tampa Bay with a WHIP of 0.890. He averaged 2.1 walks and 11.3 strikeouts per nine and the Rays went 10-2 in his outings.

Alberto last night recorded his second straight multi-hit game and his fourth of the season. He is batting .440 (11-for-25). Against lefty pitching he is 5-for-8 (.625) with two doubles and a homer. Against right-handers he is 6-for-17 (.353) with a homer. Since the start of the 2019 season, Alberto leads the majors with 93 hits off of left-handed pitching.

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