O’s game blog: Looking for their first sweep since 2018

With a win today, the Orioles can do something they didn’t do once in 2019: sweep a series. Last year the Orioles had zero series sweeps, but they were swept 13 times by other clubs.

So today, after winning this weekend by scores of 6-3 and 5-4 in 11 innings, the Orioles can sweep the Tampa Bay Rays. In the 2018 season the Orioles had two sweeps. They swept a two-game series on the road against the New York Mets June 5-6. They also swept three in a row from the Toronto Blue Jays at home Aug. 27-29.

The Orioles last swept a series against Tampa Bay from June 24-26, 2016 at Oriole Park, and that was a four-game series. The last three-game sweep of the Rays came on Sept. 11-13, 2012 at Camden Yards.

So it’s been a while for the Orioles.

The Orioles are now 2-1 in series in 2020. Last season, they went 10-34-8 in series play.

Thumbnail image for Milone-Throws-Black-Front-Opener-Sidebar.jpgLefty Tommy Milone (0-1, 12.00) should be well rested for this outing, his second with his new team. He hasn’t pitched since making the opening day start. He went three innings at Boston, allowing four hits and four runs. Milone held Boston off the board the first two innings in that July 24 game, but they then hit four doubles, scoring four times against him in the third inning. Today he is pitching on eight days’ rest.

In his career, per baseball-reference.com, when he pitches with six or more days or rest, he is 12-9 with a 3.94 ERA and a 1.219 WHIP in 30 career starts.

Milone has pitched eight times in his career (making five starts) against Tampa Bay. He is 3-4 with a 6.75 ERA and he last faced the Rays on Aug. 20 of last year with Seattle. He went five innings, allowing six hits and four runs on 96 pitches.

Tampa Bay will start right-hander Yonny Chirinos, who is making his second start. On Tuesday against Atlanta, he pitched four innings, allowing four hits and one unearned run on 68 pitches. In the 2019 season for the Rays he went 9-5 with a 3.85 ERA and 1.050 WHIP. he walked 1.9 per nine and struck out 7.7 batters.

Through their first seven games the Orioles are averaging 5.14 runs per game, which is tied for third-best in the American League. Their strikeout rate on offense is down from last year, from 23.2 to 20.2, which ranks as second best in the AL. Their walk rate is up from 7.5 to 9.5, which ranks in the middle of the pack in the league.

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