O’s game blog: Looking for two in a row in Washington

After Friday’s 19-hit, 11-0 win over the Washington Nationals, the Orioles and Nats play the second game of their series tonight at Nats Park. The Orioles (6-7) snapped a four-game losing streak while the Nationals (4-6) fell to 2-6 at home.

The 19 hits were Baltimore’s most since Aug. 30, 2019 at Kansas City, when they had 21. According to STATS, the win marked the largest shutout victory by a team coming off a 100-loss season against a defending World Series champion in major league history.

The shutout marked the eighth road shutout of at least 11 runs in Orioles history, and their largest shutout victory on the road since Sept. 4, 2012, a 12-0 win at Toronto. That was the Orioles’ fourth ever shutout against the Nationals, with three of the four coming at Nationals Park. And it was the largest win against the Nats in club history.

Right-hander Thomas Eshelman gets tonight’s start, becoming the sixth pitcher to start a game for the Orioles in 2020. Eshelman was added to the active roster on July 31 from the Bowie camp. He pitched Tuesday in relief versus Miami and allowed one run and one hit over 3 1/3 innings, throwing 37 pitches.

In 2019, in 10 games (four starts), Eshelman went 1-2 with a 6.50 ERA and 1.611 WHIP. He gave up 3.0 homers per nine innings and averaged 2.8 walks and 5.5 strikeouts. With his mid-to-high-80s fastballs, he’ll try to be a right-handed version of Tommy Milone and Wade LeBlanc tonight by locating his pitches and keeping hitters off balance, even without a blazing fastball.

Thumbnail image for Eshelman-Delivers-at-LAA-Gray-Sidebar.jpgHis most recent start for the Orioles was last July 30 at San Diego. Over four innings and 63 pitches, he gave up seven hits and four runs against the Padres.

The Nats are starting right-hander Austin Voth. He is 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA after one start. On July 28 against Toronto he went five innings, allowing four hits and three runs (two earned), and he gave up two homers during a 70-pitch outing.

Baseball America has ranked Voth among the Nats’ top 30 prospects five times, with a high of No. 9 at the end of the 2016 season. He led their minors in strikeouts in both 2015 and 2016. The Nats selected him in round five in 2013.

Last year he used his fastball 60 percent of the time and the average velocity was 92.8 mph. He threw his curveball 21 percent and his changeup seven percent of the time.

The Orioles have been the best-hitting team in the American League this year when putting the first pitch in play. On an 0-0 count, O’s batters are hitting a robust .456, easily the best in the league with Kansas City a distant second at .367. In team OPS they are batting 1.325, with New York second at 1.146. They lead the league with nine first-pitch doubles, 26 hits and 14 extra-base hits, and are tied for second with five home runs.

The O’s offense has produced 18 runs the last two games and they rank second in the AL in extra-base hits and OPS.

MLB team leaders in EBH:

53 - Los Angeles Dodgers
52 - Kansas City
48 - Orioles, Atlanta

MLB team leaders in OPS:

.787 - Los Angeles Dodgers
.782 - New York Yankees, Colorado
.779 - Philadelphia
.773 - Orioles

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