O’s game blog: Going for a series sweep at Texas

After losing Thurday’s doubleheader at home scoring three runs in two games, the Orioles scored 11 in the first two games of their series at Texas. They have posted 5-2 and 6-1 wins. Today they can sweep this series and get back to the .500 mark.

The Orioles (7-8) are 6-2 on the road, winning three in a row away from Oriole Park. Last night’s win improved the O’s record to 3-7 when their opponent scores first.

Entering this weekend, the Orioles had lost six in a row and nine of 11 in games versus Texas. The Rangers entered the weekend off a series win over Tampa Bay in which they lost the opener but won the last three games, scoring 19 runs.

O’s pitching notes:

* Have allowed three runs in this series, with three walks to 23 strikeouts.

* O’s bullpen has thrown 10 1/3 scoreless innings over the last three games. The scoreless run for the ‘pen is 11 1/3 innings dating to the opener of Thursday’s doubleheader.

* O’s ‘pen ERA is 1.83 the last 6 games and 3.65 for the year, the ninth-lowest in the majors.

* O’s starters’ ERA is 3.26 the past 4 games.

Means-Delivers-Gray-NYY-Sidebar.jpgThe Orioles’ opening day starter, lefty John Means (1-0, 2.16 ERA), will make his fourth start today. The Orioles are 2-1 in Means’ outings. He got a no-decision in his last game when he allowed three runs over five innings in the doubleheader opener Tuesday versus Seattle.

In giving up three runs, Means ended a run of six straight starts allowing one runs or none. A mark that tied Jim Palmer’s club record for such consecutive outings. During the six games, dating to last year, Means went 3-1 with a 1.27 ERA. Over 35 1/3 innings he gave up five earned runs and 20 hits, with five walks to 39 strikeouts.

In his first three games in 2021, he has used his fastball 51 percent with an average velocity of 92.4 mph. He is throwing his changeup 26 percent, his curveball 16 percent and slider seven percent.

Among pitchers who have made at least two starts on the road, Means’ 0.77 ERA leads the American League.

Means has gotten better deeper into his games. Over innings one through three thus far, his ERA is 4.00 and batters are hitting .286 (10-for-35) against him. In innings four through six, his ERA is 0.00 and opponents bat .130 (3-for-23).

Right-hander Kyle Gibson (2-0, 4.05 ERA) starts today for the Rangers. In his first start he gave up five runs in just 1/3 of an inning in an early knockout against Kansas City. But his ERA is 0.69 his past two starts. In those games he gave up one earned run and 10 hits over 13 innings, with three walks to 11 strikeouts.

In his career he has made 11 outings (all starts) against Baltimore, going 6-2 with a 4.31 ERA and 1.404 WHIP. O’s batters have hit .252 with a .755 OPS against Gibson.

The O’s six road wins are tied for the most in the AL and second-most in baseball (the Dodgers have seven). Seven AL teams currently have a better winning percentage on the road than at home, including Baltimore.

Orioles pitchers did not allow a home run in last night’s game, snapping a streak of eight straight games in which they surrendered at least one. O’s pitchers have four games this season, all on the road, in which they have not given up a homer, and they have won each of those games.

Freddy Galvis was in a 4-for-27 slump when this series started. But he is 6-for-7 at Globe Life Field with three doubles and a triple. And he is 7-for-10 with five runs scored his past three games.

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