O’s game blog: Lefty Keegan Akin faces Cleveland

As the Orioles look to snap a 17-game road losing streak tonight at Cleveland, they send lefty Keegan Akin (0-1, 4.13 ERA) to the mound. Akin has a scoreless start earlier this year against Cleveland and tonight will make his fourth start of the 2021 season.

Akin allowed three runs and five hits over four innings in his last start against Tampa Bay. He gave up one run over 9 2/3 innings his two previous starts this season.

Thumbnail image for Akin-Throws-Gray-Sidebar.jpgIn three starts on the year, he is 0-1 with a 2.63 ERA with six walks and 10 strikeouts over 13 2/3 innings. In nine career starts, he is 1-3 with a 3.50 ERA with 15 walks and 44 strikeouts over 36 innings. The Orioles are 5-4 in those nine games.

Lefty batters hit .290 with a .722 OPS against Akin and right-handed batters hit .258/.678. On June 4, Akin threw five scoreless innings versus Cleveland, allowing three hits with one walk and four strikeouts, throwing 96 pitches.

The Orioles have lost the first two games of this series, 4-3 on Monday and 7-2 last night, and play two more games in Cleveland to wrap up this two-city road trip.

The Orioles have struggled to score runs on this trip. They have a team batting average of .151 (23-for-152) in going 0-5 at Tampa Bay and Cleveland. They’ve scored 12 runs in those games with four doubles and two homers while going 3-for-23 (.130) when batting with runners in scoring position.

The Orioles have scored three runs or fewer five times in the last six games. They are 3-31 this season when scoring three or fewer runs.

The Orioles (22-44) tonight look to snap a six-game overall losing streak. After Tuesday’s defeat they are now 5-7 in June and 11-23 in road games. They are 8-18 (.308) this season versus American League East clubs and 14-26 (.350) when playing outside the division.

Cleveland (36-28) is 3-2 against the Orioles after earlier losing two of three at Camden Yards. The Indians have won four of five games and are 6-4 over their past 10. Cleveland is 28-17 since April 25.

Right-hander Aaron Civale (9-2, 3.17 ERA) will make his 14th start and second against the Orioles. On June 5 he got the win in Baltimore, allowing seven hits and four runs over six innings on 100 pitches.

Civale, 26, ranks second in the American League in innings (88), fifth in WHIP (1.000), seventh in ERA and ninth in batting average against (.217).

In those 88 innings he has allowed 69 hits with 19 walks and 69 strikeouts. He allows 7.1 hits per nine innings and 1.3 homers with a 1.9 walk rate and 7.1 strikeout rate per every nine innings.

He has been a workhorse on the mound. At a time when pitchers struggle to get six innings each outing, he has thrown six or more in 11 of his 13 starts and seven times has gone seven innings or longer. He has seven quality starts and the Indians are 10-3 in his outings, winning in four of his last five.

Outfielder Cedric Mullins has hit safely in all five games against the Indians this season, batting .611 (11-for-18) with five walks. For his career, he’s hit safely in seven of eight games against Cleveland, while slashing .517/.600/1.000. Ryan Mountcastle has hit safely in each of the four games he’s appeared in against Cleveland, slashing .438/.471/.938.

The Orioles are slashing .306/.327/.531 (15-for-49) with the bases loaded, the third-highest OPS (.858) with the bases loaded in the AL.

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