O’s game blog: Trying to avoid a sweep in Cleveland

The Orioles need a win this afternoon at Cleveland to avoid being swept four in a row and going 0-7 on a road trip to Tampa Bay and Cleveland. Last night they lost 8-7 for their third one-run loss on the trip and second in this series. And their fourth loss on the road trip by two runs or fewer.

In their past 12 games decided by two or fewer, the Orioles are 1-11. They fell to 4-12 in one-run games last night while Cleveland improved to 11-6.

The Orioles (22-45) play Game No. 68 today. They have lost seven in a row overall and their road losing streak was extended to 18 in a row last night. They’ve scored 19 runs during the six games of this road trip.

Thumbnail image for Lopez-Follow-Through-Gray-SEA-Sidebar.jpgRight-hander Jorge López (2-7, 5.64 ERA) will make his 14th start today. The Orioles are 4-9 when he makes the start. Last Saturday at Tampa Bay, he gave up five runs and eight hits over 4 2/3 innings versus the Rays. In 60 2/3 innings for the season he has allowed 63 hits and 10 home runs with 26 walks and 62 strikeouts. He has a WHIP of 1.467 while allowing 9.3 hits per nine innings and 1.5 homers.

López pitched to an ERA of 7.48 in April. Since May 1 he is 1-4 with a 4.62 ERA and .273 batting average against in eight starts.

In the first four innings of his outings, his ERA is 3.60. When he pitches in the fifth or sixth, that goes up to 15.19.

Right-hander Eli Morgan (0-1, 20.25 ERA) will make the second start of his career today. On May 28 he allowed eight hits and six runs over 2 2/3 innings against Toronto. He walked two, fanned one and allowed one home run ball in a 65-pitch outing. In four Triple-A starts this season he has gone 0-1 with a 4.67 ERA. Morgan, 25, was drafted in round eight out of Gonzaga in 2017.

Ryan Mountcastle matched his career high, all coming this season, (May 16 against the Yankees and May 22 at Washington) with four RBIs in last night’s game. His 36 RBIs are the second-most on the O’s. He’s batting .307/.340/.591 (27-for-88) with 24s RBI in his last 24 games since May 15.

He is among the major league rookie leaders in extra-base hits (T-1st - 22), RBIs (2nd - 36), slugging (2nd - .431), home runs (T-2nd - 9), doubles (T-3rd - 12), total bases (5th - 97), hits (7th - 56), and OPS (8th - .708).

Triple-A notes: The Orioles Triple-A Norfolk team is hosting Durham this afternoon. After a 7-5 loss last night, the Tides are 14-21 overall, but 11-7 over their past 18 games, scoring 101 runs in that span. The knuckleballer, right-hander Mickey Jannis (0-3, 6.41 ERA) gets the start.

Right-hander Shawn Armstrong made his first appearance with the Tides and tossed a hitless ninth in relief with two strikeouts. Center fielder Ryan McKenna went 4-for-5 with three runs and hit his third homer with Norfolk. Newcomer Domingo Leyba went 2-for-3 with a double and drove in three runs, recording his fourth multi-hit game and third multi-RBI game with the Tides. In his seven games with Norfolk, Leyba is batting .357 (10-for-28) with four runs scored, a double, three home runs and 13 RBIs with four multi-hit games. Leyba is slashing a combined .413/.448/.825 (26-for-63) with seven homers and 27 RBIs in 15 Triple-A games between Reno and Norfolk this season.

Infielder Jahmai Jones has hit safely in seven straight games dating back to May 9 and is batting .385/.485/.692 (10-for-26) with five runs, two doubles, two home runs, five walks and 10 RBIs over that span. He has driven in a run in five of six games since rejoining the Tides from the injured list June 8, including four straight games with two RBIs. Eight of his 14 hits have been for extra bases (three doubles, two triples, three home runs), including four of his last eight hits.

McKenna has hit safely in eight of his nine games with the Tides this season, and is batting .333 (6-for-18) with four runs scored, a double, a home run, a walk and two RBIs over four games in June. He matched his career high for hits in a game on Wednesday night, marking his ninth career four-hit game.

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