O’s game blog: Looking for a sweep at Camden Yards

The Orioles have a pair of three-game sweeps this year and they have come against clubs that are currently in first place, and both came on the road. They swept Boston in a season-opening series at Fenway Park in April and they swept three from Houston in late June. Today, after wins by 6-1 and 5-3 the last two nights, they can sweep the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park.

Last night the Orioles (33-64) moved out to a 5-0 lead and held off the Nats late for the win. Trey Mancini (No. 17) and Ryan Mountcastle (No. 16) hit solo homers and Austin Hays added an RBI double in the win.

Lefty John Means (4-3, 2.72 ERA) today will make his 14th start and second since coming off the injured list. On Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Fla., he gave up seven hits and five runs over five innings versus Tampa Bay. Means has recorded a WHIP of 0.868 in 76 innings, allowing 6.3 hits, 1.5 walks and 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings.

Thumbnail image for means-fires-white-sidebar.jpgIn nine home games this season, he is 3-2 with a 2.03 ERA and 0.763 WHIP. In eight career interleague starts, he is 1-3 with a 4.10 ERA and 1.313 WHIP.

Right-hander Paolo Espino (2-2, 3.00 ERA) gets the start for Washington. Espino, 34, from Panama, has thrown 51 innings for the season over 22 games, including six starts. He has allowed 7.8 hits and 1.6 walks per nine innings for 1.039 WHIP, and has recorded 6.0 strikeouts per nine. He uses his fastball 59 percent at an average velocity of 89.4 mph, throwing his curveball 22 percent and his slider 17 percent of the time.

On Tuesday he pitched five scoreless innings, allowing four hits versus Miami, throwing 73 pitches. But in the three games before that outing he allowed nine runs and 13 hits over 10 1/3 innings. But he has good splits, allowing just a .228 batting average to both left- and right-handed hitters.

A few more notes on the Orioles:

* The Orioles now have 18 quality starts on the year and their starters have thrown six innings or more 19 times. The team is 10-9 in those games.

* The Orioles have homered twice in each of the last three games. The six homers have all been solo shots.

* Last night was the club’s seventh scoreless start of the season. Means has been on the mound for four of them, Matt Harvey for two and Keegan Akin for one.

* O’s batters have scored 11 runs in this series on 14 hits, including six doubles and four homers, and have gone 5-for-15 with runners in scoring position. The O’s have scored 37 runs the last seven games.

* The Orioles lead the all-time series with the Nationals 47-38 and are 25-17 in games played at Camden Yards. They had lost four in a row in this series and six of their last eight against the Nats at Camden Yards when the series began on Friday night. They went 4-2 versus Washington last year and trail the season series this year 2-3.

* Should the O’s win today, the clubs will split six games in the 2021 season series. If that happens, then the O’s will have won eight season series, lost two and split six versus the Nationals since they first began to play in 2006.

* The O’s have committed just 14 errors in their 45 home games, including just three in their last 28 home games since May 10.

* Center fielder Cedric Mullins has hit safely in eight-straight home games and in 37 of 45 overall. His .328 (57-for-174) home batting average ranks as the sixth-highest in the American League.

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