With two losses this weekend at Boston and a riding 10-game losing streak, the Orioles are desperate for a win this afternoon at Fenway Park in the finale of this three-game series.
The Orioles swept three from Boston at Fenway to begin the 2021 season, winning the games by a combined 18-5 score. But they have lost the first two games this weekend by a combined 24-3 score. Boston had 17 hits, bashed five homers and went 7-for-12 with runners in scoring position Saturday in pounding the Orioles 16-2. The Sox led 6-0 in the second inning and 14-2 by the end of the fifth.
It was the Orioles’ largest margin in a loss and their most runs allowed since they lost 23-2 to Houston on Aug. 10, 2019.
So Baltimore’s losing streak has reached 10 games since they won on Aug. 2 at Yankee Stadium. During the streak, they have been outscored 98-32 and have allowed 24 homers, 11 in the last three games.
The Orioles (38-77) were 10-6 in their first 16 games out of the All-Star break, but now are 10-16. They are 21-40 on the road, 4-8 against Boston and 13-33 versus the American League East.
Boston (68-51) had lost six of eight and 11 of 14 games as this series began. The Red Sox are now 33-23 within the AL East.
O’s pitching has a team ERA of 9.84 during the losing streak. Over the past five games, O’s starting pitchers have an ERA of 12.81, allowing 28 earned runs over 19 2/3 innings and the longest start in this span was five innings.
The Orioles have gone 0-for-11 in this series with runners in scoring position. They are 0-for-34 over the last five games with RISP and are 4-for-46 in the last seven games.
Lefty Keegan Akin (0-6, 8.23) will try to reverse this pitching slide for the Orioles and begin to turn around his own season when he takes the mound today for his 10th start. The Orioles are 1-8 in his nine games as a starter and Akin is 0-6 with a 9.57 ERA and 2.045 WHIP in those games. Over 36 2/3 innings as a starter, he has allowed 19 walks, fanned 35 and allowed eight home runs.
In his last start on Tuesday versus Detroit, Akin took the loss, allowing seven hits and six runs over three innings. He gave up two runs in the second inning and four in the third, allowing two doubles and two triples as he threw 68 pitches.
Former Orioles farmhand Eduardo Rodriguez (8-6, 5.24 ERA) will make his 23rd start for Boston. The team is 14-8 in his starts, going 9-3 in the last 12. Since the 2018 season, Boston is 49-20 (.747) in games started by Rodriguez.
Three starts ago, he gave up six runs in 3 1/3 innings versus Toronto, followed by an outing where he threw five scoreless frames against Detroit and then allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings versus Tampa Bay. Over his last eight starts, Rodriguez has a 3.62 ERA and has averaged 13.02 strikeouts per nine innings.
In eight home starts, he is 3-2 with a 5.95 ERA. Rodriguez leads the AL with 50 called third strikes.
He is 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA in two starts this season against Baltimore, allowing 11 hits and four runs over 10 innings. In 21 career games (19 starts), he is 11-5 with a 3.28 ERA against the Orioles. Over 112 2/3 innings, he has walked 28, fanned 120 and allowed 13 home runs. O’s batters have hit .233 with an OPS of .652 against the southpaw.
O’s roster moves today:
* Transferred left-hander Bruce Zimmermann to the 60-day injured list (right ankle sprain).
* Optioned right-hander Dusten Knight to Triple-A Norfolk.
* Right-hander Adam Plutko was designated for assignment.
Zimmermann could return to the team at any time, he has already been out over 60 days. Manager Brandon Hyde said he is getting further tests for his ankle sprain.
“We can recall him at any time,” Hyde said. “I think we are hoping that there is a chance that he pitches before the season is over, but we’re not sure. Just have to see how the ankle recovers and what the doctors say about it.”