Tonight’s pitching matchup, plus Mullins honored and Delmarva’s walk-off

The Orioles hit four solo homers and behind right-hander Jorge López beat the Yankees 7-1 Monday night. But last night New York got six runs in 2 1/3 off Alexander Wells as they routed the Orioles 13-1.

So the rubber match is tonight. For the Orioles, this game will decide both if they win this series and have a winning, 4-3 road trip.

The pitching matchup features two pitchers on a roll as right-hander Matt Harvey (6-10, 6.20 ERA) faces right-hander Jameson Taillon (7-4, 4.11 ERA). Taillon went 4-0 with a 1.16 ERA and .182 batting average against in five July starts for New York.

Harvey has thrown three consecutive scoreless starts over 18 1/3 innings for the Orioles. He lowered his ERA by a run and a half in that stretch, down from 7.70.

“Very impressive,” manager Brandon Hyde said after Harvey beat Detroit Friday night to post his 50th career win. “Just totally in command. Seemed like the body language, you know, composure. He’s just pitching with a ton of confidence right now. He really is enjoying having some success.”

And Harvey can do something tonight that no O’s starter has ever done. Go four straight starts of six innings or more scoreless. Here is the list of Orioles to do that three consecutive times:

* Jack Fisher, 1960
* Milt Pappas, 1964
* Tom Phoebus, 1967
* Jim Palmer, 1978
* Fernando Valenzuela, 1993
* Kevin Gausman, 2016
* Matt Harvey, 2021

The east is a beast: The American League East is indeed a beast, with four good clubs all playing over .500 that the Orioles look up at in the standings. They have now played two games in the Bronx in a stretch of six straight games within the division that will extend to 13 of the next 16 and 22 of 31 through Sept. 5 within the AL East.

The Orioles are now 5-7 versus the Yankees and 13-27 in division games. Hyde feels his team has at times been competitive in AL East games as they try to learn how to play well against the big boys.

“I think so, yeah. And nights like (Monday) help,” Hyde said following the series opener. “I think we’ve played the Yankees tough, and for the most part we’ve played our division tough. Sometimes we end up on the wrong end, but we compete. Lopie (López) shut them down and our bullpen guys shut them down and showed it’s possible to do. They acquired (Andrew) Heaney as a piece to get them into October, and we took really good at-bats off him.

“So I think those type of games do build confidence. And our younger players, when they are playing meaningful games in August and September, you know these type of success stories help. Knowing they can be at this level in tough environments.”

That was before the blowout loss of Tuesday night.

Thumbnail image for Mullins-Runs-Ornage-ST-Sidebar.jpgMullins gets honored: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) announced yesterday the 30 preliminary winners of the 2021 Heart and Hustle Award. The award honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game. The Heart and Hustle Award is also the only award in Major League Baseball that is voted on by former players. Later there will be one overall winner selected from the 30 team winners.

The Orioles’ winner was center fielder Cedric Mullins.

“There is nobody that demonstrates that (what the award represents) as well as Cedric does, in my opinion,” said Hyde. “He’s been wonderful in every way. Great accomplishment being nominated for that award.

“Cedric is a great example for every young player on our team. They can see first-hand a guy that has dealt with a lot of adversity on the field. Struggled, went down, came back up. Got an opportunity. Played well and then really played well. Yeah, he’s an example for our younger players of perseverance and how he dealt with adversity. He was extremely determined and right now he’s playing like an All-Star player, an elite player, every night. Is an ultimate team guy as well.”

Shorebirds walk-off: Low Single-A Delmarva has had some struggles recently but last night beat Down East 4-3 with a walk-off hit in the last of the ninth at Perdue Stadium. On his 20th birthday, shortstop Darell Hernaiz singled in Lamar Sparks with the game-winner. Delmarva is 44-34.

The Shorebirds’ starting pitcher, 20-year-old righty Jean Pinto, rolled through six scoreless innings on two hits, throwing just 60 pitches. He retired the final 15 batters. His ERA is 2.70 and he’s given up just three walks while striking out 14 in his first 10 innings for Delmarva. The Orioles acquired him along with pitcher Garrett Stallings on Dec. 2, 2020 when they traded shortstop José Iglesias to the Los Angeles Angels.

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