The Baltimore Orioles don’t have a lot to show in terms of accomplishments this season, but one area where they’ve been pretty good is in the rubber match of a series.
They’ll be in another one Thursday night against the visiting Seattle Mariners after the teams split the first two games of the series.
The Orioles are 6-2 in games that are rubber matches this season.
The ability to put aside disappointments is a trait that seems to benefit the Orioles at times.
“I think in (previous) years we let days like (a 10-0 loss Tuesday) bleed into the next few days too many times,” utility player Trey Mancini said. “That hasn’t been the case at all this year.”
The Mariners have lost 10 of their last 15 games. Their road record dipped to 9-19, and Thursday night’s outing will mark the third game of a nine-game trip.
Mariners manager Scott Servais has expressed his frustration with the team “just not playing very good baseball consistently.” Seattle won only two series in May, so it would like to change the trend in June.
A bright spot for the Mariners has been first baseman Ty France, who added three more hits Wednesday and is batting .355.
“That’s all I’m trying to do is get in a good position and get a good swing off,” France said.
Baltimore homered four times in Wednesday night’s 9-2 victory after it was shut out in the series opener. With three homers in the sixth inning, it marked the first three-homer inning for the team since September 2020.
The Orioles have alternated losses and wins across their last eight games. This will be their third game of an eight-game homestand.
Baltimore hasn’t played close games all week. There were three straight games decided by 10-run margins prior to the seven-run gap Wednesday. The Orioles have split those four games.
“It’s very odd,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Going into a few days ago, you felt like every game was tight, at least until the sixth, seventh inning.”
Orioles outfielder Austin Hays owns a 13-game hitting streak.
Seattle right-hander Chris Flexen (2-6, 4.47 ERA) will try to keep the Orioles in check. Flexen, who has never faced Baltimore, snapped a four-game personal losing streak by matching a season high with seven innings in Friday’s 6-1 victory against the Houston Astros. Flexen is 0-4 with a 4.97 ERA in road games.
Right-hander Jordan Lyles (3-4, 4.26) will start for the Orioles. He hasn’t had much good fortune against Seattle in his career, going 2-5 with a 5.87 ERA.
Baltimore rookie catcher Adley Rutschman is likely to be back in the lineup after what was termed a scheduled day off Wednesday. The 2019 No. 1 overall draft pick struck out three times Tuesday.
The Orioles did some roster maintenance Wednesday, recalling reliever Denyi Reyes and optioning pitcher Zac Lowther to Triple-A Norfolk.
“We got Denyi Reyes up here because of what he did in Boston and the things he has done here to give us some relief help,” Hyde said.
The Mariners have infielder Abraham Toro back from the injured list, though he didn’t play Wednesday. Outfielder Kyle Lewis went on the seven-day injured list because he’s in the concussion protocol.
–Field Level Media