Wednesday, May 29, 2024
5-Hour Energy

MLB Preview: Baltimore Orioles (21-10) at Atlanta Braves (22-10)


A WILD WIN IN KC: The Orioles beat the Royals, 13-10, yesterday at Kauffman Stadium…Baltimore led 8-1 in the top of the third inning, trailed 9-8 after seven, led 10-9 after eight, and held on for the victory in the ninth with Kansas City bringing the tying run to the plate with one out…Ramón Urías drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning with a pinch-hit, two-run single and later added two RBI in the ninth inning…Gunnar Henderson and Anthony Santander both homered for the O’s.

Urías became the first Oriole with four RBI off the bench since Pedro Álvarez on April 6, 2018 at New York-AL (14 innings) and the first to do so in a nine-inning game since Steve Clevenger on September 11, 2015 vs. Kansas City; the four RBI set a career high for Urías.  Adam Frazier scored a career-high four runs; he is the second O’s player to score four times in a game this season, joining Austin Hays on April 11 vs. Oakland; Baltimore has now had three players score four runs in the last two seasons (also Ryan Mountcastle, 5/30/22 at BOS) after going seven years (2015-21) between four-run games by a player.

Marked the 11th comeback victory by the Orioles this season, second-most in MLB behind Boston (13); the O’s 47 comeback wins over the last two years are the fifth-most in MLB.

Baltimore stole four bases in the eighth inning, tying the most steals in one inning by the Orioles since at least 1969, and for the first time since the ninth inning on September 5, 2011 at New York-AL.  The 3 hour, 24 minute game was the longest of the season for the Birds, one day after playing in 1 hour, 59 minutes, the quickest O’s game since 2010.

WHAT’S TRENDING: The O’s have won 13 of their last 16 games, 15 of their last 19, and 17 of their last 22…The .773 winning percentage (17-5) since April 10 is the best in the big leagues over that stretch…The 21-10 overall record is tied for the third-best start through the first 31 games of a season in team history (since 1954), done in 1994, 2005, and 2017, and trailing the 22-9 marks in 1970 and 1997 (see chart at right).  Baltimore owns the third-best record in MLB, trailing Atlanta (22-10) and Tampa Bay (26-6).  The O’s have won seven straight series, the longest since the team won eight series in a row from July 21 to August 13, 2014.  Last season, the Birds didn’t reach 21 wins until the 50th game on May 30 (21- 29); they did not reach 22 wins until the 52nd game on June 1 (22-28).  The Orioles are 69-47 since July 1, 2022, a 96-win pace; the .595 winning percentage during that time is the third-best in the AL and fifth-best in MLB, trailing the Dodgers (.697, 83-36), Braves (.675, 79-38), Astros (.627, 74-44), and Rays (.605, 72-47).

OPENING STATEMENTS: Baltimore is 10-0 in series openers to begin the 2023 campaign, the only team to have won all of their series openers this season…The streak of 10 consecutive series-opening victories to begin a season is the longest in club history (since 1954) and the longest by any MLB team since the 1973 San Francisco Giants won their first 11 series openers, per the Elias Sports Bureau…It is tied with the 1963 Orioles — who also won 10 straight from July 23 to August 23 — for the fourth-longest streak at any point in a season in O’s history…The club record is 11 straight series-opening wins, done three times: May 16 to June 18, 1980; May 23 to June 20, 1978; and August 30 to September 30, 1974.

AGAINST THE BRAVES: Baltimore and Atlanta meet for the only time this season with this weekend’s three-game set, the first matchups between the teams since 2021 and the second series ever between the clubs at Truist Park, formerly known as SunTrust Park…The Braves swept a three-game series at Camden Yards from August 20-22, 2021…The O’s took two of three games in Atlanta from June 22-24, 2018, including a wild 15-inning affair in the series opener with the Orioles rallying for six runs in the ninth inning only for the Braves to plate four runs in the bottom half before Manny Machado hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the 15th inning for a 10-7 Orioles victory.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Orioles are currently on an 11-day, 10-game road trip, their longest of the season, which began last Thursday night in Detroit…The O’s are 5-2 against the Tigers and Royals before playing three against the Braves through Sunday.  Baltimore’s 12-6 road start is tied for the fifth-best start through 18 away games in O’s history (since 1954), behind only the 13-5 starts in 1969, 1970, 2005, and 2012.
ON THE ATTACK: Baltimore ranks fourth in the AL and sixth in MLB with 171 runs scored after finishing 10th in the AL and 20th in MLB with 674 runs in 2022…The Birds rank among AL teams in walks (1st, 127), on-base percentage (3rd,.341), slugging percentage (4th, .430), and OPS (4th, .771).

The Orioles rank second in the AL and sixth in MLB with 4.01 pitches per plate appearance; the O’s have five players in the top 19 in the AL in pitches per plate appearance: Adley Rutschman (7th, 4.24), Anthony Santander (9th, 4.22), Gunnar Henderson (13th, 4.19), Cedric Mullins (18th, 4.13), and Adam Frazier (19th, 4.11).

KING OF THE CASTLE: Ryan Mountcastle has reached base safely in 13 straight games, tying the team high this season (Rutschman, 4/3-16) and the second-longest on-base streak of his career behind a 17-gamer from July 28 to August 26, 2021…His last seven hits have gone for extra bases (5-2B, 2 HR) since April 30…Mountcastle has an extra-base hit in four straight games, tied for the second-longest such stretch of his career behind a six-gamer from May 31 to June 6, 2021…Prior to this stretch, his previous 13 knocks were all singles from April 14-29 (G2)..  The long balls on Tuesday snapped his 15-game homer drought since April 13.

His homer off Ryan Yarbrough in the fourth inning on Tuesday had an exit velocity of 112.2 mph, the hardest-hit home run by an O’s batter since he had a 113.1 mph homer on September 16, 2021 vs. New York-AL; since 2020, Mountcastle owns three of the four hardest-hit home runs and five of the seven hardest-hit home runs by an Oriole, per Statcast.

He tallied five RBI on Tuesday, two more than he had in his previous 17 games combined, since he tied the Orioles record with nine RBI on April 11 vs. Oakland.

QUICK HITS: Adley Rutschman has reached base safely 59 times this year (35 H, 24 BB, which leads the AL and ranks second in MLB behind Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. (65)…Jorge Mateo now qualifies for the MLB leaderboard, where he ranks among AL leaders in slugging (4th, .595), batting average (5th, .321), and OPS (5th, .967).

ROSTER MOVES: The O’s activated Luis Torrens today after acquiring him from the Chicago Cubs for cash considerations on Tuesday…In a corresponding move, Ryan O’Hearn was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after yesterday’s game.

QUICK HITS: Scheduled to make his seventh start of the season, fourth away, and first against the Braves tonight…Made a career-high 22 appearances (21 GS) in 2022, 11 appearances at home (10 GS), and 11 on the road…Owned an 8-7 record with a 3.23 ERA (45 ER/125.1 IP) and 87 strikeouts…Made six starts of 5.0-or-more scoreless innings, tied for seventh-most in the AL…Acquired by the Orioles along with 2B Breyvic Valera, RF Yusniel Díaz, RHP Zach Pop and 3B Rylan Bannon in exchange for SS Manny Machado on July 18, 2018…Originally selected by the Dodgers in the 14th round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of UNLV.

LAST TIME OUT: Dealt his first loss of the season on April 29 (G1) at Detroit… Allowed five runs on a career-high 11 hits with six strikeouts and two walks in 5.0 innings…Threw 89 pitches, 57 strikes.

AGAINST ATLANTA/NL EAST: Making his first career start against the Braves and third against the NL East…Has gone 2-0 against the NL East in his career with a 2.31 ERA (3 ER/11.2 IP), both games against Washington…In his last time out against the division on April 18, 2023 at Washington, earned the win after allowing four hits, six strikeouts, and one hit by a pitch in 6.2 scoreless innings…Threw 95 pitches, 66 strikes.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Has gone 1-1 with a 6.14 ERA (10 ER/14.2 IP) in three road starts this year…In 22 career road starts, has gone 6-9 with a 5.18 ERA (62 ER/107.2 IP)…Went 5-3 with a 3.63 ERA (25 ER/62.0 IP) in 11 road starts in 2022.

‘KREM’ OF THE CROP: Had his career-high scoreless streak snapped at 22.2 innings on July 4, 2022 vs. Texas…Marks the longest scoreless streak by an Orioles starter since Mike Mussina pitched 27.0 scoreless innings from September 21, 1995 to April 2, 1996…The last Orioles pitcher with a scoreless streak of at least 22.2 innings was Steve Johnson, who tossed 25.1 scoreless frames across eight games (three starts) from August 25 to September 29, 2012.


Fried Scoreless
LH Max Fried enters tonight with an 18.0- inning scoreless streak, the longest active run by a starter in baseball. Only Rays’ reliever Pete Fairbanks has a longer streak overall, going 29.2 consecutive scoreless frames dating to last year. Fried allowed a run in the bottom of the
second in his season debut, March 30 at Washington, and has yet to allow a run in any of his three starts since. No Braves pitcher has made four straight scoreless starts since 2000, when Greg Maddux did so from September 7-23.

TONIGHT’S GAME: The Braves and Orioles tonight begin a three-game weekend series in what is the only scheduled meeting between the teams this season…The two last played in 2021, with Atlanta sweeping a three-game series in Baltimore.

• Atlanta and Baltimore have played 48 games since the advent of interleague play in 1997, with the Braves going 25-23 (.521) all-time against the Orioles.

• The two have played just one series here at Truist Park, a three-game set in 2018…Baltimore won two-of-three…Just four teams have played fewer games here since the stadium opened in 2017, with Kansas City and Oakland playing twice each, and Cleveland and Minnesota yet to visit.

• LH Max Fried has one career start against Baltimore, a four-hit shutout on August 20, 2021 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards…The 6-foot-4,
190-pound left-hander fanned four without a walk in the start, the first shutout of his career…Through four starts this season, Fried is 2-0 with a 0.45 ERA, allowing just one earned run in 20.0 innings.

• RH Dean Kremer has never faced the Braves, but has pitched against two current members of Atlanta’s roster…Sean Murphy is 0-for-3, while Eddie Rosario is 1-for-2 with an RBI…The 6-foot-2, 210-pound native of Stockton, CA, has made six starts for Baltimore on the season, going
2-1 with a 6.67 ERA (22 ER/29.2 IP) and 25 strikeouts.

WIN: Atlanta rallied from a first-inning deficit yesterday afternoon to beat Miami, 6-3, and complete the three-game sweep of the Marlins…The Braves improved to 22-10 with the win, the best record in the National League.

• Atlanta’s 22-10 record is its best start through 32 games since the 2000 club also opened the year 22-10…Just one team in franchise history, the 1997 club, has been better through 32 games…That 1997 team started 23-9.

• The sweep was already the fourth of the season for Atlanta, three of which have come on the road… The Braves swept St. Louis and Kansas City away from home earlier this season, and Cincinnati at Truist Park.

INTERLEAGUE: The Braves are set to play their third interleague series of the season this weekend, and are 3-3 against the American League so far.

• Atlanta swept Kansas City, April 14-16, before getting swept by Houston, April 21-23.

• The Braves went 13-7 (.650) against the A.L. last season, tied for the third-best interleague record in the majors…Only the Brewers and Dodgers, both at 15-5 (.750), were better.

• Atlanta opened the season 1-3 against the A.L. last year, before going 12-4 over its final 16 games against the opposing league, including five series wins.

ROSTER MOVES I: The Braves today returned RHP Raisel Iglesias from his rehabilitation assignment and reinstated him from the injured list, after optioning LHP Dylan Dodd to Triple-A Gwinnett following yesterday’s game.

• Iglesias missed Atlanta’s first 32 games after opening the season on the injured list with a strained right shoulder…In three rehabilitation appearances with the Stripers, he allowed two hits and one run with five strikeouts over 3.0 innings.

• Atlanta acquired him from the Los Angeles Angels at the trade deadline last season, and he proceeded to allow just one earned run in 26.1 innings over 28 games for the Braves…Among pitchers with at least 25.0 innings after he joined Atlanta, his 0.34 ERA was lowest in baseball.

• The Braves bullpen pitched to a 2.77 ERA after Iglesias was acquired last season, third lowest in the majors…In the 103 games before he joined, Atlanta relievers pitched to a 3.18 ERA.

ROSTER MOVES II: The club today also recalled INF Braden Shewmake to Atlanta and placed INF Ehire Adrianza on the 10-day injured list, backdated to May 2, with right elbow inflammation.

• Shewmake is in the lineup tonight, playing shortstop and batting ninth…It will mark his major league debut.

• He is currently rated by as Atlanta’s No. 6 overall prospect.

• Shewmake has batted .243/.282/.456 with five homers and 17 RBI in 24 games with Triple-A Gwinnett this season…However, in his last 13 games with the Stripers dating to April 19, he has hit .288/.345/.596 with a .941 OPS, collecting four doubles and four homers with nine RBI.

HARD HIT: Atlanta put seven balls in play with an exit velocity of at least 100.0 miles per hour yesterday, including two balls each by Ozzie Albies and Marcell Ozuna.

• Atlanta is averaging 90.7 mph on its balls in play this season, the highest exit velocity for a team in baseball…Tampa Bay ranks second with a 90.1 mark.

• The Braves’ 95 hard-hit outs, defined as outs on balls put in play with an exit velocity of at least 95.0, are most in the National League.

• Ronald Acuña Jr. is averaging 95.3 mph on his batted balls, the highest exit velocity in the National League and fifth highest in the majors…He has done so on 103 batted-ball events…None of the four players with a higher exit velocity have put more than 88 balls in play.

• Over his last four games, seven of Marcell Ozuna’s 15 batted-ball events have had exit velocities of at least 100.0 mph, including six of his last nine balls in play…In his first 17 games he had just eight balls hit 100.0 mph or harder.

Tonight’s Starting Pitcher – #54 Max Fried LHP
2023 Record: 2-0, 0.45 ERA • 2022 Record: 14-7, 2.48 ERA
vs. RHB: .220 (11-50), 0 HR • vs. LHB: .158 (3-19), 0 HR
Home: 0-0, 0.00 ERA (0/6.2) • Away: 2-0, 0.68 ERA (1/13.1)

Today’s Game
• Set to make his fifth start this season and second of his career against Baltimore.

• Tossed his first career shutout in his previous start against Baltimore on August 20, 2021.

• Leads the majors with a 0.45 ERA (min. four starts).

• Among pitchers with at least four starts, Fried’s 14 hits and two extra-base hits allowed are the fewest in MLB.

• One of four starters to not allow a home run through four outings this season.

• Became just the fifth pitcher since 1901 to only allow one run through March and April with at least four games started.

• Joined Hall-of-Famer Walter Johnson, Roger Clemens, Fernando Valenzuela and Minnesota’s Pablo López as the only other pitchers to do so (since 1901).

• Enters play with a career-most 18.0 consecutive-scoreless innings pitched, the longest streak in the National League and second longest in the majors.

• Scattered three hits while fanning seven hitters over 5.0 scoreless innings and earned the win during his last start in New York (NL) before the game was concluded due to inclement weather.

• Sports a career 2.65 ERA against New York (NL), the lowest against any single opponent (min. 10 appearances).

• His 54 wins since the beginning of the 2019 season are most in the National League, and most by any left-hander in baseball.

• Only one pitcher, the Yankees’ Gerrit Cole, has more wins than Fried since the start of 2019…Cole has 61 wins.

• Additionally, the Braves have 73 wins in games started by Fried since the beginning of 2019, the most such wins by a pitcher in the National League… Only Cole again, whose teams have won 78 of his starts, has more in the majors.

2023 Recap
• Fried picked off his first baserunner of the season as he caught OF Jake Myers attempting to steal second base in the top of the third inning on April 17.

• Since the beginning of the 2017 season, Fried’s 24 pickoffs are the most in baseball.

• Fried was placed on the 15-day injured list with a strained left hamstring on March 30 and activated from the IL on April 17.

• Made his third career Opening Day start after he also started the opener in each of the last two seasons.

• Fried was the first Braves lefty to make consecutive Opening Day starts since Hall-of-Famer Warren Spahn started six straight, 1957-1962.

• Prior to Fried, the last Braves lefty to start Opening Day was Tom Glavine in 2002.

World Elite Syndicate

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