Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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MLB Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates (21-17) at Baltimore Orioles (24-13)


THE PIRATES: Were off yesterday…Snapped their season-high seven game losing streak with Monday night’s win against the Rockies…Have lost Nine of their last 10 games…Won seven straight games from 4/17-23, their longest winning streak since 2018 (11 games)…Hold a 0.5 game lead over the second-place Brewers in the National League Central coming into today…Have the third-best record in the National League behind the Braves (25-12) and Dodgers (23-15).

HITTING THE ROAD: Tonight the Pirates begin a six-day, five-game road trip to Baltimore and Detroit…This is the second straight season the Pirates have visited Camden Yards after dropping two of three games here last year from August 5-7… The Pirates are 9-14 all-time against the Orioles during interleague play.

ON THE ROAD: The Pirates have scored 99 runs in 19 games (5.2 average per game) on the road this season, which ranks third among all National League teams and seventh in MLB…The Braves (108) and Dodgers (100) are the only two National League teams to plate more runs on the road this season…The Pirates are also tied for the fifth-best road record (11-8) in MLB behind the Braves (15-3), Rays (11-6), Orioles (13-8) and Astros (11-7).

ABOUT TONIGHT’S STARTER: Johan Oviedo will make his eighth start of the season tonight in the opener of this three-game series…Oviedo has Most each of his last two starts coming into tonight…Prior to that, he went 2-1 with a 2.16 ERA (25.0ip/6er) in his previous four starting assignments…The 25-year-old righthander tossed 15.1 scoreless innings earlier this year from April 3-14, which is the fifth-longest scoreless streak in the National League this season behind Zac Gallen (28.0ip), Max Fried (20.0ip), Vince Velasquez (19.0ip) and Spencer Strider (16.0ip).

KEEPING UP WITH CUTCH’S MILESTONES: Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBI on Wednesday…McCutchen’s three hits gave him a total of 1491 as a member of the Pirates, surpassing Al Oliver (1490) for 12th all-time…On Tuesday, McCutchen became just the ninth player in team history to reach 2500 total bases…The 36-year-old McCutchen ranks fifth among active players with 3353 career total bases, trailing Miguel Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Joey Votto and Evan Longoria.

CRUSHING AT CAMDEN: Miguel Andjuar has hit safely in 16 of 17 career games here at Camden Yards (his last visit here was as a member of the Yankees from May 14-16, 2021)…Andujar has gone 24-for-59 (.407) with three doubles, a triple, two homers and 10 RBI in those 17 games…Andujar also has 22 career RBI against the Orioles, which are his second-most against any team behind the Blue Jays (23).

DAURI DEALING: Dauri Moreta struck out three of the six batters he faced on Wednesday while also stranding each of his two inherited runners…Moreta has recorded 10 strikeouts while allowing just one hit in 8.0 scoreless innings in his last five outings…Moreta’s 25 strikeouts are tied for the third-most among all National League relievers behind Colorado’s Jake Bird (28) and Miami’s Huascar Brazoban (27).

STRANDED: Dauri Moreta has not allowed any of his 11 inherited runners to score this season…Moreta is the only pitcher in all of MLB to not allow at least 11 inherited runners to score this season.

RULE FIVE RULING: Jose Hernandez worked 0.1 scoreless inning in his last game Wednesday afternoon against the Rockies…Hernandez comes into today tied for the seventh-most strikeouts (17) among all rookie relief pitchers in MLB (Ian Hamilton of the Yankees leads the way with twenty five)…Hernandez’ 2.25 ERA also ranks fifth among all rookie relievers in MLB.

WINNING STARTS HERE: Pittsburgh’s starting rotation has recorded 16 wins, which are tied for the second-most in MLB behind the Rays (20)… Pittsburgh’s starters had a Major-League low 21 wins during the 2022 season…Pittsburgh’s starting rotation has tossed a total of 206.1 innings this year, which are tied for the fifth-most in MLB.

REYNOLDS ON THE ROAD: Bryan Reynolds is hitting .347 (25-for-72) this season on the road…That ranks seventh in all of MLB behind behind Miami’s Luis Arraez (.403), Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. (.366), Chicago’s Ian Happ (.366), San Francisco’s J.D. Davis (.362) and Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (.352).

JOHAN OVIEDO: The 25-year-old righthander is making his eighth start tonight…He allowed seven runs (6er) in 5.0 innings and lost an 8-2 decision to Toronto in his last start on Saturday.

vs. BALTIMORE: Has never faced the Orioles.


RUBBER GAME VICTORY: Baltimore scored two runs in the sixth inning to beat Tampa Bay, 2-1, in the rubber game of the three-game set on Wednesday…Adam Frazier put the O’s on the board with an RBI fielder’s choice and Austin Hays added to the lead with an RBI single…Dean Kremer tossed 6.0 scoreless innings while Yennier Cano secured his third save with a perfect ninth inning.  Marked the eighth one-run victory of the season for the O’s, tied for the second-most such wins in MLB this season; only Miami (12-0) has more; at 8-4, the .667 winning percentage by the Orioles in one-run games is tied for second-best in the AL and tied for fifth-best in MLB.

Hays notched his team-leading 11th multi-hit game of year.  Ryan Mountcastle drew two walks, his second such game of the season; after walking twice on Opening Day March 30 at Boston, he was issued three free passes in 35 games before Wednesday.  Cedric Mullins is now 12-for-12 in stolen base attempts after swiping second base in the third inning; he is one successful steal away from tying the Orioles record (since 1954) to begin a season, done by both Brian Roberts and Corey Patterson in 2006.

OPENING ACT: Baltimore is 11-1 in series openers this season after dropping Monday’s game to Tampa Bay…Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the streak of 11 consecutive series-opening victories to begin a season marked the longest in Orioles history and was tied for the third-longest such streak by any MLB team with the 1883 and 1890 Philadelphia Athletics, 1959 Cleveland Indians, and 1973 San Francisco Giants, trailing a streak of 19 straight series-opening wins by the 1907 Chicago Cubs and a 12-game streak by the 1919 New York Giants.

WHAT’S TRENDING: The O’s have won 16 of their last 22 games, 18 of their last 25, and 20 of their last 28…The 24-13 overall record is the third-best in MLB to start the season (see box at right).  Last season, the Birds did not reach 24 wins until the 57th game on June 7 (24- 33); they did not reach 25 wins until the 60th game on June 11 (25-35).  The Orioles are 72-50 since July 1, 2022, a 95-win pace; the .590 winning percentage during that time is the third-best in the AL and fifth-best in MLB, trailing the Dodgers (.696, 87-38), Braves (.672, 82-40), Astros (.621, 77-47), and Rays (.603, 76-50).

AGAINST THE PIRATES: The Orioles and Pirates meet for their only series of the season this weekend…Baltimore hosted Pittsburgh last season from August 5-7 with the O’s winning the first two games of the series before the Buccos won the finale… The Birds are 11-2 all-time (since the teams first met in 2005) against the Pirates at Oriole Park.

FEELS GOOD TO BE HOME: The Orioles are in the midst of their longest homestand of the season, continuing tonight with the first of three games against Pittsburgh…The O’s dropped the series opener to Tampa Bay on Monday before winning on Tuesday and Wednesday…They host the Angels for four games beginning May 15 to conclude the 10-game, 11-day homestand.

ON THE ATTACK: Baltimore ranks fifth in the AL and eighth in MLB with 192 runs scored after finishing 10th in the AL and 20th in MLB with 674 runs in 2022…The Birds lead AL teams with 148 walks.

WHAT A RELIEF: The Baltimore bullpen owns a 3.12 ERA (49 ER/141.1 IP), the fifth-best in MLB…Baltimore’s 2.52 reliever ERA (17 ER/60.2 IP) at home ranks as the third-best in the AL and fourth-best in the majors…The Orioles are second in MLB with 165 strikeouts from the ‘pen and they are have struck out 28.0 percent of batters faced, second-highest in MLB (HOU, 28.1).

OPENING STATEMENTS: Baltimore starting pitchers have a 2.41 ERA (9 ER/33.2 IP) in six games since May 5, the third-best starter ERA in the AL and fifth-best in MLB during that time…Through May 4, O’s starters had a 5.65 ERA (98 ER/156.0 IP), ranked 12th in the AL and 25th in MLB.

AY, TONE: Anthony Santander owns a season-long nine-game hitting streak, the longest by an Oriole this year, since May 2; has slashed .395/.439/.737 (15-for-38) with four doubles, three home runs, eight runs scored, nine RBI, two walks, and a hit-by-pitch in that span…His 15 hits during that time lead all MLB players, his 28 total bases are second, and his seven extra-base hits are tied for third.

Seven of his last 11 hits have gone for extra bases (4-2B, 3 HR).  Recorded six straight multi-hit games from May 2-7, the longest such streak in MLB this season; became the first O’s batter with six consecutive multi-hit performances since José Iglesias, who had seven in a row from August 15 to September 2, 2020.

BIG TIME RUTSCH: Adley Rutschman singled and walked on Wednesday, his team-leading 18th game of the season reaching base safely at least two times…His 67 times on base lead the AL and are tied for fourth in MLB…He leads the AL and is second in MLB with 30 walks while ranking sixth in the AL with a .401 on-base percentage.

Rutschman snapped an 0-for-his-last-19 stretch with a 407-foot, two-run homer onto Eutaw Street in the third inning on Tuesday, the first Eutaw Street home run by an Oriole since Anthony Santander hit one on September 5, 2022 (G1) vs. Toronto; marked his first career Eutaw Street home run, the 119th in ballpark history, 56th by an Oriole, and the second this season (BOS’ Devers on 4/24); the 111.1 mph blast was the hardest-hit ball of his career.

THE CANO SHOW: Yennier Cano has surrendered just three hits, all singles, and one hit batter in 18.2 scoreless innings over 14 appearances to begin the season after being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on April 14…Per STATS, his 0.16 WHIP is the lowest by any MLB pitcher over any span of 14 appearances (min. 50 outs recorded) in the modern era.

Cano’s 14-game scoreless streak is the third-longest to begin a year by an O’s pitcher in team history (since 1954), trailing Donnie Hart (18G) in 2016 and Will Ohman (25G) in 2010.

NEED FOR SPEED: This series features two of the top base-stealing teams in MLB… The Pirates lead MLB with 48 stolen bases while the Orioles have swiped 38 bases, tied for third-most in MLB (see chart at right)…The O’s have caught 29.6 percent (8-of27) of base stealers this season while the Buccos are at 12.2 percent (5-for-41)…The 27 attempts against Baltimore are tied for the fifth-fewest in MLB while the 41 attempts vs. Pittsburgh are the fifth-most in the majors this season.

ROSTER MOVES: The O’s recalled Nick Vespi today from Triple-A Norfolk…In a corresponding move, Drew Rom was optioned to Triple-A after Wednesday’s game.

1-1, 5.95 ERA

QUICK HITS: Scheduled to make his sixth start of the season, second at home, and first career start against the Pirates tonight…Made 23 starts in his rookie season with the Orioles in 2022…Went 4-7 with a 4.90 ERA (64 ER/117.2 IP) with 111 strikeouts to 46 walks…Was one of 13 O’s players (7 pitchers) to make their debut in 2022…Started on the bump for Adley Rutschman’s debut on May 21 vs. Tampa Bay…Tossed 16.0 consecutive scoreless innings across four starts from August 26 to September 6… Acquired by the Orioles along with RHP Kyle Brnovich, RHP Zach Peek, and RHP Isaac Mattson from Los Angeles-AL in exchange for RHP Dylan Bundy on December 4, 2019…Originally drafted by the Angels in the fourth round of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft out of New Mexico State…Teammates at NMSU with INF Joey Ortiz.

LAST TIME OUT: Did not factor into the decision in his first career start against the Braves on May 6…Allowed three runs on five hits (1 HR) with two walks, one hit batter, and four strikeouts in 5.0 innings at Truist Park…Threw 86 pitches, 57 strikes.

CAREER AGAINST PIRATES/NL CENTRAL: Making his first career start against the Pirates and fourth career start against the NL Central…Did not factor in the decision in his last outing against the division on July 29, 2022 at Cincinnati, allowing two runs on five hits (1 HR) with seven strikeouts in 5.0 innings…Threw 81 pitches, 52 strikes.

INTERLEAGUE HERO: Owns a 2-0 record with a 2.93 ERA (9 ER/27.2 IP) and 33 strikeouts to eight walks in five career Interleague starts…Held opposing hitters to a .225 (23-for-102) batting average in those games… Earned his first career win and tallied a career-high 11 strikeouts on May 10, 2022 at St. Louis…Threw a career-high 105 pitches on June 7, 2022 vs. Chicago-NL…Has allowed three earned runs-or-fewer in each of his five career outings against the National League.

SAVING HIS BEST FOR THE BEST: Made 14 starts against teams that qualified for the 2022 playoffs in his debut season, going 4-4 with a 4.24 (36 ER/76.1 IP) ERA…The Orioles owned a 9-5 record in those games…He went 2-0 against Houston, tossing 8.0 scoreless innings on August 26 at Minute Maid Park and throwing another 8.2 shutout frames on September 22 at Oriole Park.

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