MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Houston0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 021
Baltimore0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 270
  W: K. Bradish (4-7)   L: J. Verlander (17-4)   S: F. Bautista (15)
4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)5:05 PM CT, September 22, 2022
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland  Attendance: 16,417

O's open crucial 4-game set vs. Astros in playoff chase

According to STATS
According to STATS

Houston Astros at Baltimore Orioles

  1. The Astros are 13-4 (.765) at the Orioles since 2016, their best winning percentage on the road against an AL opponent in that span. In this span, the Astros had a 23-run outburst on August 10th, 2019; the third most runs allowed by Baltimore in a home game since 1901 (9473 home games since 1901).
  2. Justin Verlander has won nine straight decisions and is trying to produce a career-high fourth consecutive scoreless start. Since June 1, he has a major league-best .151 opponent batting average on the road (minimum six starts)
  3. Kyle Tucker has hit safely in 17 of his last 18 road games with five homers and 19 RBI since August 15. Tucker only trails Bo Bichette (20 RBI) for the most RBI on the road since August 15.
  4. The Orioles have lost a season-high three straight home series, going 3-8 at Camden Yards since September 4. The Orioles have the fourth lowest batting average (.196) and the highest opponent batting average (.298) in MLB at home since September 4.
  5. Kyle Bradish has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 10 straight starts. Bradish allowed two hits over a career-high 8.0 scoreless IP in his only career matchup against Houston on August 26.
  6. Gunnar Henderson is hitting .364/.400/.697 with two homers and 11 RBI in his last eight games. On Wednesday, he became the seventh Orioles' player since 1920 to record at least 15 RBI in his first 20 major league games and the first since Ryan Mountcastle in 2020.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/22/2022 thru 9/25/2022
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

It could be a rewarding series on several levels for the Baltimore Orioles in the coming days.

Looks like a challenging one as well.

The Houston Astros will arrive to take on the Orioles in a four-game series, beginning Thursday night in Baltimore.

There's lots at stake for the Orioles in their quest to reach the American League playoffs.

Houston (99-51) might be in cruise control, though there appears to be no let-up. The Astros, who'll reach the 100-win mark with their next victory, have won four in a row and 10 of their last 11 games.

At least the Astros did the Orioles a favor this week by sweeping three games from the Tampa Bay Rays, who are one of the team's Baltimore (77-71) is chasing in pursuit of a spot in the playoffs.

There's also another element that could endear Baltimore fans to the Astros. Popular designated hitter Trey Mancini, who was traded to Houston from the Orioles at the trade deadline, will be back at Camden Yards for the first time in an opposing uniform.

"I hope the fans give him a great ovation," Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. "I'm sure they will. It's going to be a lot of hugs from our side to him. Obviously, the fan base here loved him and still continues to love him. His teammates think so highly of him as well."

The Astros will have some standouts in the spotlight.

Astros right-hander Justin Verlander (17-3, 1.78 ERA), starting pitcher for the series opener, has the best earned run average in the major leagues. He has gone 14 consecutive innings without allowing a run. That involves his last three appearances, including three shutout innings against the Orioles on Aug. 28.

Verlander left that game early because of a calf injury. He was out until returning for five hitless innings with nine strikeouts last Friday against the Oakland Athletics.

"I can tell there's a little rust," Verlander said, realizing there was a layoff of about three weeks.

With Houston having clinched a playoff spot as American League West champion, the Astros are bound to be extra cautious with Verlander's workload.

"The fact that he's on the mound is a good sign for us (and) for him," manager Dusty Baker said.

Verlander is 10-5 with a 3.64 ERA in 23 career starts against Baltimore.

The Orioles are scrambling for offense. Hyde has changed the lineup both in terms of who's in it and the order he places them.

Infielder Rougned Odor has been on the bench for four consecutive games.

"We're giving some other guys some opportunities right now," Hyde said. "You're going to see (Terrin) Vavra play a little bit more, and I'll still find spots for Roogie. But we're just looking at some other players."

Second baseman Jose Altuve was hit by a pitch on the left elbow Wednesday and removed from the game. That makes it unlikely he'd be in Thursday's lineup unless there's no lingering soreness.

Rookie right-hander Kyle Bradish (3-7, 5.05 ERA) will start for Baltimore, trying to recover from a personal two-game losing streak. But it hasn't been all that bad, with the first of those defeats coming when he allowed one run in seven innings to the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 11.

Bradish blanked the Astros on two hits across eight innings in his longest outing of the season Aug. 26 in Houston.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 22, 2022

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