After their three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox, the Baltimore Orioles head home to face their far-away foes, the Seattle Mariners.
The last time the Baltimore Orioles played the Mariners, the Orioles went one for three in Seattle. They scored 11 runs to win the first game of the series but gave up 10 in the two that followed.
This series is an important one for the Orioles as the Mariners are 0.5 games ahead of them in the Wild Card race. With a few wins, the Orioles could inch their way closer to that tightly contested second spot.
The one thing that will stand in the way of the Orioles getting closer to the second Wild Card spot is the pitching. This series sees the weakest parts of the O’s rotation facing a trio of Mariners’ pitchers who are far from being household names.
Monday night starters
The party gets started on Monday night as Chris Tillman starts against Marco Gonzalez. Tillman was most recently in the bullpen prior to his last start against the Los Angeles Angels. Tillman’s ERA in his last three games is 4.70, but he gave up 6 walks in 7.2 innings. Gonzalez has an ERA of 4.73 in his last three starts. He is the current replacement for Felix Hernandez who is on the Disabled List with shoulder bursitis.
Tuesday night is the best chance for a win
Tuesday night features Dylan Bundy, who has a 3.79 and is 2-0 in his last three starts, against Erasmo Ramirez. The young Mariners pitcher was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays prior to the July trade deadline. In his last three starts with the Mariners, he has an ERA of 2.00.
The Orioles have seen Ramirez a handful of times when he was with the Rays. They saw him twice in 2017, the last time was on July 1 where he pitched in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. He struck out two batters and gave up three hits. He also pitched in four innings to finish the game on April 26. The Orioles won that game 5-4.
Wednesday afternoon face-off
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Wednesday’s afternoon game features Ubaldo Jimenez against Ariel Miranda. Jimenez has an ERA of 8.59 with two losses in his last three starts. Miranda pitched one game for the Orioles in 2016 and was traded to the Mariners at the July deadline that same year. His trade is the one that netted the Orioles Wade Miley. Miranda has a 4.62 ERA, 123 strike outs, and a win-loss record of 8 and 6 in 2017. He certainly has the edge over Jimenez with one exception: Miranda is currently leading the American League with home runs allowed. He has given up 31, but Jimenez is close behind with 29.
Big Orioles hits in the previous series
In the previous series in Seattle, a few of the Orioles hitters showed serious power. In the win on August 14, Manny Machado recorded his second Grand Slam of the month. In the same game, Trey Mancini, Tim Beckham, and Seth Smith also recorded home runs. Jonathan Schoop went yard and scored the only Orioles run in the game on August 15. On August 16, Beckham hit second home run in as many days, but the Orioles lost that game 6-7 when Jimenez pitched against Gonzalez.
If the Orioles can defy the numbers and get some wins with their most troublesome starters on the mound, they could make headway in the Wild Card race. They could also finally get above the .500 win-loss record. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM on Monday night.