After flying out of Boston with a three-game sweep over their bitter rivals in their back pocket, the Orioles will now look to keep the good vibes flowing versus a scrappy Seattle Mariners squad over a three-game set at Camden Yards.
The upcoming clash against the Mariners will kick off a three-legged, ten-game home stand for the Orioles. To say that this is the biggest home stand of the year would be an understatement. They’ll take on fellow wild card contender Seattle to begin the week, then host two AL East rivals in the form of the Blue Jays and the currently playoff-bound Yankees before departing for Cleveland.
It’s time to dig the cleats in, protect the house and reel off a bunch of notches in the win column.
The Orioles (65-65) are currently riding a four-game winning streak as they prepare to host the Mariners, and as a result of their recent surge, the Minnesota Twins and the second wild card slot are just two games out of reach. The Orioles should be buzzing at the thought of their upcoming home stand, as they boast an already impressive 38-26 record at home this season. They should also be buzzing after notching a drastically improved 23-16 mark over their last 39 games. Lastly, with a current 14-11 record in the month of August, the Orioles are having their first .500+ month since April.
Simply put, these resilient Birds have turned some heads as of late, and they seem to be hitting their stride at the right time.
The Mariners (66-65) roll into Birdland tied with the Angels for second place in the AL West and just 1.5-games behind the Twins for the final playoff spot in the AL. The Mariners have battled admirably all season long, and remain in the thick of the fight for the playoffs even after their starting rotation was ravaged by injuries. The Mariners have posted an impressive 23-17 mark since the conclusion of the All-Star Break and will be looking to state their case versus a fellow playoff contender as well.
This should be a great series to watch. However, the Orioles will be out for some revenge against the Mariners as they’ve gone just 2-8 against them since the beginning of last season.
Will the O’s continue their stellar run of form, or will the Mariners send their hosts crashing back down to earth?
Only time will tell. Let’s take a look at the starters.
Tillman will be aiming to notch another win versus his former club and snap his fifteen-start winless streak tonight. Over ten career starts versus Seattle, Tillman has had to have stirred up second thoughts in the Mariners hierarchy as he owns a sparkling 7-1 record and 3.30 ERA (That Adam Jones guy has been pretty good, too.). Tillman will be looking to repay Buck Showalter‘s faith after the skipper re-installed Tillman into the starting rotation after an exile to the bullpen, and will be giving him the nod once again despite Tillman having allowed four runs over 5 1/3 innings during his last start versus the Angels.
Gonzalez, a once-promising top prospect in the Cardinals farm system, has went through a recovery campaign after missing all of 2016 due to Tommy John surgery. He turned in a decent outing during his last start versus Atlanta and allowed two runs on six hits over 4 2/3 innings. Acquired by Seattle in July, Gonzales is now 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA over his first four starts with the Mariners.
Bundy turned in yet another impressive performance during his last start against Oakland and allowed three runs on seven hits over six innings. The Orioles in-form hurler is still undefeated since the start of the second half and owns a 4-0 record over six starts during that span. Over his last four starts, Bundy boasts a clean 3-0 record and a glittering 2.66 ERA. He’s also racked up 33 strikeouts over 27 innings of work during that span as well. Simply put, Bundy’s been dealin’.
Ramirez allowed just three runs despite ten hits over 5 1/3 innings during his last start versus Oakland, and will be looking to continue his good run of form versus the Orioles. Over his last eight outings (five starts) since the All-Star Break, Ramirez has gone 1-1 with an impressive 3.18 ERA. In sixteen career appearances (six starts) versus Baltimore, the former Tampa Bay Ray owns a 2-3 record and a sparkling 2.98 ERA.
Jimenez was tagged to the tune of five runs (three homers) on nine hits over five innings during his last outing versus Oakland, and has now lost back-to-back starts while posting a 10.61 ERA over that span. Over his last six starts, Jimenez has gone 1-3 with a 4.86 ERA. Over eight career starts versus Seattle, Jimenez has posted a 2-4 record and a 6.50 ERA.
Miranda battled through 4 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball during his last start against the Yankees, but the second half of the campaign hasn’t been kind to the former Orioles prospect. After lighting it up in the first half of the season with a 7-4 record and a 4.15 ERA over eighteen starts, Miranda has posted a 1-2 record and a 5.79 ERA over eight starts since the conclusion of the All-Star Break. He’s gone 1-2 with a 6.12 ERA over five starts during the month of August as he heads into his first career start against his former club.
That’s it for now, Orioles fans!
Can I get a let’s go O’s?!?!