ARLINGTON — Just last week, the Orioles swept the Rangers over four games. It marked the first time since June 2016 that the O’s recorded a four-game sweep, but since then the club endured a 2-4 stretch, allowing five or more runs five times. Obviously, if the O’s want to sweep Texas again, they need better pitching.

Since their visit to Camden Yards, the Rangers played three games in Tampa, and three games at Globe Life Park against the Miami Marlins. The Rangers swept the Rays and went 1-2 against Miami, including an ugly 22-10 loss on Wednesday night. Starter Yu Darvish, who’s name currently links to trade rumors, lasted just 3.2 innings. He allowed 10 runs on nine hits, two walks, and five strikeouts.

Both teams received an off-day yesterday. The Orioles will not get another day off until August 17 following their west coast road trip. The Rangers will partake in two off days before the 17th.

Standings Update: Coming into the weekend, the Orioles (48-53) stand in fourth place in the American League East, seven games behind the Red Sox (56-47). The Rangers (49-52) own the third-place spot in the AL West, 18 games behind the team who holds the best record in the AL, the Houston Astros (67-34).

Texas sits 4.5 games back in the AL Wild Card race. Baltimore is 5.5 games back.

Game times and pitching matchups: 

Game 1Friday, July 28, 8:05 pm – Chris Tillman (1-5, 7.01 ERA) vs. Andrew Cashner (5-8, 3.64 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2Saturday, July 29, 8:05 pm – Kevin Gausman (7-7, 5.79 ERA) vs. Austin Bibens-Dirkx (3-0, 4.53 ERA) – MASN 2, WJZ, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3: Sunday, July 30, 3:05 pm – Wade Miley (4-9, 5.69 ERA) vs. Martin Perez (5-8, 4.67 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Orioles:

  • Every Orioles starter possesses an ERA above 5 at Globe Life Park – 5.08 (Tillman), 6.17 (Gausman), and 5.60 (Miley).
  • As of Thursday, Jonathan Schoop’s RBI mark of 72 ties for 10th in MLB with Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals.
  • Even though he missed time with an oblique injury, Chris Davis has 112 strikeouts to his name this season. That’s an 11th-placed number (in MLB) as of Thursday night.
  • Since the All-Star Break, Trey Mancini has quieted down at the plate, going 11-for-46 with two home runs and nine RBI.

Notes on the Rangers: 

  • Fun fact: I watched Bibens-Dirkx (32) pitch many times during my volunteer experience with the Lancaster Barnstormers in 2016. Bibens-Dirkx spent the beginning of the ’16 season with the ‘Stormers before signing a minor-league deal with Texas. He pitched in Triple-A Round Rock for the rest of the ’16 season. This year, he began the season in Triple-A before getting called up for his Major League debut on May 17. The rest is history.
  •  38-year-old Adrian Beltre sports a lifetime .294 batting average against the Orioles, with 123 hits and 234 home runs in 429 at-bats.

Up next: Before their annual trip to the west coast, the Birds will play seven games at home against two American League Central opponents. The Kansas City Royals, who swept Baltimore in May, come to town first for three games. Following the Royals are the Detroit Tigers, slotted for four games at Camden Yards.

Image Credit: Associated Press