CLEVELAND — After winning eight of ten games, the Orioles ran into some issues against the Yankees earlier this week. The visiting Yankees dominated in games 1 and 3 of the series and could have picked up a sweep had it not been for Manny Machado’s heroics in game two.
The losses were disappointing for the O’s, especially after finding their stride in the week leading up to the series. The good news is the Orioles still have time to regroup and fight for a wildcard spot. The Birds have seven series left to play, and all but two of them are against AL East rivals.
Standings Update: Following the losses to the Yankees, the Orioles are two games out of the second wildcard spot. The Indians, on the other hand, are as hot as ever. Thanks to a 15-game win streak these past two weeks, Cleveland is cruising their way to another playoff appearance. The Indians are currently 11 games ahead of the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central.
Last Meeting: The Orioles hosted the Indians for a four-game series back in June. Cleveland outscored Baltimore 28-10 as they took three out of four. This weekend’s trip to Progressive Field will be the last meeting between the two teams this season.
Game Times and Pitching Matchups:
Notes on the Indians:
- Edwin Encarnacion terrorized the Orioles for years as a part of the Toronto Blue Jays but he now finds himself outside the AL East with the Indians. Despite the move, Encarnacion still poses a major threat to the O’s. In 130 career starts against Baltimore, Encarnacion has accumulated 35 home runs and 87 RBI’s. When the teams met earlier this year, the three-time all star went 5/18 at the plate with a home run and four RBI’s.
- Cleveland’s 15-game win streak currently sits as the longest by any team all season. The Indians experienced a similar streak last season, making them the fifth team to have 14-game win streaks in back-to-back seasons. What’s even more impressive is how the Indians dominated every opponent during this streak. In the 15-game stretch, Cleveland has outscored their opponents 109-28.
Notes on the Orioles:
- J.J. Hardy is expected to be activated from the disabled list at the start of this series. The veteran shortstop has been out since June 20 with a wrist fracture. With the acquisition of Tim Beckham at this years trade deadline, Hardy’s role on the O’s has become less clear. The three-time gold glove winner could serve as a good defensive substitute for the rest of the season.
- Chris Tillman is slated to get the start on Saturday but since rejoining the starting rotation he has not improved at all. In his past three starts Tillman holds a 8.30 ERA and a 0.38 K/BB ratio.
- Adam Jones has found some success batting against Cleveland in his 12-year career. Jones holds a .288 batting average with seven home runs and 23 RBI’s in 57 career starts against the Indians. Four of those homers and nine of those RBI’s have taken place at Progressive Field.
Up Next: The Orioles will stay on the road next week as they head to Toronto to face the Blue Jays for the second time this month. The O’s split the last series against Toronto on the shoulders of two extra-inning, walk off wins. The split also means that the O’s have yet to lose a series against the Blue Jays in 2017.
Image Credit: Associated Press