Series Preview: Orioles begin last road trip of season in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH —  For both the Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburgh Pirates, this marks the last week of the regular season. Both teams will finish the 2017 campaign with a losing record, the first time that has occurred for the Orioles since 2011. Neither squad will get an opportunity to qualify for the postseason, making this week a great opportunity to check out some of the up-and-coming players that spent most of the 2017 season in the minor leagues.

The Orioles already have a couple of young studs on the 40-man roster, including Chance Sisco, Austin Hays, Jimmy Yacabonis, and Tanner Scott. Sisco hit a home run on Sunday, Hays has 36 at-bats in the big leagues with a home run, and Scott & Yacabonis are helping out the bullpen.

Over the weekend, Baltimore split a four-game series with the Rays. Pittsburgh (71-85) won their three-game series against the Cardinals, 2-1.

Last Meeting: On June 6-7, the Orioles swept a two-game series against the Pirates at Camden Yards. Both games went into extra innings, with the O’s winning in walk-off fashion over 10 and 11 innings, respectively. Game 1 went to extras tied at 5. The Orioles trailed 5-3 in the ninth inning, but Jonathan Schoop‘s two-run home run sent the game into extras. In the 10th frame, Mark Trumbo hit an RBI single that scored Adam Jones.

In the second game, the Orioles overcame a 6-1 deficit to beat Pittsburgh 9-6. Wade Miley went just 2.2 innings in his start, allowing four earned runs on eight hits, two walks, and four strikeouts. Edwin Jackson let up a two-run home run in the sixth inning, giving the Orioles just 12 outs to mount a big comeback.

The Birds did just that. Jones got things started in the eighth inning with a solo home run. In the ninth, the O’s scored four runs playing small ball. Joey Rickard hit a sacrifice fly to score Trumbo, J.J. Hardy hit a double to score Schoop, and Trey Mancini hit his eighth home run of the season to tie the game up.

In the 11th inning, Mancini homered again, this time a three-run shot that scored Rickard & Caleb Joseph to walk it off for Baltimore. Following this game, the Orioles sported a 31-26 record and stood in third place in the American League East, 2.5 games behind the Yankees, who occupied first place at the time.

 MLB Playoff Picture as of Sept. 26:

Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 11.04.06 AM.png

Image Credit: MLB.com

AL East Standings as of Sept. 26:

Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 11.05.30 AM

Game Times and Pitching Matchups: 

Game 1Tuesday, Sept. 26, 7:05 pm – Kevin Gausman (11-10, 4.61 ERA) vs. Trevor Williams (6-9, 4.18 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan 

Game 2Wednesday, Sept. 27, 7:05 pm – Gabriel Ynoa (2-2, 3.41 ERA) vs. Chad Kuhl (7-11, 4.31 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Orioles: 

  • The Orioles have the second-highest starting pitching ERA (5.64) in the MLB, only behind the Cincinnati Reds (5.66). That, of course, puts Baltimore as the worst in the AL.
  • In 4.2 innings against the Pirates in his career, Miguel Castro has yet to allow a run. Castro previously spent some time in the National League as a member of the Rockies.
  • For the first time since 2012, the MLB home run leader will not be on the Orioles.
    (Trumbo, 2016, Chris Davis 2015, 2013, Nelson Cruz 2014).

Notes on the Pirates:

  • Gerrit Cole‘s 197.2 innings this season puts him at ninth place in MLB, tied with Rick Procello of the Red Sox.
  • Infielder Jordy Mercer is dealing with tendinitis in his left knee. He sat out on Sunday against St. Louis.
  • In 46 career at-bats against Baltimore, Andrew McCutchen is a lifetime .457 hitter with 21 hits and five RBI.

Up Next: Following another off-day on Thursday, the Orioles wrap up the 2017 season at the Trop for a three-game weekend series with the Rays. Friday and Saturday’s games are evening games, and Sunday’s game begins at 3:10 pm.

Featured Image Credit: Baltimore Sun 

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