Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Orioles Look to Continue Winning Ways as They Face the Phillies

May 15, 2018 - 9:34 am
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By Joe Schiller 

The Baltimore Orioles are playing some of their best baseball as of recent. They’ve won five of the last six and back-to-back series for the first time this season. This did come against two sub .500 teams in the Kansas City Royals and Tampa Bay Rays but it’s a positive boost for a ball club that’s struggled during the early portions of their schedule.

After a day of rest, the Orioles continue their homestand with a short two-game interleague series with the Philadelphia Phillies. This is the first of two meetings between the sides as Buck Showalter’s team will look to continue their winning momentum tonight.

The bats have been the primary motive for the recent success. The Orioles scored at least five runs or more in their last five wins, including a 17-run breakout performance against the Rays on Mother’s Day. Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo have returned from long stints on the DL, adding much-needed power in the batting lineup. Manny Machado continues to hit out of his mind and is boasting a .350/.431/.669 slash line.

As well as the bats, the front-end of the pitching rotation was dominant over the weekend. Kevin Gausman (3-2) allowed just two earned runs in just over seven innings on Friday, followed up by a shutout performance from Dylan Bundy (2-5). With the two free agent signings struggling combined with the uncertainty at the No. 5 spot, the duo of Gausman and Bundy are crucial if the Orioles want to continue their recent success.

The Phillies have been off to a strong start to the season, sporting a 23-16 record, good enough for second place in the NL East. First-time skipper Gabe Kapler has managed a quick turnaround coming in considering the team finished 30 games south of .500 in 2017. Center fielder Odúbel Herrera has been tearing the cover off the baseball, totaling six home runs and 24 RBIs already this season. Luckily, the Oriole bats won’t have to face Aaron Nola or Jake Arrieta. Nick Pivetta will take the mound tonight and Vince Velasquez will on Wednesday.

Rain is in the forecast both nights so it will be interesting to see how the games will be played out.

The Orioles will look to extend their winning ways as they finish up the latter part of a nine-game homestand.

Probable Pitchers

5/15: RHP Andrew Cashner (1-4, 4.84 ERA) vs. Nick Pivetta (2-2, 4.15 ERA)

5/16: TBA vs. RHP Vince Velasquez (3-4, 5.05 ERA)