The Orioles began the month of July with a bang, hitting three more home runs and scoring eight runs to win their second-in-a-row over the Texas Rangers. The hot Oriole bats have scored at least seven runs in three straight games and are finally showing the offensive prowess that was envisioned to begin the season. Tonight, they look to make it three consecutive W's. Here's how they will line up.
RHP Chris Tillman, Baltimore
2014 stats: 17 G, 17 GS, 7-4, 4.18 ERA, 99.0 IP, 11 HR, 40 BB, 62 SO, .253 BAA, 1.39 WHIP
Last start (vs. Tampa Bay): 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 SO, W
Career against Texas: 5 G, 3-1, 4.66 ERA, 29.0 IP
This guy, what do you do with this guy. He can look like the worst pitcher on the planet some nights. But then others, he does what he did on Friday against Tampa. He tossed eight strong innings for the win. The two starts before that, he went seven each.
He only walked one his last time out. That is big improvement since, for the season, he is averaging over three and a half per nine innings. Something that is concerning is how the strikeout has almost entirely disappeared from his game. In his last four starts he has gone at least six innings, yet he hasn't managed more than three K's.
The last outing against Texas was bad news; five runs off three walks and six hits in ONE INNING! He has to do better than that, no matter how good the Oriole bats could be in backing him up.
RHP Miles Mikolas, Texas
2014 stats (Triple-A): 16 G, 6 GS, 5-1, 3.22 ERA, 44.2 IP, 3 HR, 3 BB, 38 SO, .283 BAA, 1.25 WHIP
Career Pitch Selection
This guy is making his 2014 Major League debut, but he was with the Padres back in 2012 and 2013 so he isn't completely fresh-faced. However, this will be his first ever start in the bigs. He is more accustomed to coming out of the bullpen. That poor Texas relief staff. Unless things break just right, they are gonna be tossing a lot of innings tonight.
Down at Tripe-A Round Rock, he has been around the plate a lot, amassing only three walks in over 44 innings of pitching. That means the Oriole bats will be active from the jump. However, Mikolas is not especially prone to the home run. The Baltimore bats may change that.
Texas Rangers (w/ career stats against Tillman)
|LF Shin-Soo Choo (L)||1-for-7, .143 BA, 1 HR, 2 BB, 3 SO|
|SS Elvis Andrus (R)||5-for-11, .455 BA, 1 2B, 3 BB, 1 SO|
|1B Carlos Pena (L)||1-for-9, .111 BA, 1 2B, 2 BB, 3 SO|
|3B Adrian Beltre (R)||4-for-9, .444 BA, 1 2B, 1 HR|
|RF Alex Rios (R)||1-for-10, .100 BA, 1 HR, 1 BB, 4 SO|
|CF Leonys Martin (L)||1-for-4, .250 BA, 1 SO|
|C Chris Gimenez (R)||1-for-5, .200 BA, 1 SO|
|2B Rougned Odor (L)||0-for-0, 1 BB|
|CF Michael Choice (R)||1-for-1, 1.000 BA, 1 HR|
It's not that the numbers are big here, it's the fact that half of the lineup has a home run against Tillman. If his issue with walks creeps up and then one of those home runs pops up, this could be a difficult night.
These are two teams traveling in opposite directions. Some smooth pitching in the middle of the order and Tillman should be home free.
|RF Nick Markakis (L)|
|LF Steve Pearce (R)|
|CF Adam Jones (R)|
|DH Nelson Cruz (R)|
|1B Chris Davis (L)|
|SS J.J. Hardy (R)|
|2B Jonathan Schoop (R)|
|3B Ryan Flaherty (L)|
|C Caleb Joseph (R)|
Not a single member of the 2014 Baltimore Orioles has ever faced the Texas righty. But if the last two nights of hitting against Ranger pitching is any indication, this will be a long night for Mr. Mikolas.