SEATTLE — When Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman takes the mound tonight against the Seattle Mariners, he hopes to continue to build on the starting rotation’s recent success.
After left-hander Wei-Yin Chen’s eight-inning outing in Thursday’s series-opening 4-0 win, the Orioles' starting rotation has allowed just four earned runs over 28 1/3 innings (1.27 ERA).
Keep in mind that three of those games came against a Los Angeles Angels team averaging 4.95 runs per game.
The rotation's success has been a key component of the Orioles’ success on this West Coast trip. It sounds like an easy formula: Score early so that the starters can work with a lead and limit scoring opportunities, and go deep in games before handing it over to the bullpen. It didn’t work earlier in the season, but it is now.
The Orioles have won three of their past four games, the only loss coming when the bullpen couldn't hold a 2-1 lead for Chris Tillman in a 3-2 loss Wednesday in Anaheim.
In seven games since the All-Star break, Orioles starters have recorded five quality starts and have gone six or more innings six times. They have a 2.86 ERA since the break.
“They are really feeding off each other, and that’s the kind of stuff we are going to need through the last part of the season,” catcher Caleb Joseph said of the starting rotation. “They've done such a good job and allowed our bullpen to stay fresh. We’ve scored some runs for them and allowed them to go out there and keep the pedal to the metal. They've done a great job, and we need them do that in the second half.”
Over the past 40 games since June 9, the Orioles' rotation has an ERA of 3.12, cutting its season ERA from 4.61 to 4.00.
Here’s a breakdown of Orioles starters' outings over the past four games:
Monday vs. Angles: Bud Norris – 6 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 8 K
Tuesday vs. Angels: Miguel Gonzalez – 7 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 5 K
Wednesday vs. Angels: Chris Tillman – 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K
Thursday vs. Mariners: Wei-Yin Chen – 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K