Orioles, Athletics match streaks in series opener

League: MLB


Posted on: 05 Jul, 2024 at 01:02 PM

Credit: Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports

Two impressive streaks will be on the line Friday night when the Baltimore Orioles and host Oakland Athletics open a three-game series.

The Orioles are coming off a 7-3 loss at Seattle on Thursday, but they managed to score at least one run for the 52nd consecutive game.

They'll go for 53 in a row against an Oakland pitching staff that has not allowed any runs in its last two outings -- a pair of 5-0 home wins over the Los Angeles Angels.

Coincidentally, Baltimore was one of the opponents the last time the A's shut out three straight foes. That 3-0 contest occurred in August 1996 and was followed with 7-0 and 8-0 home wins over the Boston Red Sox.

The last time the Orioles didn't score a run was May 7 in a 3-0 loss at Washington.

Hogan Harris (1-2, 3.18 ERA) will attempt to help extend Oakland's shutout streak in the series opener. The left-hander, in his second major league season, has never faced the Orioles.

Harris threw six shutout innings in his team's 2-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on June 7. The 27-year-old since has allowed no more than three runs in any of his four starts.

Joey Estes, who went the distance Wednesday, and JP Sears, who threw the first five innings on Thursday, were the starting pitchers in the streak-producing wins over the Angels.

"We've come a long way," A's manager Mark Kotsay said of his starting staff as a whole after Thursday's win. "With the youth we have as a staff, you can see them gaining confidence; you can see them understanding that execution is just as powerful as having stuff. That's growth. That's what we're after. That's great to see right now."

The first batter Harris likely will face will be Orioles All-Star shortstop Gunnar Henderson, who has ended any thought of a Baltimore shutout in the first at-bat of eight different games this season.

Henderson hit his 27th homer of the season in the third inning of Thursday's loss in Seattle. He also had a single and a double, giving him four three-hit games in his last 14 starts.

"I just feel like I'm going into each day with a good idea of what I want to accomplish," Henderson said. "Whether it's in the cage or on the field, just really being aware of what I want to do. Working with the hitting coaches and infield coaches, I've been able to accomplish that."

Seeking to end Oakland's three-game winning streak will be Baltimore right-hander Albert Suarez (4-2, 2.43 ERA), who pitched his first two major league seasons across the bay in San Francisco in 2016 and 2017.

He threw six shutout innings in his last outing, a 2-1 home win over the Texas Rangers last Friday. Suarez also shut out the Atlanta Braves for 5 1/3 innings in a 4-0 home win earlier in June, but he struggled in three road starts in the month, allowing 10 runs in 13 2/3 innings.

The 34-year-old has faced the A's three times -- twice as a starter -- in his career without much success, going 0-0 with a 6.39 ERA. He went the first four innings, allowing four runs, in a 7-6 loss to Oakland when the A's took two of three in Baltimore in April.

--Field Level Media