The Baltimore Orioles were not expected to be a winning team at any point this season. Last year, they never swept a series, but now they’ve done it twice.
They finished a second sweep Thursday with an 11-4 victory in Philadelphia. The big hit was a three-run double from Anthony Santander. He’s now second in the American League with 19 RBIs and has them in seven consecutive games.
With the sweep behind them, the Orioles will greet the struggling Washington Nationals in a weekend series starting Friday with the resumption of a suspended game. Baltimore had a 5-2 lead last Sunday at Nationals Park, but it rained in the top of the sixth, and the tarp crew had problems covering the field — because it was a mechanical error, the game was suspended rather than being declared a full game.
Now, the Orioles have a surprising 10-7 record plus a five-game winning streak, their best run since 2017. Many in the lineup have hit well, including Santander.
“He has taken such good at-bats,” manager Brandon Hyde told the media Thursday. “He can stay on the ball so well.”
With the Nationals (6-9) staying in town for the weekend, the Orioles will be facing a team that’s trying to find its way.
Several moves were announced Thursday, all relating to pitching. Washington relief pitcher Sean Doolittle got put on the 10-day injured list (right knee fatigue, goes back to Aug. 11). He has a 15.00 ERA in three innings with a 0-1 record.
“His right knee has some inflammation in it,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said to MLB.com. “We don’t want him to regress; we want to keep progressing.”
Sam Freeman (the only other lefty in the bullpen) went on the injured list Thursday with a strained left flexor mass, according to numerous reports. MLB.com said Freeman left Wednesday’s game after experiencing a pop in his elbow. He’ll have an MRI on Friday.
The Nationals brought up Seth Romero, and he had problems in his major league debut as the Mets rolled to an 8-2 victory. Veteran relief pitcher Will Harris rejoined the bullpen (a right-hander) from the 10-day injured list. He’s pitched in just two games so far.
There’s some confusion as to who will pick up the suspended game at 5:05 p.m. in Baltimore. It appears as if Stephen Strasburg — tossed while giving the umpire his thoughts while sitting in the stands in New York on Thursday — is going to go for the Nationals, likely in the second game as he started in the suspended game.
Starters Asher Wojciechowski (0-2, 3.95) and Tommy Milone (1-1, 3.21) could go in either game for Baltimore.
–Field Level Media