The Baltimore Orioles hope a change from night to afternoon play will create a change in fortune when they seek to snap a two-game losing streak against the host Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.
The third of four games in the series was originally scheduled to be held at night, but a wet weather forecast for the evening prompted the contest to become an afternoon affair. The teams are scheduled for another afternoon game in the series finale on Thursday, weather permitting.
The Orioles have been a better team in the day than at night in the early going. They’ve gone 2-3, with wins over the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers, in their first five day games, as opposed to a 1-5 mark at night, including defeats in the first two games at Oakland.
The A’s have gone 4-2 at night and 3-3 during the day during their surprising 7-5 start that has featured two pitching gems against the Orioles.
One night after Frankie Montas teamed with Domingo Acevedo, Justin Grimm and Dany Jimenez in a 5-1 win on Monday, Cole Irvin joined with Zach Logue, Ryan Castellani, Sam Moll and Zach Jackson in a 2-1 win in the rematch.
Oakland manager Mark Kotsay applauded his relievers for being ready, especially Logue, who made his major league debut and picked up the win, and Jackson, who made the most of his first career save opportunity.
“The mentality down there is get 27 outs,” Kotsay said of the team effort. “I’m really happy for Zach Logue, getting out there and making his debut. … Really fun night for us overall. Good outcome.”
On Wednesday, the A’s will send Daulton Jefferies (1-1, 1.93 ERA), their best starting pitcher in the early going, in search of the team’s third straight win.
The 26-year-old right-hander allowed just two runs over 9 1/3 innings in his first two starts of the season, on the road at Philadelphia and Toronto. The A’s split 4-1 decisions in those contests.
Jefferies has appeared in eight games in the majors over three seasons but never faced the Orioles. In fact, he’s never gotten a decision in a home game despite a 2.70 ERA in two career starts in Oakland.
The Orioles will give the ball to Jordan Lyles (0-1, 5.23 ERA) for his third start of the season.
The 31-year-old right-hander rebounded from a five-inning, five-run season debut on April 9 at Tampa Bay with 5 1/3 strong innings against the New York Yankees last Friday, limiting the visitors to one run during a no-decision.
Lyles, who pitched previously in the American League West for the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, is more familiar with the Oakland mound than Jefferies is. He is 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA in three road starts against the A’s, and 3-2 with a 4.22 ERA in eight games, including six starts, against Oakland overall.
The Orioles have out-hit the A’s 15-12 in the series but have gone just 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and have stranded 17 baserunners.
Baltimore batter who struggled the most on Tuesday was Austin Hays, who stranded five baserunners in his first three at-bats. He was playing just hours after having heard that his friend, fellow outfielder DJ Stewart, had been designated for assignment.
“Great guy and a great teammate,” Hays said of Stewart, who was 0-for-3 with the Orioles this season. “He had a tough camp, getting hit in the hand and didn’t have too many at-bats. I hope he gets claimed by somebody and gets an opportunity to show what he can do.”
–Field Level Media