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Game of O Blog: Looking for a Chicago Sweep

When this Chicago Orioles streak began, the team hadn’t posted a four-game winning streak since the end of the 2020 season. Today, the O’s are looking for a five-game streak and a four-game sweep on the road against the White Sox – what would be their first four-game sweep in Chicago since 1995.

Baltimore’s throw led the way to 4-0, 4-1, 6-2 wins in this series. As a staff, the team’s pitchers allowed just three runs on 16 hits with seven walks and 25 strikeouts.

O pitchers have allowed two or fewer runs in seven of the last nine games, throwing to a 1.73 ERA in that span. Over the past four games, the O staff have allowed two earned runs overall for a 0.55 ERA.

Over the last six games, O’s starting pitchers have a 0.98 ERA. The bullpen, which has been strong most of the year, has now played 11 straight games, allowing one earned run or less with a 1.29 ERA in that span.

Add to that a solid defense and an offense that has produced six or more runs 11 times in 22 games, you can see why the club has gone 34-39 and is now five games behind .500.

The Orioles have won five of six, seven of nine and 10 of 14 games. Since the Orioles had 10 games under .500 on May 19, they are 20-15. That’s a 35-game winning percentage of .571 and a team playing at that percentage for a full year would win 93 games.

On the mound today will be right-hander Jordan Lyles (4-6, 4.92 ERA), who makes his 15e beginning. The Orioles are 5-9 when he starts. Tuesday against Washington, he recorded a quality start, his fifth this season, allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings on 92 pitches. Lyles is 3-4 with a 6.70 ERA in eight road starts.

The O’s have a real challenge today with White Sox starting right-hander Dylan Cease (5-3, 2.68 ERA), making his 15e beginning. During the year, he pitched 74 innings allowing 59 hits, 36 walks, 108 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.284.

Cease ranks seventh in the American League in ERA and third in strikeouts. He ranks first among qualified AL pitchers in strikeout rate at 13.1 for nine. The Sox are 10-4 in his outings and 4-1 in the past five.

Cease hasn’t allowed an earned run in its last five games spanning 27 1/3 innings. He gave up 10 runs during that span, but all of them unearned and his ERA was lowered during that streak from 4.24 to his current 2.68. During this period, the opponents only hit 0.175 with an OPS of 0.494 against him.

Cease is the first White Sox pitcher since 1913 (when the American League began scoring earned runs) to allow zero earned runs in five consecutive starts and the first MLB pitcher to accomplish the feat since Max Scherzer also made it in five straight starts starting Aug. 28. 26-Sept. February 18, 2021, according to Elias Sports.

Cease hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last three home starts, going 0-1 with zero earned runs, 24 strikeouts and a .148 batting average (9 for 61). He’s allowed seven unearned runs in that span and has a 10-5 record, 3.23 ERA, 203 strikeouts and .202 opponent average in 29 guaranteed rate field starts since 2020.

He’s allowed five homers in his first 14 starts in 2022 and has a 0.61/9 homer rate, the fifth-lowest mark in the American League this season.

During their four-game winning streak, Orioles pitchers boast a 0.55 ERA, the first time they’ve held opponents to two earned runs or less in a four-game span since taking it on. played June 5-8, 2016. The O’s are one of six teams to limit opponents to just two earned runs in four games this season, along with the Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers , the New York Yankees and the San Diego Padres.

Baltimore’s last series sweep of any kind was a three-game July 23-25, 2021 sweep against the Nationals at Oriole Park and their last road sweep was a three-game July 28-25, 2021 sweep. June 30, 2021 in Houston. The last time the Orioles swept a four-game series was July 17–20, 2017, against Texas, and their last four-game road sweep was August 22–25, 2011, at Minnesota.

The last time the O’s swept the White Sox was a three-game series at Oriole Park from May 5-7, 2017 and the last time the O’s swept the White Sox in Chicago was a three-game series from May 18-20 august. 2014. The last time the O’s swept a four-game series in Chicago was July 6-9, 1995.