Baltimore Orioles (56-58 SU, 57-57 RL, 57-54-3 O/U) vs. Oakland A’s (50-64 SU, 58-56 RL, 62-48-4 O/U)
MLB: Friday, August 11, 2017, O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California, 10:05 pm ET
Lines: Oakland -105, Baltimore -105; Over/Under: 9.5
It’s the continuation of a cross-country series up in Northern California. The Baltimore Orioles continue a road trip as they play the second of four against the Oakland A’s Friday night. Baltimore dropped two of three to the Angels after falling 5-1 in the rubber game Wednesday. Oakland was swept in a brief two game home set with the Mariners after losing 6-3 in the finale Wednesday afternoon. The pitching matchup for Thursday’s opener saw Wade Miley pitch for the Orioles against Oakland’s Chris Smith. First pitch in the contest was set for 10:05 pm ET.
Baltimore Orioles Looking to Climb the Ladder
Baltimore was on a roll before dropping the final two games of their series with the Angels. The loss Wednesday dumped the Orioles 2.5 games behind the Mariners for the final wild card spot with four teams ahead of them. Tim Beckham was the lone Baltimore player with two hits in the game as the team finished with a total of four in the loss. Welington Castillo accounted for the Orioles’ run as he hit a solo homer, his 12th of the year, in the third inning. Kevin Gausman (8-8) took the loss on the mound after allowing four runs on eight hits with two walks and six strikeouts over 5.1 innings of work.
Ubaldo Jimenez takes the mound for his 24th appearance and 19th start of the season for the Orioles. He spent a few weeks back in the bullpen before being put back in the rotation in mid-June. Jimenez is 5-7 with a 6.31 ERA, a 1.554 WHIP, 51 walks and 100 strikeouts over 111.1 innings of work. He picked up the win in his last start, which came Sunday at home against Detroit. He threw 5.2 solid frames, allowing one run on nine hits with three walks and six strikeouts in a 12-3 Orioles defeat. Jimenez is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA, a 1.29 WHIP, seven walks and 21 strikeouts over 18.2 innings in his last three starts. He makes his eighth career start against the Royals in this contest: he is 4-1 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.552 WHIP over 38.2 innings of work. Jimenez is 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA and a 1.457 WHIP over 11.2 innings in his two starts at the O.co Coliseum in his career.
Oakland A’s Continuing Youth Movement
Oakland dropped both games of their set with the Mariners and are left trying to ruin the chances of other teams for the postseason. Matt Joyce (two runs, RBI) was the only A’s player with two hits in the game. Joyce (his 15th) and Khris Davis (his 31st) each homered in the loss for the A’s while Jed Lowrie knocked in the other Oakland run. The A’s finished the game 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. Jharel Cotton (5-9) took the loss on the mound as he gave up six runs on eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts over six innings.
Rookie Paul Blackburn is on the hill for his eighth career major league start for Oakland in this contest. He is 3-1 with a 2.60 ERA, a 1.067 WHIP, 11 walks and 17 strikeouts over 45 innings of work at the major league level. Blackburn picked up the win in his last start, which came Saturday on the road against the Angels. He threw 6.2 innings, allowing no runs on five hits with no walks and one strikeout in a 5-0 Oakland victory. Blackburn is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, four walks and eight strikeouts over 20 innings in his last three starts. This marks Blackburn’s first career appearance or start against the Orioles in his brief big league career. Blackburn is 1-0 with a 3.93 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP over three starts covering 18.1 innings at the O.co Coliseum. He made 15 appearances, 14 starts, with Triple-A Nashville of the Pacific Coast League this season. Blackburn was 5-6 with a 3.05 ERA, a 1.192 WHIP, 26 walks and 56 strikeouts over 79.2 innings.
- Orioles are 6-1 in Jimenez’s last 7 starts vs. a team with a losing record
- Athletics are 0-4 in their last 4 vs. American League East
The Orioles have clawed their way back into striking distance for the second AL wild card spot but they have to take care of business. Oakland has little to play for but being a spoiler at this point in time as they play out the string. The A’s continue to get a look at some of their younger guys to see who may be the cornerstones of the future. Jimenez has pitched well of late and has had success against teams with losing records. Look for Baltimore to pick up the victory in this contest.