O Gaming Blog: O heads to Fenway Park for a one night only appearance

The Orioles will be in three cities in three days with their tour taking place on day two today. They were watered down at home last night in the scheduled third game of their series with Toronto. Their luck in their first sweep of the Blue Jays since Aug. 27-29, 2018 was washed away by raindrops.

Tonight, the Orioles play a game against the Red Sox in Boston. On Friday, they open a series in St. Petersburg, Florida against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Orioles have gained ground on multiple teams since the All-Star break when they were 46-46. They’ve since gone 12-6 to get to 58-52 and the Orioles are now tied with Tampa Bay for the third AL wildcard spot. They trail Toronto by two games for first place and Seattle by 1.5 games for second. The Rays, Jays and Mariners are all gone tonight.

At the break, the O’s record was tied for ninth in the American League. Now they are tied for the fifth-best AL record. In the All-Star Game, they were five games behind Tampa Bay, then leading in WC-1, 4.5 behind Seattle in WC-2, and 3.5 games behind Toronto in WC-3. Not only that, but Boston (48-45) and Cleveland (46-44) were ahead of them in the standings for those spots.

Tonight they play the only game at Fenway Park before moving on to a big weekend series against the Rays. The Orioles could get seven games above .500 with a win and it would be their first seven games since May 22, 2017.

The Orioles are 7-1 in their last eight games since Aug. 1, the day Trey Mancini was traded to Houston. They have won 11 of 15, 23 of 31 and 34 of the last 51 games.

The Orioles are now 22-24 against AL East teams, which includes a 5-3 record with two series wins over Boston. In late April, they went 2-1 at home to Boston and they were 3-2 in a five-game series at Fenway Park from May 27-30. While the O’s are 5-11 against the Yankees, they are 17-13 combined against Tampa Bay, Toronto and Boston.

The Orioles are 7-6-1 in the series in the AL East in 2022 after going 3-19-2 last year. They are now on a 10-game streak against division teams that they started 2-0 with 7-4 and 6-5 wins over the Blue Jays at home. Baltimore kicks off a seven-game road trip tonight that wraps up next week in Toronto.

Right-hander Dean Kremer (4-3, 3.43 ERA) makes his 12e start tonight, and the Orioles are 7-4 in the previous 11. After throwing a 6.94 ERA on a five-start streak, Kremer had a better outing last Friday against Pittsburgh, tossing 6 1/3 scoreless on four no-walk hits and two strikeouts.

One difference for Kremer from last season — when his ERA was 7.55 over 13 starts — is a better homer rate. In 2021, he allowed 2.9 homers in every nine innings, with 17 homers allowed in 53 2/3 innings. This year, his home run rate is 0.9, allowing six in 57 2/3 innings.

Tonight, Kremer will make his 16th career start against an AL East foe. He is 1-7 with a 6.68 ERA and .288 batting average. He has a 4.11 ERA (7 ER/15.1 IP) in three starts against the division this year.

Right-hander Josh Winckowski (5-5, 4.68 ERA) will make his 11e leaving for the Red Sox. During the year, he allowed 57 hits with 18 walks, 32 strikeouts and 1,500 WHIPs in 50 innings. His walk rate is 3.2 and his takedown rate is 5.8. He’s coming off a couple of good starts where he allowed three runs in 10 innings against the Brewers and Royals. Winckowski is 3-3 with a 6.18 ERA in six home starts at Fenway Park.

Boston (54-58) is coming off a two-game loss to Atlanta by scores of 9-7, 8-4 after losing the last two games of the previous series with Kansas City. Thus, Boston has lost four in a row and six of seven games and is 6-13 in the second half. The Red Sox are 26-29 at home, where they have lost nine of their last 12 games.

Boston is 12-29 against AL East teams without a win in the AL East series. They are 0-11-1 in the playoffs in the division. Contrast that with Boston’s record against the rest of baseball, which shows a record of 42-29 and a series record of 13-4-4.