Orioles look to build on innings from starters in finale vs. Royals

It took Jordan Lyles and Bruce Zimmermann just a few hours Sunday to do something no tandem of Baltimore Orioles starters had accomplished all season.

Tyler Wells won’t have to wait long to try and help Orioles starters achieve something they haven’t done in more than eight months.

The Orioleswill look to win the rubber match of a three-game series Monday afternoon, when they’re scheduled to host the Kansas City Royals in the makeup of one of the games postponed by rain over the weekend.

Wells (0-2, 4.50 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for the Orioles against Carlos Hernandez (0-1, 6.00 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.

The teams, whose games Friday and Saturday were postponed by rain, split a doubleheader Sunday.

Michael Taylor delivered the tie-breaking single in the top of the ninth inning and the Royals won the opener 6-4 before Zimmermann and a pair of relievers combined on a seven-hitter as the Orioles won the nightcap, 4-2.

Zimmermann tossed six innings immediately after Lyles went 7 1/3 innings — the longest outing by an Orioles starter since John Means’ complete game no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners on May 5, 2021. Baltimore starters hadn’t completed six innings in consecutive starts since Keegan Akin (seven innings), Matt Harvey (six innings) and Means (6 1/3 innings) did so from Aug. 26-28, 2021.

“That’s the No. 1 goal for all of the starters is to have a quality start, try to go six innings and try to take the pressure off the bullpen every single night,” Zimmermann said. “I’m feeling really good about being able to go six innings today.”

The win in the opener provided a milestone for Royals manager Mike Matheny, who recorded his 700th big league victory as a skipper. Matheny, who began his managerial career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012, ranks 10th among active managers in wins.

“That’s pretty cool,” Matheny said with a grin. “I like it.”

The victory may have been costly for the Royals, who lost budding lineup sparkplug Edward Olivares to a right quad strain in the third inning. Matheny said the injury “didn’t look good” for Olivares, who was injured chasing down a fly ball earlier in the game.

Olivares was 1-for-2 with an RBI and is 7-for-15 in his last four games since moving into the leadoff spot in the Kansas City order.

Wells hasn’t pitched since May 2, when he allowed one run over five innings as the Orioles fell to the Minnesota Twins 2-1.

Hernandez, who was originally scheduled to start Saturday, last pitched on April 30, when he took the defeat after giving up three runs (two earned) over four innings as the Royals lost to the New York Yankees 3-0.

Wells has no wins or losses and has not given up any runs in three relief appearances against the Royals. He does have one save.

Hernandez is 1-1 in two starts covering 10 innings against the Orioles.

–Field Level Media

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