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Early break in Anaheim

The Baltimore Orioles are riding a 10-game winning streak and getting into a contender race in the AL East. They are 45-44, which is surprising considering they started the season last.



__ ORIOLES MAGIC: A look at what’s going on in baseball this Friday.

The Baltimore Orioles have won 10 of their last 12 games, are in the hunt for a wild-card spot, and yet they remain last in the American League East.

Even the Baltimore Orioles, who haven’t won a game in a row since 1999, have a record of 45-44 in baseball’s best division.

They will begin a three-game set against their division rivals in Tampa Bay on Friday, where they hope to inflict some damage. Since beating the Rays two out of three times in Baltimore from June 17-19, the Orioles have not faced an AL East rival.


Baltimore sends out right-hander Tyler Wells, a 27-year-old in his first season as a starter. With the exception of his season-opening loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field, he has a 7-4 record and a 3.28 ERA in 17 starts. Tampa Bay is set to start Luis Patio (0-1, 13.50 ERA).

While throwing to Adley Rutschman, a rookie catcher who was promoted from the minors on May 21, Wells has thrived as a member of Baltimore’s starting staff. After calling up Rutschman, the Orioles went from 16-24 to 29-20.


There’s an extra day off Sunday for both Los Angeles teams ahead of next week’s All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium. However, these are the only similarities between the Dodgers and Angels.


Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (6-2, 2.40 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday night’s first game of a two-game series at Angel Stadium, where the Dodgers currently hold a nine-game lead in the NL West.

As of Thursday night, the Los Angeles Angels had lost nine of their last 11 games, despite having one of the most expensive payrolls and the individual brilliance of All-Stars Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani.

Sandoval (3-4, 2.95) will start on Friday for the Angels.



It’s deja vu for Xander Bogaerts and his Boston Red Sox team when they face the New York Yankees in a three-game series in New York City that will last until the All-Star break. Last weekend, the teams played four games at Fenway Park and split the series.

The struggling Red Sox are expecting right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (4-2, 3.16 ERA) to make his injury-affected return to the mound to face his former team. Since June 9, Eovaldi has been unable to play because of back inflammation.

The Yankees have the best record in the majors and a sizable lead in the AL East, so Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery (3-2, 3.19 ERA) takes the mound. Their starting pitcher Luis Severino, who was placed on the 15-day injured list Thursday with a mild strain of his right latissimus dorsi muscle, will be out of commission for some time.

This season, the Yankees are 4-3 against the Red Sox.



NL All-Star Game starter Sandy Alcantara of the Miami Marlins will have one more opportunity to prove himself against the best in the league.

It’s been 19 1/3 innings since the Marlins’ ace has allowed a run, and he’ll take on the Philadelphia Phillies’ Kyle Gibson on Friday night.

Alcantara has a 9-3 record and leads the National League in innings pitched (130 1/3) and earned run average (ERA) (1.73). His two shutouts are the most in the majors. He throws a 97.8 mph four-seamer and a 97.6 mph sinker, both of which rank among the best in the majors.


He made his major league debut in 2018 with the Cardinals and was selected to his first All-Star team in 2019 by the Marlins. With a record of 43-45, he’s already tied his career high for victories with a Miami team that’s still in the hunt for the wild card.

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