The Baltimore Orioles completed a four-game series sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays showcasing total team dominance down at Tropicana Field. This series win marks the first time the O’s have swept the Rays in St. Petersburg, FL in franchise history. Home runs powered the offense in the series as the Orioles launched nine homers raising their MLB-leading total to 104 on the season. Kyle Braddish had a standout performance on the mound as he only allowed one hit in six innings of work, striking out nine batters in the 5-0 victory on Saturday night. As the Orioles continue this daunting month of June as they enter the dog days of the summer, 2.5 games back of the Yankees for first place in the AL East division. 

When They Are Hot They Are Hot 

The dynamic duo of Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson had two note-worthy highlights in the series. Rutschman launched his 13th homer of the season in grand fashion as he hit a grand slam off of Rays pitcher Phil Maton. This was Rutschman’s second grand slam this season as he put the game officially out of reach for a 9-2 victory. Henderson took the first pitch he saw to center field for his 21st home run of the season. He is currently on a 19-game on-base streak as he continues his MVP-like performance this season. The pair has been the backbone of the offense and when they are hot this team is unstoppable.

On The Right Track

Manager Brandon Hyde has a tricky situation to deal with when it comes to the bullpen. The Orioles only have one off day in June, so he must be cautious when using the bullpen arms. Luckily during the sweep, the bullpen when called on was lights out. The bullpen arms only gave up six hits in 11.2 innings while not allowing a single run to cross. Closer Craig Kimbrel has also been a part of the success, picking up two saves during the sweep. If the bullpen is clicking like this the Orioles will continue to find success. The only downside is will Hyde use them in the right situations? 

NL East Test at Home 

The Orioles return home to host two tough opponents from the National League as the Phillies and the Braves come to Camden Yards. The O’s 18-7 record against teams above .500 will be put to the test. The Braves will be the first matchup as Max Fried is set to face the Orioles lineup Tuesday night. They haven’t had the best of luck against teams above .500 as they are 9-11 in those matchups. The Phillies on the other hand are 9-2 and are looking to notch more victories against tougher competition. The Phillies are currently ranked number one in MLB.com’s Power Rankings as the O’s are ranked fourth. This homestand will be a test of strength taking on two tough opponents but the Orioles are riding the moment of a four-game win streak and are playing like the best team in the big leagues. 

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