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Orioles Sweepless Streak Has Ended

On Wednesday afternoon at Busch Stadium, the Orioles were swept in a series of two or more consecutive games for the first time in over two years when they fell to the Cardinals 5-4. It was Baltimore's second loss on the field that day; they lost 3-1 on the resumption of the Tuesday night game in the late morning.


Cedric Mullins running back to first base

Manager Brandon Hyde was disappointed, telling MLB News, "We've been playing really good baseball for two years. We're disappointed in how we played this series. We believe we're better than what we showed in these three games".


Regular-Season Sweepless Streak History


The O's made the third-longest sweepless streak in AL/NL history when it was broken at 106. They lost three straight games at Detroit from May 13-15, 2022, setting off their incredible run.


The Cardinals maintained their historic record of 124 regular-season series streak involving two or more decisions without being swept and ended their own losing streak. They completed the first sweep of the 2024 season, a feat they hadn't achieved since July of 2023. With a 0-9 record in games, the Cardinals were desperate for a win, and they finally got it.


Leading Up To The Loss


Putting aside the raw emotions of the challenging series, the team could still consider the extraordinary nature of the series streak - which included nine two-game series, 77 three-game series, 19 four-game series, and one five-game series.


May 15, just one week before their loss, Adley Rutschman's walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning helped Baltimore defeat Toronto 3-2.


During Wednesday's game, Mullins and Hayes opened the top of the ninth with consecutive singles, demonstrating similar abilities. It seemed like something remarkable was going to happen at that point.


Right-hander Ryan Fernandez's 1-0 pitch to pinch-hitter Kyle Stowers nearly went through as he rocketed it to deep right field. But Lars Nootbaar made an incredible grab and then doubled up on Cedric Mullins, who seemed to have misjudged the ball's trajectory and was unable to return to first base in time.


How The Cardinals Won


The Cardinals' starting pitcher, Kyle Gibson, gave up three unearned runs on five hits in four innings. He struck out three batters, and no one walked. After allowing one run in the ninth inning, Ryan Fernandez recorded his first save, and John King (1-1) took the win with two scoreless innings.


John Means, the Baltimore opening pitcher, allowed one hit and two walks in the first three scoreless innings. Taking the loss for the Orioles, Cole Irvin (4-2) lost four of their previous five games.


The Orioles, starting the game on a strong note, took advantage of a fielding error made by third baseman Nolan Arenado of the Cardinals in the third inning. Baltimore seized the opportunity and took a 3-0 lead, thanks to RBI singles from O'Hearn, Henderson, and Santander, a display of their offensive prowess.


The Cardinals, despite the rain delay, showed their determination and skill, reducing their deficit to 3-1 in the fifth inning. Lars Nootbaar's single and Winn's double showcased their offensive prowess. In the sixth inning, Baltimore's errors allowed the Cardinals to take a 4-3 lead, a testament to their comeback.


After Arenado hit a single with one out, Carlson attempted a double play grounder that Henderson, at shortstop, failed to catch. Donovan reached base on catcher James McCann's throwing error, scored on a two-run double, and then advanced to third on the throw home. St. Louis' win increased to 5-3 as Winn hit a home run to start the seventh inning.


What This Means For The O's


What were the chances that the Orioles would win 106 multi-game series in a row without being swept? Tom Tango, a senior data architect at MLB.com, computed the solution.


Baltimore's run without a sweep ended at 199-134. As previously stated, they played two games (nine), three (77), four (19), and five (19) in a series. Given how many series of each length the Orioles played and their .598 winning percentage over that time, their odds of avoiding a sweep in all 106 series based on a random combination of wins and losses would be a meager 0.07%.


After beating those odds, the only option for the Orioles is to begin a new streak. As expected, on Thursday and Friday, the O's overcame the White Sox in their opening two games in Chicago.


 

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