Orioles Ascend To The Top Of The American League East

Jonathan Schoop is swinging a hot bat for the Baltimore Orioles as the team has won five contests during his seven-game hitting streak to ascend to the top of the American League East. The 25-year-old Schoop looks to send the Orioles to their fourth series victory in five attempts this season on Thursday when they conclude their interleague set against the host Cincinnati Reds.

Schoop had an RBI single in Wednesday’s 2-0 triumph to improve to 11-for-27 with two homers, seven RBIs and five runs scored during his hitting streak and is 3-for-6 in his career versus Thursday starter Scott Feldman. The National League Central-leading Reds have struggled at Great American Ball Park, going 2-4 on their current 10-game homestand to fall to 4-5 on the season in front of their home fans. Eugenio Suarez had one of his team’s two singles on Wednesday and has hit safely in four straight and nine of his last 10. The 25-year-old Venezuelan hasn’t been as fortunate in a small sample size versus Thursday starter Wade Miley, as he has struck out in all three plate appearances.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles LH Wade Miley (1-0, 2.45 ERA) vs. Reds RH Scott Feldman (1-1, 2.87)

Miley overcame a seven-walk season debut by recording both his first quality start and victory in his last outing on Friday. The 30-year-old allowed three runs on five hits over six innings and struck out eight without issuing a free pass in a 6-4 triumph at Toronto. Miley, who owns a 3-2 mark with a 4.25 ERA in six career starts against Cincinnati, is under the gun to produce after sputtering his way to a 6.17 ERA in 11 starts last season with Baltimore after being acquired at the trade deadline.

Feldman struggled with his control in his last outing, issuing five walks and seeing his pitch count balloon to 104 before exiting after five innings of a no-decision versus Milwaukee. The 34-year-old is seeking his first win at Great American Ball Park after taking the loss with the Cubs in 2013 as well as an Opening Day setback versus Philadelphia on April 3. Feldman owns a 5-2 career mark versus the Orioles, limiting Adam Jones to an .087 batting average in 23 career at-bats.

WALK-OFFS

1. Jones has hit safely in five straight games and 12 of 13 this season.

2. Cincinnati RF Scott Schebler is 0-for-8 with three strikeouts in the series.

3. Orioles LHP Zach Britton will undergo an MRI on Friday in Baltimore to assess his strained left forearm.

PREDICTION: Orioles 4, Reds 3

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