Series Preview: Orioles begin last road trip before All-Star Break in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE — The beginning of July means one thing in baseball; the All-Star Break is near. The 2017 showcasing of the best baseball has to offer takes place next week, and at least one Oriole will be making the trip.

Before the All-Star festivities begin, the Orioles have seven games to play, all on the road. The first three games of that stretch take place in Milwaukee, as the Orioles take on the Brewers for the first time since 2014.

In their last meeting, the Brewers took two of three from the Orioles in a Memorial Day-themed series at Miller Park. Milwaukee won the second game of that series, 7-6, in extra innings off the bat of Yonvani Gallardo, who hit a 2-run home run off T.J. McFarland. Gallardo would of course go on to become an Oriole in 2016, when he was traded to Baltimore from Seattle before the season. The other runner who scored on Milwaukee’s walk-off homer was Mark Reynolds, another former Oriole.

A lot has changed since 2014. That year, the Orioles battled their way to their first American League East crown since 1997. The Brewers finished just four games above .500 in a competitive National League Central division that was won by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Standings Update: After losing two of three to the Rays over the weekend, the Orioles (40-41) come into Milwaukee still in fourth place in the American League East, 6.5 games behind the Red Sox (47-35). The Brew-Crew (44-40) currently lead the mediocre NL Central, with the .500 Cubs (41-41) two games behind them. Over the weekend, Milwaukee took two of three from the Miami Marlins.

Britton Returning: Orioles closer Zach Britton, who has not pitched for the O’s since May 4, is expected to come off the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday. Britton has been absent the last two months with a strained left forearm, and has been dominating his rehab assignment. In his most recent appearance, he had an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 inning for the Fredrick Keys. He will also pitch on Monday night for Fredrick.

Game Times and Pitching Match-ups: 

Game 1Monday, July 3, 2:10 pm – Wade Miley (3-6, 4.54 ERA) vs. Brent Suter (0-1, 4.20 ERA) – MASN, MLB Network, 105.7 The Fan.

Game 2Tuesday, July 4, 4:10 pm – Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3, 6.48 ERA) vs. Jimmy Nelson (6-4, 3.43 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan.

Game 3Wednesday, July 5, 7:10 pm – Jayson Aquino (1-1, 9.00 ERA) vs. Matt Garza (3-4, 4.36 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan.

Notes on the Orioles: 

  • Jimenez has a career 2.63 ERA against the Brewers, and a 1.29 ERA at Miller Park.
  • Adam Jones is a career 2.92 hitter against the Brewers, with all 24 of those at-bats taking place at Miller Park.
  • Ever since moving into the #3 slot in Baltimore’s lineup, Jonathan Schoop is slashing .306 in 36 at-bats, with two doubles, two home runs, and seven RBI.

Notes on the Brewers:

  • Garza, 33, who has previously pitched for the Rays, Twins, and Rangers, owns a 3.11 lifetime ERA against the Birds in 13 starts.
  • Third baseman Travis Shaw missed Sunday’s game with back spasms, but he will return on Monday. He leads the team in hits (81), RBI (59), and batting average (.291).
  • First baseman Eric Thames leads the Brew-Crew in home runs with 21. He is tied with Giancarlo Stanton (Miami), Jay Bruce (NYM), and Joey Gallo (TEX) for the fifth-place mark for MLB home runs this season. Aaron Judge of the Yankees leads the league with 27.

Up Next: The Orioles head to Minneapolis for a four-game set against the Twins, and then the All-Star Break will begin.

Image Credit: Baltimore Sun

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