Orioles look to end five-game losing streak against slumping Angels

BALTIMORE — After several seasons of performing much better at home than on the road, the Orioles (23-57) enter their final series of June with more road wins (12) than home wins (11). For the Orioles, wins have been hard to come by both at home and on the road this season, but the struggles at home have been particularly bad.

Look no further than the Orioles’ latest series against the Seattle Mariners, a series in which Seattle swept Baltimore over four games. Both Buck Showalter and Darren O’Day got ejected on Monday, and then O’Day re-injured his hamstring on Tuesday.

That’s a rough two days.

Trailing 5-4 in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s affair, Chris Davis hit a monster three-run home run to give the Orioles a 7-5 lead, only for Zach Britton to blow the save in the ninth when Denard Span hit a game-tying two-run home run. The Orioles went on to lose 8-7 in the 11th inning.

Thursday’s series finale also went into extras tied at 2, and Seattle’s go-ahead run only scored because of a fielding error by Colby Rasmus that delayed Jonathan Schoop‘s throw to the plate.

No matter how hard they try, the Orioles simply cannot get out of their own way. They can’t hold a lead, several pitchers continue to go down with injuries, and through it all the front office continues to hold off on firings and trades that need to start happening fast. Having a general manager with an expiring contract in charge of a rebuild only makes Orioles fans more nervous, but then again Dan Duquette might not even be making the decisions anymore anyway. You wouldn’t know, because we haven’t heard a peep from Orioles ownership all season regarding these issues.

With all of this on the minds of Orioles players, coaches, employees, and fans, the season goes on as the Los Angeles Angels (41-41) come to town for a three-game weekend series at Camden Yards. The Orioles are losers of five straight and own the worst record in the majors, but the Angels have lost six in a row and seven of their last 10.

Following a 2-1 win over the Twins on Jun. 10, the Angels were 37-28 overall. Since then, they have played 4-12 baseball. The Angels come to Baltimore after losing a makeup game 2-0 in Kansas City on Monday, and then losing three straight to Boston at Fenway Park.

A look at the standings: The Orioles now sit 31 games behind the two best teams in baseball – the Red Sox (55-27) and Yankees (52-26) – in the American League East. Out west, the Astros (55-28) have the third-best record in the majors, with the Angles sitting at .500 in fourth place, 13.5 games back. The Mariners (51-31) are 3.5 games behind Houston.

Last Meeting: The Orioles kicked off the month of May by getting swept in Anaheim. The entire series swirled around Albert Pujols, who came just one hit shy of 3,000 in the series finale before the Angels left for a five-game road trip.

The Birds lost a close 3-2 opener before the Angels outscored Baltimore 22-10 over the final two games, including a 12-3 win on May 3.

Last season, the Angels won a late-August three-game set over the Orioles 2-1. The O’s won the opener 9-7 despite starter Jeremy Hellickson allowing all seven Angels runs over 4.2 innings.

Miguel Castro, Richard Bleier, and O’Day held the Angels in check after Hellickson’s exit, limiting the Angels to three hits, one walk, and two strikeouts. Manny Machado plated seven of Baltimore’s runs, including a walk-off grand slam.

Overall, the Angels won the 2017 season series vs. Baltimore 4-2.

Game times and pitching matchups:

Game 1: Friday, Jun. 29, 7:05 pm – Felix Peña (0-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. David Hess (2-4, 5.44 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2: Saturday, Jun. 30, 4:05 pm – Tyler Skaggs (6-5, 2.69 ERA) vs. Andrew Cashner (2-8, 4.70 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3: Sunday, Jul. 1, 1:05 pm – Deck McGuire (0-0, 6.08 ERA) vs. Kevin Gausman (3-6, 4.20 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Angels:

  • At Camden Yards, superstar outfielder Mike Trout owns a lifetime average of .278 in 90 at-bats with seven home runs.
  • Two-way player Shohei Ohtani was cleared to resume hitting on Thursday. He has not appeared in a game since Jun. 6 because of a partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow.

Notes on the Orioles:

  • Mark Trumbo has hit safely in 12 straight games, tying his career-high that was set on Aug. 29-Sept. 10, 2015 while he played in Seattle.
  • Machado’s average at home this season stands at .350 (48-for-137, 13 home runs), whereas on the road, he is 15-for-170 (.265, 7 home runs).

Image Credit: USA Today

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