Much has changed in the last week for the Orioles. With the departure of Derek Lee and Koji Uehara, the Orioles have added 1B Chris Davis, RHP Tommy Hunter and Class-A IF Aaron Baker in trades with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Texas Rangers. The new-look Orioles come into Kansas City, where they look to snap a three-game losing streak.
The Baltimore Orioles hit a wall in the Bronx over the weekend. After a win in the series opener, the Orioles dropped three in a row against the Yankees.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Orioles started Chris Tillman fresh out of another stint in Norfolk. While Tillman saw some success early on, errors and missed pitches resulted in a loss for the young hurler.
Game two took a different tone for the Birds. After 17 runs, the Birds returned to their New York hotel having been scored on 25 times in a single day.
The Orioles will look to have a short memory as they enter Kansas City, a team which the O’s have seen marginal success. The Birds lead the season series 4-2, including a three-game sweep at Camden Yards.
Mark Reynolds is coming off a New York series in which he belted two home runs (22, 23). He’s batting .318 against the Royals this season.
Baltimore does, however, have some things to celebrate about. It was on this day last year that the Birds welcomed their 19th manager, Buck Showalter, into the Orioles family. If this club hasn’t forgotten the surge they went on in August 2010, this month could prove to be fun for O’s fans.
Game One: Tuesday, August 2 at 8:10PM—RHP Alfredo Simon (2-4, 4.23) vs. LHP Bruce Chen (5-4, 4.29)
Alfredo Simon wants to go back to the middle of July. In his two starts on July 16 and 22, Simon gave up just nine hits in 13.2 innings. What’s most important is that he put the Orioles in position to win. In his last start, Simon had three earned runs in five innings of work. He did, however, strike out seven, which gives the inclination that his fastball–splitter combination may be on the rise.
Former Oriole Bruce Chen returns home to face his old club for the second time this season. Earlier this year, Chen threw a gem against the Birds, giving up only five hits and a run in seven innings. He also struck out five. Chen, however, may need a short memory after his last start in Boston. His four innings of work saw 10 Red Sox sluggers cross the plate in as many hits.
Game Two: Wednesday, August 3 at 8:10PM—RHP Jeremy Guthrie (5-14, 4.18) vs. RHP Luke Hochevar (7-8, 5.15)
Jeremy Guthrie will make his 23rd start of the season tomorrow night. The Orioles are 3-7 in road games started by Guthrie. However, in his last start in New York, Guthrie pitched like the strong ace that he is, giving up only one run on just four hits. The Orioles handed New York their only loss in the series.
Luke Hochevar has pitched well in his last three starts, averaging over six innings per start, giving up just over two runs. Hochevar’s only start against the Orioles this season saw eight runs on as many hits (seven earned). He only struck out one.
Game Three: Wednesday, August 4 at 8:10PM—TBA vs. LHP Jeff Francis (4-11,4.38)
Jeff Francis is coming off a phenomenal start in Cleveland in which he worked eight scoreless innings. Francis, against the O’s, has given up 10 hits, 10 runs, walked five and struck out eight in 11.2 innings. Francis will look to take advantage of the friendly crowd (3.52 ERA at home) and repeat his last start.
The Orioles have yet to name a starter for Wednesday’s game.
By the Numbers:
- J.J. Hardy’s 18 homeruns this season are eight more than Oriole shortstops hit the past three seasons combined.
- Since June 11, the O’s are only 12-32. Pitching may be to blame, as the O’s staff has a combined 5.29 ERA.
- Vladimir Guerrero looks to take sole possession of 91st place on baseball’s all-time hits list. His next base hit will raise his total to 2,525 for his career.
- In the last 25 games, Oriole relievers have worked 95.1 innings.