The Baltimore Orioles will continue their west coast trip as they visit the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for a three-game weekend series. In the season series, the Orioles trail 1-2, as the Angels took two from the Birds in Baltimore. The Orioles will look to translate their all-time series record of 336-276 to this weekend in a series that means a lot to a struggling club.
On the road, the Orioles haven’t had much success. Their last road series win came against the Tampa Bay Rays in May. The Orioles have lost 20 of their last 29 on the road, losing 39 games total away from Baltimore.
J.J. Hardy continues to be one of the few glimmers of hope for the Birds. His sharp play in the field, mixed with clutch heroics at the plate has proved to be beneficial for his club. As the season has progressed, it has been Hardy’s ability to step in the leadoff role for the O’s that has kept them in many of their games.
Adam Jones also has been quite consistent this season for the Orioles. If games were won with your shortstop and centerfielder alone, the Orioles would be in first place. It is his continued run producing, especially at home, that has the Orioles staying in games late. The Orioles are second in the league in outfield assists, and it is the strong arm of Jones that can claim responsibility.
The Angels Howie Kendrick has proven to be the important factor for the Angels, who have seen the gap with the first place Rangers grow. His .290 average leads the club. Jared Weaver, who the Orioles will not see, still proves to be a possible Cy Young Award candidate. While the Angels are now six games behind Texas in the AL West, look for them to put up a fight as the struggling O’s come to town.
The Orioles have a chance to play spoiler this weekend in a pivotal series for the Halos. Will the Birds play the devil this weekend? Or will it be a heavenly presence that keeps their losing ways alive.
Game One: Friday, August 19 at 10:05 p.m.—LHP Jo-Jo Reyes (6-9, 5.30) vs. RHP Dan Haren (12-6, 2.95)
Dan Haren will take the mound for the Angels, who has yet to face the Orioles this season. Start, Haren pitched a solid seven innings of work, yielding three runs on just five hits. He struck out five in the game. Haren has been a work-horse for the Halos, who have seen him pitch two complete games in the month of July.
Jo-Jo Reyes will take the mound for the Orioles in the series opener tonight. In his 20 starts for the Blue Jays, Reyes has received less than three runs of support. The Orioles, who already have a tough time helping their ace, Jeremy Guthrie, can’t afford to leave Reyes out in the dust tonight.
Game Two: Saturday, August 20 at 9:05 p.m.—RHP Tommy Hunter (2-2, 4.28) vs. RHP Garrett Richards (0-1, 9.53)
Garrett Richards is scheduled to start Saturday’s game for the Angels. However, it is uncertain that Richards will go, considering he was placed on the 15-Day DL on Tuesday.
Tommy Hunter makes his fourth start for the Birds, his second on the road. Hunter is 1-1 with the Orioles, an 0-2 lifetime at Angels Stadium. In his last start, Hunter gave up 10 hits to a struggling Oakland squad. While only two runs were scored on Hunter’s watch, the Orioles recorded another loss. To prove he is effective as a starter in Baltimore, Hunter needs to show he can go the distance. In three starts with the O’s, Hunter hasn’t seen the seventh inning.
Game Three: Sunday, August 21 at 3:35 p.m.—TBA vs. Tyler Chatwood (6-8, 4.07)
Tyler Chatwood will look to rebound off of his last start, where he gave up five runs on eight hits, one of which being a long ball. He only threw two innings of work. It may have been crucial that the Angels lost as badly as they did to division rivals, the Texas Rangers. In his last start against the Orioles, Chatwood gave up six hits and two runs in six innings, He struck out five in the game.
The Orioles have yet to name a starter for Sunday’s game, although it looks as though Brian Matusz would be next in line, if he stays with the club.
By the Numbers:
- Adam Jones has hit 18 of his 21 home runs at home this season. With only three of his shots coming on the road, the Orioles have lost significant run support while away from home.
- Since June 1, the Orioles lead the majors in home runs with 95
- The Orioles are 10-14 against the AL West this season
- The Orioles are 30-32 with no errors in the field. On the same side of the coin, J.J. Hardy has a .998 fielding percentage