(Sports Network) - The Baltimore Orioles have been fortunate to stay in
contention for the AL East lead with their recent woes and look to turn things
around when they open a four-game series versus the Cleveland Indians Monday
at Camden Yards.
The Orioles are still within striking distance of the Boston Red Sox at two
games off the pace, but the New York Yankees have the same mindset at 2 1/2
games back. The Orioles will host the Yankees for three games this upcoming
Baltimore recently lost all three of its matchups in Toronto and was trounced,
13-5, in Sunday's finale at Rogers Centre. Freddy Garcia got the start and
lasted only 2 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and seven runs. T.J. McFarland
was touched for five runs in 4 1/3 innings of relief. Ryan Flaherty homered
twice and drove in three runs for Baltimore, which went 2-4 on the road trip.
"This series, they came out and they were competitive," Orioles outfielder
Adam Jones said. "They whooped us. But we'll see them again very, very soon."
Actually, the Orioles won't see Toronto again until July 12-14 at Camden
Cleveland won't see home for a while and will open an 11-game road trip
The Indians will make stops at Baltimore, the White Sox and Kansas City and
went 6-3 on a recent homestand. They failed in an attempt to sweep the
Minnesota Twins in three games with Sunday's 5-3 loss, which halted a four-
game winning streak. Jason Kipnis and Michael Bourn both had three hits and
Drew Stubbs went deep for the Tribe, who are still 8-3 in the past 11 games
and four games in back of the Tigers for the AL Central lead.
Carlos Carrasco was dealt the loss for allowing three runs in 4 2/3 innings.
"We lost a tough game today," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "But if we
play like this, we're going to be okay. I'll take our chances."
Francona's club is 8-3 in Ubaldo Jimenez's last 11 starts and looks to improve
that number Monday against the O's. Jimenez last pitched in Tuesday's 4-3 win
over Kansas City and did not record a decision, allowing two runs and two hits
in 5 2/3 innings. He walked four batters and has issued at least that many
four times this season.
Jimenez has made 14 starts, going 5-4 with a 4.66 earned run average, and has
held opposing lineups to a .228 batting average. The right-hander has never
faced the Orioles and is 3-1 in seven road starts.
Countering for the Orioles will be Zach Britton, who is slated for his third
start of the season and made his 2013 debut April 29 at Seattle, allowing six
runs and 10 hits in six innings of a 6-2 loss. After a lengthy stint in the
minors, Britton returned in Tuesday's 5-2 win at Detroit and pitched well
through 5 1/3 innings. He was touched for only one run on five hits and three
Britton, who went 11-11 in 28 starts in 2011, has a 5.56 earned run average
this season and is 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA in two career starts against Cleveland.
The Orioles and Indians split eight matchups a season ago.
The Sports Network