The Baltimore Orioles will try to pick up the pieces from a disastrous start to the second half of their season when they begin a four-game series against the visiting Texas Rangers on Monday. The Orioles lost their series opener against the Chicago Cubs on a ninth-inning homer Friday night and then dropped the next two meetings by a combined score of 18-3.
Baltimore hitters struck out 14 times and managed three hits in Sunday’s 8-0 loss, the club’s eighth in the last 10 games overall. The Rangers were unable to complete a sweep at Kansas City to begin the second half, falling 4-3 on Sunday when a routine fly was lost in the sun in the bottom of the ninth to allow the Royals to plate the winning run. Mike Napoli went deep in the loss and he has a home run in six of 10 games this month. Andrew Cashner goes in the opener for Texas opposite Chris Tillman, who is winless with an ERA of 8.80 over his last 10 starts.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Texas), MASN (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers RH Andrew Cashner (4-7, 3.54 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Chris Tillman (1-5, 7.90)
Cashner has been up-and-down for much of the past two months but entered the break on a high note after letting up two unearned runs in seven frames to defeat Boston on July 5. The 30-year-old has a 4.37 ERA on the road - compared to 2.50 at home - although he has yet to allow a home run in 45 1/3 innings away from Arlington. Cashner was solid through 7 1/3 innings in his only prior start against Baltimore in 2013, allowing one earned run in a no-decision at Camden Yards.
Compared to the rest of his rocky season, Tillman’s last start on June 30 was a pretty good one, as he allowed two runs - his lowest total since his season debut May 7 - in five innings versus Tampa Bay. Opponents are hitting .362 versus the 29-year-old and have swatted 11 home runs against him over his last seven turns. Tillman, who has been significantly better at home (5.88 ERA in seven starts versus 12.33 in four road outings) is 3-2 with a 5.40 mark in his career versus Texas.
1. Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre needs seven hits to tie Sam Rice (2,987) for 31st on the all-time list.
2. Orioles 1B Chris Davis went 1-for-11 with five strikeouts in the series against the Cubs, while CF Adam Jones was 1-for-12 with four strikeouts.
3. Texas 2B Rougned Odor is hitless in 15 at-bats over a four-game stretch.
PREDICTION: Rangers 7, Orioles 5