The Baltimore Orioles are nearing the tail end of their string of 16 consecutive games against American League West opponents and still are looking to post back-to-back wins versus teams from the division. The Orioles have a chance to put an end to that drought when they continue their three-game series against the visiting Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.
Baltimore, which has played its last 14 games against AL West foes, used the long ball to post its fifth straight victory in a series opener, going deep four times to close within 3 1/2 games of the second wild card. Adam Jones highlighted a 4-for-4 effort with a pair of solo shots, leaving him one shy of a seventh consecutive 25-homer season. Baltimore is third in the AL with 185 blasts while Oakland ranks sixth (171) after Jed Lowrie and rookie Boog Powell hits solo shots in the team’s fourth loss in five contests. It was the first career homer for Powell, who is scheduled to meet his namesake - the former Orioles slugger - for the first time prior to Tuesday’s game.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, NBCSN California (Oakland), MASN (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Paul Blackburn (3-1, 3.46 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Ubaldo Jiménez (5-8, 6.47)
Blackburn is coming off the shortest outing of his brief major-league career, a four-inning stint versus Kansas City in which he yielded four runs and eight hits but escaped with a no-decision. He also allowed four runs - and a season-high 10 hits - in his previous turn but came away with another no-decision against Baltimore on Aug. 11. Tim Beckham, Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop each recorded a pair of hits against Blackburn.
It was a somewhat familiar script last time out for Jimenez, who was rocked for six runs and eight hits over 4 1/3 innings in a loss at Seattle. He struck out a season-high 11 in 5 1/3 frames at Oakland in his previous turn, settling for a no-decision after giving up three runs and six hits. The 33-year-old Dominican has managed to keep both Lowrie (1-for-15) and Khris Davis (1-for-7) in check.
1. Schoop is 4-for-8 with five RBIs in his last two games after belting a three-run homer on Monday.
2. Athletics 1B Ryon Healy has hit safely in nine consecutive contests.
3. Baltimore 3B Manny Machado was hitless in five at-bats Monday after being named AL Player of the Week earlier in the day.
PREDICTION: Orioles 6, Athletics 4