The Baltimore Orioles begin a key nine-game homestand on Friday when they welcome the Colorado Rockies to Camden Yards to begin a three-game Interleague series.
The Orioles are coming off a disastrous series against Arizona, in which they lost all three games in the final at-bat. After getting off to a 4-1 start on their eight-game road trip, they had to settle for a 4-4 finish.
Baltimore was idle on Thursday and is coming off Wednesday's 5-4, 14-inning loss. It was the third straight blown save for O's closer Jim Johnson, who leads the majors with 39 saves on the season.
"I guarantee you there are some guys in there that would love to play (Thursday) to get this taste out of their mouths right away," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We had a 4-4 road trip; it could've been better, but we're looking forward to getting home in front of some friendly faces. We'll get after it."
"It was a tough series," starter Chris Tillman added. "You've got to look forward to the next one at home. I think we'll be all right. With a few adjustments here and there, I think we'll be all right."
Colorado just concluded a 5-1 homestand but is now back on the road after going 1-9 on its last trip to tie a club record for the worst road trip. On Wednesday, the Rockies claimed a 4-2, series-clinching win over San Diego behind Corey Dickerson, who laced a pair of doubles and a triple. Starter Jorge De La Rosa allowed two runs over seven innings.
The Rockies will turn to Juan Nicasio to start Friday's series opener. The right-hander is looking for his first win in five starts but is coming off an encouraging outing against Pittsburgh this past Saturday as he allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings. He failed to get through five full innings in his previous two appearances.
"I'm happy. It's bad when you make a mistake and you pay," Nicasio said of an RBI triple he served up to Garrett Jones on a two-strike count in the sixth inning. "But I'm happy because the team won."
For Baltimore, Wei-Yin Chen will try to snap a personal two-game losing streak. The lefty gave up three runs on five hits in six innings of work in San Francisco in his most recent start.