LOS ANGELES -- One of the American League's best teams will face one of the National League's most intriguing rookie pitchers when the Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Dodgers begin a three-game series on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
The Orioles arrive in California leading the Boston Red Sox by three games in the American League East, despite having the league's third-best record. The Seattle Mariners narrowed Baltimore's divisional advantage with a four-game sweep that gave the Mariners a 6-1 record against the Orioles this year.
"I'm not glad to be done with them, no," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter told MLB.com. "They're a good club. We're a good club. It's got nothing to do with. If we play good, we're in good shape. If we don't play well, it doesn't matter who we are playing."
The Orioles arrive in California with more home runs (128) than any other major-league team. Mark Trumbo, a power-hitting outfielder who is playing for his fourth team in four seasons, has a chance to establish a career high in home runs. Trumbo, who pounded 34 homers for the Los Angeles Angels in 2013, hit his 24th on Sunday.
Trumbo also has driven in 62 runs, third best in the American League. Chris Davis has contributed 21 home runs and 56 RBIs. Manny Machado's .329 average ranks fourth and his .592 slugging percentage is second among the American League's hitters.
Into this powerful lineup will wade left-hander Julio Urias, a 19-year-old from Mexico. MLB.com ranked Urias as the major leagues' best left-handed prospect and the fourth best overall.
Promoted from Triple-A Oklahoma City for his second stint in the majors, Urias gained his first major-league victory Tuesday night in Milwaukee. He permitted two runs and two hits, walked six and struck out six in six innings.
"It's one of the best days of my life," Urias told the Orange County Register after his win. "It's beautiful, incredible. What can I say?"
The left-hander will make his fourth start at Dodger Stadium.
While the Orioles have lost four in a row, the Dodgers won four in succession by sweeping the Colorado Rockies, who feature another potent offense. But in their three games, the Rockies managed just two runs and 13 hits while striking out 41 times against three journeymen starters: Bud Norris, Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy, who underwent Tommy John surgery in April 2015.