Orioles target rare series win over Yankees
The Baltimore Orioles eye a rare series win in the Bronx this evening when they wrap up a three-game set with the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Baltimore beat the Yanks for the first time in five tries this season on Tuesday, as Brian Matusz snapped a 14-start losing streak and Buck Showalter earned win No. 1,000 in his managerial career in the Orioles' 7-1 triumph.
Matusz (1-3) limited New York to one run -- on Curtis Granderson's first- inning homer -- and six hits over 6 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old righty, a 10- game winner in 2010, had been 0-12 since his previous victory on June 6, 2011.
"Game by game I feel like I'm getting better and better," Matusz said. "It feels good."
His effort, in addition a two-run homer by J.J. Hardy and a solo shot by Chris Davis, helped Showalter become the 58th manager in MLB history to win 1,000 career games. Davis went 3-for-4 and scored three times.
The win was just the seventh in 29 tries in the Bronx for the Orioles, who at 15-9 are off to their best 24-game start since opening 17-7 in 2005.
Phil Hughes (1-4) continued his struggles, allowing four runs on four hits and one walk over 5 2/3 innings to take the loss.
The Yankees' 4-through-9 hitters went a combined 0-for-22 at the plate on Tuesday.
They will need to be better tonight as Ivan Nova takes the hill trying to match a franchise record with his 16th consecutive win. As has been the case for most of his streak Nova was the beneficiary of some generous run support on Friday, as he escaped without a decision against Detroit, despite allowing six runs and 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings of his team's 7-6 win.
"I was focused -- I got hit," Nova said on Friday. "I knew one day I was going to get hit. The good thing is that we didn't lose. We won, and it's not about [me]; it's about the team."
Nova, who's 3-0 with a 5.18 ERA this season, hasn't lost since June 3, 2011, and needs one more victory to tie Roger Clemens' franchise record of 16 straight, set in 2001. Over the course of this remarkable run, which has spanned 20 starts, Nova has been supported with 8.05 runs.
Nova beat the O's earlier in the year and is 3-0 with a 3.34 ERA in five starts against them.
Baltimore, meanwhile, will counter with righty Jake Arrieta, who hasn't won since throwing seven scoreless innings on Opening Day. Arrieta lost his second straight start on Friday to Oakland, as he allowed four runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings to drop to 1-2, while raising his ERA to 4.45.
"It's frustrating having two starts in a row where a couple at-bats changed the whole complexion of the outing," Arrieta said on Tuesday. "So I think eliminating situations like that is something I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. Just keeping my foot on the gas, and when I have it set up to put certain guys away, finish the job and don't let guys continue to foul balls off and get into hitter-friendly counts. Just maintain that aggression."
Arrieta did not get a decision against the Yanks back on April 11, but is 2-1 with a 4.25 ERA in six starts against them.
Even with Tuesday's loss the Yanks are 43-16 against Baltimore since the beginning of the 2009 campaign. They've also posted double-digit win totals against the Orioles in 14 individual seasons since 1982.