Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
The Baltimore Orioles are mired in a disastrous spell over the last six weeks, as a lackluster 1-7 road trip has manager Buck Showalter’s club saddled with a 10-23 mark since May 9. The Orioles hope a change of scenery will do them good on Friday as they open a three-game interleague series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Camden Yards.
“You can’t live in the ‘Woe is us’ world,” Baltimore’s Caleb Joseph said after Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox. “We have tremendous expectations that we want to meet, and this isn’t just a keel-over-and-let-them-kick-your-teeth-in kind of team.” Joseph showed his resolve with an RBI double and Welington Castillo homered for the second straight day for the Orioles, who went 6-3 during their last homestand to improve to 21-10 in Maryland this season. St. Louis saw its promising homestand take a dip as it dropped the final three contests of a four-game series with Milwaukee before it opens a six-game road trip Friday. Matt Carpenter is working his way out of an early-season funk with a nine-game hitting streak, during which he has three homers, nine RBIs and eight runs scored.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Carlos Martinez (5-5, 2.95 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Kevin Gausman (3-5, 6.49)
Martinez recorded his first career complete game in dominating fashion on Saturday, scattering four hits and striking out 11 in a 7-0 romp versus Philadelphia. The 25-year-old Dominican has fanned 37 batters over his last four starts, but has only a 2-2 mark to show for it. A lack of run support has been an issue for Martinez, who has seen St. Louis score just 25 runs in his first 12 starts before Saturday’s uprising.
While Martinez was dominant in his last outing, Gausman wasn’t as fortunate as the 26-year-old yielded seven runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings of Sunday’s 14-3 shellacking by the New York Yankees. Gausman also struggled to find the plate, allowing six walks versus the Yankees and has issued 12 free passes in his last three trips to the mound. He took the loss in his lone career encounter against St. Louis on Aug. 10, 2014, despite permitting just three runs in five innings.
1. St. Louis SS Aledmys Diaz has hit safely in seven of his last eight games while scoring seven runs in the process.
2. Baltimore 1B Trey Mancini is 9-for-22 with one homer, four RBIs and four runs scored during his six-game hitting streak.
3. The Orioles own a 6-3 interleague record this season while the Cardinals have sputtered to a 2-6 mark.
PREDICTION: Orioles 5, Cardinals 2