(AP) — The Baltimore Orioles opened a four-game stretch against the Philadelphia Phillies with another victory, and it seems the wins might keep coming.
That’s because Philadelphia is entering Tuesday night’s meeting at Camden Yards having dropped more than 20 games below .500 as fast as ever in the interleague era.
After Monday’s 4-0 victory, the Orioles (32-31) have won nine of 11, eight of 11 against the Phillies (22-43) and 13 of 16 home games in interleague play.
Matt Wieters hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning, and the Baltimore catcher is batting .333 with a 1.051 OPS and seven RBIs in eight games since returning from the disabled list. He’s homered in three of his last four games against the NL.
“Right now, I’m just trying to see the ball well and trying to take that into the game,” Wieters said.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, is more than 20 games under 65 games into a season for the first time since 1997, the inaugural interleague season, when it had the same record. The Phillies have dropped seven straight overall for the second time during a 3-17 span, and their 11-game road skid is tied for their longest since a 12-gamer in 1999. They last lost eight straight overall in July 2013.
The Phillies have been shut out in consecutive games, three of the last four and a total of 21 consecutive innings over the last three. On the overall skid, they’re batting .150 with runners in scoring position.
“We need to swing the bats,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. “I know the guys are playing hard, hustling and trying hard. Players grinding it out, trying to turn the page.”
Baltimore’s 9-2 run has included some impressive pitching with a 2.57 ERA. In the last 12, the bullpen has a 0.92 ERA and .156 opponent batting average.
Chris Tillman’s numbers don’t quite match up with those.
Tillman (4-7, 5.68 ERA) has won consecutive starts, but he hasn’t exactly dazzled with a 4.50 ERA after allowing four runs in 5 2-3 innings of Thursday’s 6-5 win over Boston. It was the right-hander’s first home win, but he has a ways to go to fix a 1-4 record and 7.28 ERA in six starts at Camden.
His career against the NL hasn’t been all that much better, going 1-1 with a 5.80 ERA in 12 starts, though none have come against Philadelphia.
Phillies starter Jerome Williams (3-6, 5.71) is showing no signs of being able to carry the club’s struggling offense.
Williams is 0-3 with a 6.84 ERA and .342 opponent batting average in his last five starts, and given his run-support average is under half his ERA in that span at 3.08, it’s no wonder why the Phillies have lost all five. The right-hander surrendered four runs and nine hits in six innings of Wednesday’s 5-2 loss in Cincinnati, dropping his road record to 0-4 with a 7.18 ERA in six starts.
Over the previous four seasons against Baltimore, Williams is 3-2 with a 4.97 ERA in four starts and two relief appearances. Nolan Reimold (3 for 6), Manny Machado (3 for 8), J.J. Hardy (7 for 19), Chris Davis (3 for 9), Adam Jones (3 for 12) and Wieters (1 for 9) have all homered against the veteran.
(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Here’s how the Orioles will line up against the Phillies for game two of the split series:
|Orioles Line Up||Pos.|