(AP) — Win streaks have been hard to come by lately for the Baltimore Orioles. Facing a team that has struggled mightily on the road could help them extend their current one.
The Orioles hope to see Ubaldo Jimenez maintain his home success as they try to make it four straight wins Tuesday night against the Atlanta Braves.
This hasn’t been a very good month for the Orioles, who are 8-13 in July even with their first three-game win streak since late June. They’ve fallen seven games off the pace in the AL East but are just three behind Minnesota in the race for the final wild-card spot.
It didn’t look like the win streak would continue after All-Star closer Zach Britton surrendered a home run to Braves rookie Adonis Garcia in the ninth inning of Monday’s series opener. That was the game’s lone run to that point, but the Orioles (49-49) scored in the bottom half on J.J. Hardy’s sacrifice fly and Matt Wieters led off the 11th with a home run for a 2-1 victory.
“To win the last three games, it’s been a challenge for us, so I think it’s coming at a good time,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Wieters matched a season high with three hits, connecting for his first home run in 19 games.
“Right now being where we are, cherishing a win is big,” Wieters said. “To be able to keep piling up wins is what we need to do.”
Baltimore has only scored 12 runs and batted .229 during its three-game streak, instead relying on a starting staff that has posted a 1.31 ERA in those contests.
The Braves (46-53) have lost 14 of 18 on the road, batting .178 with runners in scoring position after Monday’s 0-for-9 effort.
Eury Perez had three hits and Nick Markakis added a pair in his return to Baltimore, where he spent his first nine seasons.
Jimenez (7-6, 3.81 ERA) should be happy to be back on the Camden Yards mound after allowing 14 runs and 15 hits over seven innings in his first two starts since the All-Star break – both on the road.
The right-hander lasted a season-low 2 1-3 innings in Thursday’s 9-3 loss to the New York Yankees, giving up seven runs, eight hits and three walks.
“I was executing my pitches down in the zone and right now I’m missing right down the middle,” said Jimenez in comparing his success before the break to his struggles after it.
He is 5-1 with a 2.06 ERA in seven home starts, tossing eight innings in a 4-0 victory over Cleveland on June 28 in his most recent appearance.
Jimenez is 2-2 with a 2.57 ERA in his past four starts against the Braves but will be facing them for the first time since 2013.
Jonny Gomes is 7 for 19 (.368) with three homers in this matchup.
Julio Teheran (6-5, 4.49) looks to continue a string of solid outings for Atlanta after going 1-1 with a 2.81 ERA in his last four starts.
The right-hander struck out seven of the first 10 batters he faced Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers before struggling with his command in the fifth. He finished with a career high-tying 11 strikeouts over seven innings and allowed three runs in a 3-1 loss.
Teheran, who has never faced the Orioles, is 0-4 with a 7.61 ERA in nine road starts since winning his first of the season.
Travis Snider has the most experience of any Orioles hitter against Teheran, going 3 for 7 with two doubles. Snider is 2 for 31 (.065) this month, however.
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