Interleague Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, June 8th
(All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (28-31) at Baltimore Orioles (32-25), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - Joe Blanton (4-6, 5.27)
Baltimore - Jake Arrieta (2-7, 5.53)
(Sports Network) - The Baltimore Orioles have lifted eyebrows for their
success this season and a first-place tag in the American League East.
The Philadelphia Phillies have done the same for opposite reasons.
Philadelphia and Baltimore will kick off three straight interleague games
tonight at Camden Yards with the former trying to end a season-high six-game
losing streak. The Phillies have been rattled with the injuries and
inconsistent play at the plate. They hope some time away from home will cure
the recent woes, as the Phils begin a nine-game interleague trek tonight
against the Orioles, Twins and Blue Jays.
The Phillies, who are last in the NL East at six games off the pace, were just
swept in four games by the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park. They
suffered consecutive loss No. 6 with Thursday's 8-3 decision to L.A. and
didn't get much help from current staff ace Cole Hamels, who suffered the loss
for giving up four runs -- three earned -- in six innings.
"We get the lead and then we're giving it up," Hamels said. "That's kind of
the frustrating part just for the fact that you see a win on one hand and see
it kind of evaporate."
Mike Fontenot, starting in place of injured second baseman Freddy Galvis
(back), had a team-high three hits and drove in a run. Hunter Pence went 2-
for-5 with an RBI for the Phillies, who are now 0-23 when trailing after seven
innings. Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco is bothered by a sore wrist
and a cut to his left index finger, and did not play Thursday. Polanco could
return tonight, but Ty Wigginton will most likely get the start if not.
Joe Blanton will handle the pitching assignment Friday for the Phillies and is
0-3 with a 10.98 earned run average in his last four starts. He previously
took center stage in Sunday's 5-1 loss to Miami and was ripped for five runs
and nine hits through six innings, falling to 4-6 in 12 games (11 starts) with
a 5.27 ERA. He allowed two homers for the third straight outing and has been
victimized by the long ball 11 times in his past five appearances.
Blanton is 1-4 as the visiting pitcher this season and 1-2 with a 5.09 ERA in
six career starts against Baltimore.
The Orioles will take on both of Pennsylvania's ballclubs over the next six
games with the Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates set to invade Camden Yards.
Baltimore has won three of five games since a six-game losing streak, but
dropped a 7-0 decision at Boston on Thursday in the finale of a three-game
series from Fenway Park. Brian Matusz was aiming to move over the .500 mark
and was saddled with the loss, as he surrendered five runs, four of which were
earned, on four hits and five walks in just two innings.
Matusz's counterpart, Clay Buchholz, recorded his first shutout in over two
years. The Baltimore offense failed to get a runner past second in the setback
and the club wrapped up a nine-game road trip at 3-6.
"His changeup was really good tonight and his breaking ball was there when he
needed it," said Orioles designated hitter Chris Davis about Buchholz. "He did
a good job of keeping us off balance and throwing strikes."
Davis had the lone extra-base hit with a double and slugging outfielder Adam
Jones went 0-for-3. Jones, though, has still hit in 24 of his last 27 games
for the Orioles, who are tied with Tampa Bay atop the AL East. New York is
only one-half game off the pace.
Taking the mound for the O's tonight will be Jake Arrieta. Arrieta has
struggled mightily lately with three straight losses and an 0-5 mark with a
7.96 ERA in his past six starts. He fell to 2-7 in 12 overall starts in
Sunday's 8-4 loss at Tampa Bay and gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings. He
raised his ERA to 5.53 in the process.
Arrieta, a right-hander, is 1-4 in six trips to the Camden Yards mound this
season and will face Philadelphia for the first time.
The Orioles swept the Phillies in three games back in 2009 at Citizens Bank
Park and has won five of the last six matchups between the clubs. Baltimore,
of course, defeated Philadelphia in five games to win the 1983 World Series.
06/08 10:56:48 ET