Orioles look to turn it around vs. Rangers
BALTIMORE -- Seeking their first win in the second half of the season, the Baltimore Orioles open a four-game series with the Texas Rangers on Monday at Camden Yards.
The Orioles, a season-worst seven games below .500 at 42-49, were hammered in a weekend series by the visiting Chicago Cubs, allowing 27 runs and 10 homers over the course of a three-game sweep. It was not the way they were hoping to start the second half or a 10-game homestand.
"It's disappointing," said Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, who was roughed up for six runs on 11 hits over 3 2/3 innings Sunday. "There is no question about it. It's disappointing. But this is baseball. We need to figure it out and just get ready for tomorrow."
The Rangers (45-46), meanwhile, had their modest two-game winning streak snapped Sunday with a 4-3 loss at Kansas City. With two outs in the ninth inning, Lorenzo Cain won the game for the Royals with a bases-loaded single.
The Rangers have won five of their past seven overall as they continue their 10-game road trip.
Unlike the Orioles, who have a strong bullpen and a weak rotation, the Rangers have a good starting staff and a shaky relief corps, which has blown 17 saves, tied for the second most in the major leagues.
The Orioles will send Chris Tillman (1-5, 7.90 ERA) to the mound. Tillman has not started a game since June 30 due to the birth of his first child.
"He's certainly well-rested," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Tillman has not won a game since tossing five scoreless innings on May 7 in his first start of the season. He lost five consecutive outings from May 24 to June 15 before getting a no-decision in each of his past three starts. He hasn't worked more than 5 1/3 innings since June 4.
Over his past 10 starts, Tillman is 0-5 with an 8.80 ERA.
"I am anxious to watch him pitch," Showalter said. "See if he is going to have the last two-fifths of the season that he is capable of."
Tillman is 3-2 with 5.40 in seven career starts against the Rangers, but he has not faced them this season.
Tillman will be opposed by Rangers right-hander Andrew Cashner.
On June 29, Cashner (4-7, 3.54 ERA) was struck on the right forearm by a broken bat in the sixth inning of a 5-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians. X-rays were negative.
He returned to pitch July 5 against the Boston Red Sox and was solid, allowing a pair of unearned runs on three hits over seven innings. He struck out four and walked three while picking up the win.
"I think for me it's just having the feel of (the sinker)," Cashner said. "My sinker is really good right now. Just continue throwing that."
Cashner will be looking to win back-to-back starts for the first time this season.
"When a team gets hot, it's always usually the starting pitching that's carrying them," he said. "The hitters will carry you a night or two, but really winning and losing in the big leagues relies on your starting pitching."
Cashner's only career start against Baltimore came in 2013, when he allowed five hits and two runs (one earned) in 7 1/3 innings during a no-decision.
Updated July 17, 2017