Playing in AL ballparks has presented plenty of problems for the Los Angeles Dodgers in recent years, and Camden Yards has been no exception this weekend.
Los Angeles tries to avoid matching its longest losing streak from last season and notch a rare road interleague win Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles.
Favored by many to win their first NL West title since 2009, the high-priced Dodgers have fallen short of expectations early on.
They won seven of their first 11 games but have been unable to maintain that success, losing six straight by a combined 36-13 score.
The skid continued with a pair of losses Saturday, as Los Angeles (7-10) squandered a four-run lead in a 7-5 loss in the opener of a split doubleheader before falling 6-1 in the nightcap.
Those defeats dropped the Dodgers to 7-19 in road interleague games since the start of 2010. They've lost seven of eight overall against the opposite league.
"There is a time when you feel like you just need a win,' manager Don Mattingly said. "Really, this feels like one of those times. We just need to put a win on the board and get out of this.'
Los Angeles, which lost seven in a row June 24-30, went 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position in the doubleheader and is 7 for 43 (.163) during the losing streak.
Manny Machado matched career highs with three hits and four RBIs Saturday night, falling a triple shy of the cycle for the Orioles (10-7), winners of a season-high three straight and seven of 10.
Baltimore has won 11 of 16 in interleague play.
"We've got to come out and be greedy and get the sweep,' center fielder Adam Jones said.
Chris Davis hit his seventh homer - a 448-foot shot - in the nightcap and is 7 for 15 in his last four games. He leads the AL with seven homers and 21 RBIs.
Davis will get his first look at Chad Billingsley (1-0, 3.00 ERA), who was effective in two starts against San Diego since he was activated from the disabled list April 10 due to a bruised right index finger. He gave up a three-run homer to pitcher Eric Stults and six other hits over six innings Monday before leaving without a decision in a 6-3 loss.
The righty is 7-7 with a 4.24 ERA in 20 interleague starts, yielding 11 runs and 18 hits over 11 innings in losing the last two.
This will be his first appearance against the Orioles.
Baltimore's Jake Arrieta (1-0, 5.40) will try to build on his first win of the season, though he hopes to be far more efficient. The right-hander surrendered a home run on the first pitch he threw, walked five and needed 112 pitches to complete five innings but still beat Tampa Bay 5-4 on Tuesday. He allowed just the one run and struck out seven to earn his first victory since June 13.
"The win is the biggest part of the night,' said Arrieta, who has pitched five innings in each of his three starts - all Baltimore victories. "I would have liked to be out there a little bit longer but the pitch count got up."
He went 1-2 with a 4.65 ERA in five starts against the NL last season, but allowed one run in three of those outings.
Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford have fared very well against Arrieta. Gonzalez is 5 for 11 and Crawford is 4 for 7, with both hitting a home run.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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