Angels, Orioles carry lengthy losing streaks into series
Even though the Angels have lost six consecutive games, they still have time to get back in the wild-card race. However, they will need to gain some much-needed momentum in Baltimore.
“At some point, obviously we need to put both ends together and get the pitching we need, get some early runs and get the game on our terms and we’re going to start to do things the way we can,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Meanwhile, the Orioles are mired in last place and own the worst record in Major League Baseball. Baltimore has lost five straight, including its first-ever four-game sweep at the hands of the Seattle Mariners.
“I don’t like losing any games. It eats at you,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “But you should be doing those things all the time, because things are always evolving, especially in our situation compared to some of the people we compete against in this division.”
The Orioles, looking at a possible rebuild, are open to trading several key players, including shortstop Manny Machado and closer Zach Britton, as they look toward the future. On Thursday, the team recalled rookie Chance Sisco, who is viewed as a long-term fixture as the starting catcher and will split time with Caleb Joseph.
“Chance went down (to Triple-A Norfolk) and did what we asked him to do and we got him back and we’ll play him and Caleb,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “It won’t necessarily be a strict platoon, but could be, depending on how it falls.
“We know we’re getting right, left, right against Anaheim. We know they only have two left-handed hitters. It’s more about today now, but we’re going to make use of all their skills and keep them all in the mix.
“And also, part of Chance’s development is two steps forward, one step back. We’ll keep trying to do what’s best for his long-term development and success.”
The Orioles have also struggled with injuries. Both right-handed reliever Darren O’Day (hamstring) and outfielder Craig Gentry (rib fracture) were placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier this week. The team’s most consistent starter, Dylan Budy (ankle), is also on the DL.
Baltimore looks to get off to a solid start against the Angels with rookie David Hess (2-4, 5.44 ERA) starting the opener. He has shown some upside but has lost his last three decisions.
In his last outing, Hess allowed five runs and seven hits in just four innings of a 7-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.
“The results speak for themselves,” Hess said. “They’re definitely different, but I think just executing pitches, I think I haven’t done it as well the past few starts. I think just getting back to what was successful those first few outings. I think we’ll get back to work and make a good move for the next outing.”
Felix Pena (0-0, 5.40) will make his third start of the season for the Angels, filling in for injured Garrett Richards (hamstring). In his last outing, Pena allowed three runs and eight hits with strikeouts and one walk in five innings of a 7-6 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday. He is facing Baltimore for the first time in his young career.
Los Angeles will be without reliever Jake Jewell, who suffered an ankle injury while covering home plate after a wild pitch against the Red Sox on Wednesday night.