Orioles-Athletics Preview

The Baltimore Orioles are coming off a solid homestand, but

their upcoming road trip begins in a place they haven’t had much

success in recent seasons.

Baltimore kicks off an 11-game trip Thursday night with a

four-game set against the Oakland Athletics.

The Orioles (12-9) went 6-3 on their homestand after falling 6-5

in 11 innings to Toronto on Wednesday, ending their 17-game winning

streak in extra-inning contests – the longest since Pittsburgh’s

21-game run that ended in 1960.

Chris Davis went 0 for 5 and finished 1 for 11 with five

strikeouts in the three-game series versus the Blue Jays. He has

three homers and five RBIs in his last 16 games after hitting four

and driving in 17 over his first five.

Baltimore took two of three from Tampa Bay, the Los Angeles

Dodgers and Toronto on the homestand.

“When you can win any series, especially in your division,

that’s big. So we’ll take it,” said closer Jim Johnson, who

suffered the loss. “This is not going to dampen our spirits.”

Looking back on their recent history in Oakland just might. The

Orioles have lost 16 of the last 19 road matchups and haven’t won

consecutive meetings there since a three-game sweep Aug. 15-17,

2005.

Jason Hammel will be on the mound attempting to end that drought

for Baltimore, which won 9-5 at Oakland on Sept. 16 in the last

matchup.

Hammel (2-1, 4.74 ERA) allowed four runs and walked three in six

innings of Baltimore’s 7-5 win over the Dodgers on Saturday, though

he didn’t allow a run over his last four innings.

“That’s why Ham kind of graduated a little bit as a starter,

because what you see in the first inning isn’t necessarily what

you’re going to be seeing in the fifth or sixth inning,” manager

Buck Showalter told the team’s official website. “It’s not, ‘Woe is

me and the sky is falling.’ It’s, ‘OK, let’s make an adjustment and

let’s get our team through this.'”

The right-hander has made two starts versus the A’s, with the

most recent coming in 2009 while pitching for Colorado.

Oakland (13-9) will be looking to bounce back after dropping

five of six on its road trip to Tampa Bay and Boston, falling 6-5

to the Red Sox on Wednesday. Chris Young hit a three-run homer and

added a solo shot, while Jed Lowrie went 3 for 5.

That kind of offense would have been plenty for scheduled

starter Jarrod Parker in his last outing.

Parker (0-3, 7.50) struggled in his first three starts, though

he gave up one run and six hits through 6 1-3 innings of a 1-0 loss

to the Rays on Saturday.

“That’s what we’re used to seeing out of him,” manager Bob

Melvin said of Parker, who won 13 games as a rookie last season.

“This is the first game he’s pitched really well for us.”

The right-hander made two starts versus Baltimore in 2012,

giving up six runs in five innings of Oakland’s 14-9 win July 27

before allowing two runs in seven innings of a 5-2 victory Sept.

15.

Adam Jones went 3 for 5 with a three-run homer off Parker in

those matchups.