Orioles-Giants Preview

Interleague play has done nothing to stop the losses from piling

up for the Baltimore Orioles, a trend the San Francisco Giants hope

continues for at least three more days.

The Giants look to hand the woeful Orioles their ninth

consecutive road defeat as the teams meet Monday night for the

first time in six years.

The Orioles (17-46) have cemented their status as the worst team

in the majors by losing 15 of 17 overall, including an 0-6

performance against Toronto and the Yankees during their last road

trip.

They totaled 25 runs and two home runs on their recent 2-7

homestand, which concluded with three straight losses to the New

York Mets. The Orioles are 1-5 against NL foes after going 11-7 in

interleague play each of the last two years.

“I’m trying to stay as positive as I can for these guys,”

interim manager Juan Samuel said. “My job is to keep these guys

going, keep them focused, continue to improve in some areas that we

can improve.”

Samuel may wish his struggling lineup still had Aubrey Huff, who

played for Baltimore from 2007-09 and will be facing the Orioles

for the first time since they traded him to Detroit for a minor

league pitcher Aug. 17.

Huff signed with the Giants in the offseason. Following a slow

start, the veteran has hit .400 with six homers and 13 RBIs in his

last 16 games. He had two homers and four RBIs in Sunday’s 6-2 win

over Oakland to help complete San Francisco’s three-game sweep.

“The first month of the season I really tried to beat it and got

in a lot of bad habits,” Huff said. “I just got to a point where I

stopped caring and just started seeing the ball and hitting it. If

it goes, it goes. If it doesn’t you take your doubles and

triples.”

The Giants (35-27) have won 12 of 17 overall, including eight of

10 at home, thanks in part of a resurgent offense that has scored

six or more runs eight times in 15 games.

Starting pitching remains San Francisco’s biggest strength, and

the 3.19 ERA posted by Giants starters leads the majors.

Jonathan Sanchez (4-5, 2.82 ERA) takes his turn, looking to

improve on an inefficient outing at Cincinnati on Wednesday. The

left-hander needed 93 pitches to get through five innings, allowing

three runs in a 6-3 defeat.

Miguel Tejada, one of the few Orioles hitters who has faced

Sanchez, is 0 for 7 against the southpaw.

Chris Tillman (0-2, 5.54) is slated to pitch for Baltimore, and

he’s coming off a promising outing Wednesday against the Yankees.

The 22-year-old fell to 2-7 in his career after a 4-2 defeat, but

he held New York to three runs in six innings.

“It might have been the best I’ve felt but I had the worst stuff

today,” the right-hander said. “I got that curveball going and

that’s the only thing that saved me. Fastball command was pretty

poor.”

In their only previous visit to San Francisco, the Orioles won

two of three from June 21-23, 2002. Baltimore dropped two of three

at home during the 2004 season.