Struggling Orioles visit homer-happy Athletics

OAKLAND, Calif. — Teams hoping a change of venue will produce a change of fortune meet Friday night when the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics open a three-game series.

The Orioles won four of seven from the A’s last summer, but that was under a different set of circumstances.

When Baltimore won two of three at home over Oakland last August, it was 62-65 and still very much alive in the American League wild-card race.

If the Orioles are to get that opportunity again this season, they’re going to have to rebound from a terrible start that has put them on the bottom of the entire AL heap.

The Orioles (8-23) have lost 15 of their last 18 games, including all three against the Los Angeles Angels the past three days to begin a six-game trip.

The results in Los Angeles got worse by the day, losing 3-2, 10-7 and 12-3.

If there was a bright spot for the Orioles in Los Angeles, it was the play of Manny Machado, who had two singles, two doubles and five RBIs in the series.

His two RBIs in Thursday’s loss increased his season total to 27.

In the series opener in Oakland, the Orioles’ Andrew Cashner (1-4, 4.76 ERA) will be seeking to snap a personal three-game losing streak, during which he has given up 13 earned runs in 16 innings.

He has never pitched at Oakland, but has had success in his career against the A’s, going 1-0 with a 3.93 ERA in four games (three starts).

Cashner already has allowed seven home runs in his six starts, which doesn’t bode well against the power-hitting A’s club. Five of the seven runs the A’s scored while losing two of three in Seattle the past three days were the result of home runs.

The A’s lone victory against the Mariners came in dramatic fashion Wednesday night when Jed Lowrie hit a late game-tying, two-run homer, setting up Mark Canha’s tiebreaking blast in the top of the ninth for a 3-2 win.

Oakland had a chance to complete a winning trip Thursday, but fell 4-1, getting its only run on a homer by Stephen Piscotty.

The A’s won four of nine on the three-city trip.

Outfielder Matthew Joyce has had the A’s best results against Cashner, belting two home runs in seven at-bats.

The A’s will begin a six-game homestand with Daniel Mengden (2-3, 4.68) on the mound. The right-hander has never faced the Orioles in his career.

Mengden pitched once on the just-completed trip and failed to complete the third inning in an 11-0 loss at Houston. After allowing a total of two runs in his previous two starts, he was roughed up in his hometown of Houston for five runs (four earned) in 2 1/3 innings.

The 25-year-old’s previous two starts were both at home. They included a 4-1 win over the Boston Red Sox in which he limited the AL East leaders to six hits in 6 1/3 innings.

The A’s took two of three from the Red Sox in their most recent home series.