Reeling Orioles host first-place Yankees (May 29, 2017)
BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles are coming into a three-game series with the New York Yankees playing their worst baseball of the season.
Baltimore limps back to Camden Yards for a Monday matinee riding a seven-game losing streak after dropping three in a row at Houston over the weekend, the last being an 8-4 defeat Sunday afternoon.
New York (29-18) has won two in a row after beating the Oakland A's 9-5 on Sunday thanks to Aaron Judge's first career grand slam. The Yankees lead the American League East by three games over the second-place Boston Red Sox and by 4 1/2 over Baltimore (25-23).
The Orioles look to Dylan Bundy (5-3, 2.92 ERA), who opposes Jordan Montgomery (2-3, 4.30), to stop their slide.
Baltimore got good pitching and fair hitting before its slide, but the starting pitching has really dropped off -- along with the bats and the bullpen at times.
Manager Buck Showalter moved inconsistent starter Ubaldo Jimenez to the bullpen instead of starting him Sunday against the Astros. However, when Alec Asher lasted only two innings and surrendered six runs, the skipper brought in the veteran.
Jimenez gave the Orioles a nice surprise, going the final six innings and giving up only two runs.
The Orioles played the past two games without Adam Jones (ankle, rest), but he is expected back in action Monday.
Still, this is a team that has lost 13 of 16.
"I think if we had the answer we'd have put that in action a long time ago," Orioles first baseman Chris Davis said. "Just one of those things where one thing goes wrong and it kind of snowballs from there. Just trying to stay positive, keep working and keep grinding it out."
They will again rely on Bundy, who has clearly been their best pitcher this year. Bundy (1-1, 5.40 ERA in four career games, two starts, versus the Yankees) has lost two in a row overall and has been consistent in all but one of his starts this season.
Montgomery will be starting against the Orioles for the second time in his rookie season. He threw five innings of three-run ball and matched his career high with seven strikeouts in a no-decision at Yankee Stadium on April 30.
While Montgomery has been effective in most of his appearances, the New York offense is a big reason the Yankees are off to a strong start.
Judge (.321, 16 homers, 34 RBIs) came through again Sunday. He said he likes the way his team is playing heading into the Baltimore series.
The Yankees rank third in the American League with a .264 team batting average.
"I'm just glad we're going in there hot," Judge said. "We're swinging the bat well. Our pitching staff's doing well, our bullpen's coming through for us. We're excited for the next two weeks."
New York manager Joe Girardi also knows what is ahead, as the seven-game road trip also features four against the Toronto Blue Jays, who are getting back on their feet.
"We're going to Baltimore, which has always played us tough, and this is a tough road trip," he said. "We need to continue to play (well), and we need to continue to pitch well and score runs."
The Orioles made a player move Sunday, calling up right-hander Logan Verrett from Triple-A Norfolk and sending back right-hander Tyler Wilson.