After being swept by the Blue Jays, again, the O’s head into Kansas City for a four-game series against the Royals. The teams split their short two-game series when they met in Camden Yards back in mid-May, with both teams grabbing a 4-3 victory. The Royals come into this series looking to finish their seven-game home stand off strong after being swept in three games by the Twins and allowing 36 runs in the process.
Thursday, July 29, 8:10pm
Orioles – Brian Matusz (3-11, 5.22 ERA)
Royals – Kyle Davies (5-6, 5.52 ERA)
The American League leader in losses, and common victim of little-to-no run support looks to reverse those fortunes in his first career start against the Royals. Matusz threw five innings and allowed three earned runs on six hits against the Twins in his last outing. He didn’t look particularly sharp for the second straight start, but looked much better than he did when he gave up six earned runs and five hits in just 1 2/3 innings against the Blue Jays on July 18. Davies defeated the Yankees in his last start allowing four earned runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out three in 5 1/3 innings. It wasn’t a dominant performance by any stretch, as he allowed three homers, but he still did enough to earn the win.
Friday, July 30, 8:10pm
Orioles – Jake Arrieta (3-3, 5.40 ERA)
Royals – Sean O’Sullivan (0-1, 9.00 ERA)
Last Sunday’s loss to the Twins was the fourth time in his first nine career starts that Arrieta has given up at least five earned runs. He pitched just four innings and gave up seven hits in addition to the five runs while walking four and striking out none. Arrieta has a respectable record for a first-year big leaguer, but it will intriguing to see how he finishes out his rookie campaign. The newly acquired O’Sullivan took a loss in his first start as a Royal after being traded by the Angels. He pitched five innings and gave up five earned runs on seven hits, two of which were home runs, but he did not give up a single walk in the game. Of the current O’s lineup, he has faced only Adam Jones, Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis and Luke Scott. All four hitters have at least one RBI against him and all but Scott have hit a home run.
Saturday, July 31, 7:10pm
Orioles – Brad Bergesen (3-9, 6.95 ERA)
Royals – Zack Greinke (6-10, 4.01 ERA)
Bergesen may be the hardest O’s pitcher to figure out. It seems like he is either really on or really off, and in his last outing he was the latter. He gave up a career-high eight earned runs on 10 hits in just five innings in a 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays. Bergesen has already been sent down to Triple-A Norfolk once this season, and if he’s not careful he may be headed back there again. In his most recent outing, Greinke was rocked by the Twins to the tune of eight earned runs (most in a game since 2008) on eight hits in just four innings. He did stay consistent in the strikeout department, though, fanning seven Twins batters. Greinke pitched well enough to win in his last start against the O’s, going seven innings and allowing just two runs on four hits (two home runs), but received a no-decision in an eventual 4-3 O’s win.
Sunday, August 1, 2:10pm
Orioles – Kevin Millwood (2-10, 5.96 ERA)
Royals – Bruce Chen (5-5, 4.83 ERA)
Earlier in the season Millwood could not earn a win because of some bad luck. Lately, however, it has been all his fault. In eight of his last nine starts, Millwood has allowed at least nine batters to reach base. In his latest outing against the Blue Jays, he was roughed up for six runs, five earned, on 10 hits and four walks in just 5 1/3 innings. His ERA has jumped up considerably over his the past couple months and is at 10.66 in the month of July. Chen didn’t fare too well in his last start either. The former Oriole only last 5 1/3 innings and gave up six earned runs on 11 hits in an 11-2 loss to the Twins last Tuesday. Chen began the season in the bullpen, but has been in the starting rotation since late May because of injuries to some Royals’ starters.
Submitted by Steve Giles