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News » Orioles-Nationals Preview 2008-06-29


Orioles-Nationals Preview 2008-06-29


Orioles-Nationals Preview 2008-06-29
Winning a series against the National League-leading Chicago Cubs would lose much of its luster if the Baltimore Orioles follow that by losing a series to one of the worst teams in the majors.

The Orioles hope to avoid that fate and end an 11-game losing streak on Sundays when they close a three-game interleague set against the Washington Nationals.

After opening its nine-game road trip by losing two of three in Milwaukee, Baltimore (41-38) rebounded with wins in two of three contests against the Cubs, who had won 14 straight at Wrigley Field before those two defeats.

A 4-2 loss in Friday's series opener dropped the Orioles to 3-4 on the trip, but Adam Jones matched a career high with four hits and Luke Scott and Ramon Hernandez homered in a 9-1 victory Saturday.

"One through nine, that's how you win ballgames. You don't win a lot when only one or two guys are going off,"said Aubrey Huff, who went 1-for-4 with an RBI. "We've been scoring enough runs to win, but tonight was one of those rare games when we could relax a little."

The game drew a crowd of 39,479 - the largest at Nationals Park since the $611 million stadium opened March 31. Two of the top three crowds at the new stadium have come the last two days.

A victory in the series finale would give the Orioles a winning road trip for just the second time this season, and their first victory on Sunday since they beat Seattle on April 6. Their 7-3 loss to Milwaukee last weekend was their 11th consecutive Sunday defeat.

Baltimore is averaging 2.6 runs on Sundays compared to 4.8 all other days.

Washington, tied with San Diego for the worst record in the NL, has lost five of its last seven games - ll at home.

Nationals center fielder Lastings Milledge, the team leader with 32 RBIs and 13 steals, was placed on the 15-day disabled list after injuring his right groin in the third inning of Saturday night's loss.

Taking Milledge's roster spot will be outfielder Roger Bernadina, who was batting .325 with five homers and 38 RBIs at Double-A Harrisburg.

"Tough one. The kid was leading our club in RBIs and he was making so much progress in center field," manager Manny Acta said. "He was looking so good and comfortable. ... It's been that kind of year. We'll give another kid a chance."

Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie (4-7, 3.64 ERA) looks to win consecutive starts for the first time this season. The right-hander limited the Cubs to one run and four hits over six innings Tuesday in a 7-5 victory at Wrigley Field before giving up a three-run homer in the seventh.

It was a rare night of strong run support for Guthrie, who had received three runs or fewer in six of his previous seven starts.

Guthrie gave up one run in seven innings against the Nationals on May 18, but was a tough-luck 2-1 loser. He is 0-1 with a 1.29 ERA in three career starts versus Washington.

Jason Bergmann (1-5, 4.60) hopes to win for the first time in well over a month. The right-hander is 0-4 in his last seven starts since beating the New York Mets on May 15.

He pitched well enough to win Monday against the Los Angeles Angels, but left without a decision after allowing one run on six hits in seven innings in a game the Nationals lost 3-2.

Bergmann has never faced the Orioles.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: June 29, 2008

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