Monday, May 19, 2008

Orioles Open Road Trip in New York

BALTIMORE -- The streak is dead, and the Orioles will do their best to make sure their momentum doesn't go with it. Baltimore went 4-1 on its homestand and will have an off-day Monday before starting a three-game series at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. As far as Orioles manager Dave Trembley is concerned, the day off is an unwelcome diversion at this point.

"I wish we were playing tomorrow, to be honest with you," Trembley said after a bruising 2-1 defeat to the Nationals on Sunday. "It didn't work out for [us] today, but I've got no problem with the approach. We played two great games against Boston. We were behind the entire week -- every game -- with the exception of jumping on [Washington] yesterday. I thought the guys just battled hard. ... The guys will take a break, [then] we'll get on a train [Monday] at 5 o'clock, and head to New York and get ready for the next one."

The Orioles will have a true test over the next two weeks, as they play 13 straight games against American League East opponents. The daunting schedule starts with a three-game series in New York and continues with a three-game set against Tampa Bay. After that, the Orioles return home to play against the Yankees and the Red Sox.

So far this season, Baltimore has held its own with its division rivals. The O's are 8-7 against divisional opponents, and that includes a 4-1 record against Boston and New York. Both of those teams have handled the Orioles easily in recent seasons, but Trembley's team already has thrown a few other trends into disarray.

The Orioles will start Daniel Cabrera in the series opener, and they'll conclude with southpaws Garrett Olson and Brian Burres. Baltimore skipped Steve Trachsel to keep everyone else on turn, a surprise engagement for two hurlers. Last year, both Olson and Burres pitched whenever the Orioles had an opening, instead of keeping their own dedicated rotation slot.

Pitching matchup
BAL: RHP Daniel Cabrera (4-1, 3.58 ERA)
Cabrera has thrown seven straight quality starts, which is the longest streak of his career.

NYY: RHP Mike Mussina (6-3, 3.99 ERA)
Mussina has won five straight starts and has allowed three earned runs or fewer in all of them.

Bird bites
The Orioles have had three postponements and one suspended game due to inclement weather this season. ... Baltimore starter Jeremy Guthrie has allowed two earned runs or fewer on five occasions this season, and he is just 2-1 with two no-decisions in those games. ... The Orioles fell to 11-6 in one-run games and 14-7 at home on Sunday.


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