Jaret Wright has been unbeatable since losing four straight starts in May.
A 21-year-old rookie sensation with Cleveland in 1997, Wright went 8-3 during the regular season and started Game 7 of the World Series against the Florida Marlins. He appeared headed for a bright future before injuries and two shoulder operations left his career in doubt.
Wright began to put things back together last year. After being placed on waivers by San Diego, he signed with the Braves and pitched out of the bullpen, throwing four scoreless innings in the NL division series against the Chicago Cubs.
He moved into the rotation this season and at times has been dominant, especially during the last month. Wright, 2-5 with a 4.25 ERA on May 22, is 3-0 with 2.61 ERA in six starts since.
The Braves lost Wright’s last two starts though he left the game with a lead each time. He allowed one run and eight hits over 5 1-3 innings against Kansas City on June 17, before the Royals scored nine against three relievers in the final two innings in a 10-4 win.
In his last outing, Wright gave up three runs and six hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 4-3 loss at Florida on Tuesday. However, the Marlins scored three times against reliever Chris Reitsma.
“We’re in a bad rut right now,” Braves catcher Johnny Estrada said after that loss. “We got a good pitching performance from Jaret and got enough offensively to probably win that game. That’s just the way it’s been going for us. We’re finding ways to lose.”
The Braves are coming off a 5-0 win in the middle game of this interleague series on Saturday, after losing by the same score in the opener the previous night. Russ Ortiz scattered seven hits over seven innings while repeatedly working out of trouble to help Atlanta win for just the third time in 10 games.
The Orioles have been equally bad, winning just three of their last 13 games.
Baltimore, just 6-17 in June, stranded 10 runners on base Saturday and went 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
“We had our chances,” Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. “We hit the ball hard early in the game, with line drives, but they didn’t fall in. It’s just bad luck, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”