Baltimore has had virtually no offensive production in its last two outings. A four-game series at home against the Kansas City Royals beginning Thursday night may be what the Orioles need to get their offense back on track.
Baltimore (3-6) lost to Detroit 4-1 in 12 innings on Wednesday, as it scored just one run in its second straight game. The Orioles managed just six hits in the loss and their .213 batting average this season is second-worst in the majors.
“They’re better hitters than that. We know that,” Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said of his offense. “We’ve just got to have a little patience with them. They’re going to come around and score some runs when we don’t pitch so well. Hopefully that happens quickly.”
The Orioles offense was impressive in their three-game sweep over the Royals (3-6) at Camden Yards last May, as they scored 25 runs and rapped out 39 hits including six homers.
Miguel Tejada hit .417 (10-for-24) with two homers and four RBIs in six games against Kansas City last season, but he has been in the midst of a slump lately. Tejada, the AL’s fourth-best hitter last season with a .330 average, went 1-for-4 Wednesday, and is batting just .250 (9-for-36) this season.
Brian Roberts also looks to break out of his slump against Kansas City. Roberts is just hitting .139 (5-for-36) this season, but is batting .522 (12-for-23) with four doubles, a homer and four RBIs in his career against the Royals’ Gil Meche (1-1, 4.40 ERA).
Meche allowed one run and six hits in 7 1-3 innings of and opening-day 7-1 victory over Boston on April 2, but followed that up by giving up six runs and eight hits, including three home runs, in seven innings of Saturday’s 6-5 loss to Detroit.
Meche, who signed a five-year, $55 million free-agent contract with in December, is 0-1 with a 3.99 ERA in seven career starts at Camden Yards, and is 4-2 with a 3.33 ERA in 12 lifetime starts against the Orioles.
Steve Trachsel (0-0, 4.05) starts for Baltimore and will be making first appearance against the Royals in more than six years. Trachsel is 0-3 with a 6.21 ERA in seven career starts against Kansas City, but hasn’t faced them since August 2000, when he pitched for Toronto.
The 15-year veteran pitched well in his first start this season, but Baltimore’s relievers couldn’t hold the lead. Last Saturday against the New York Yankees, the right-hander gave up three runs and four hits in 6 2-3 innings, and left with a four-run lead, but the bullpen allowed seven runs as the Orioles lost 10-7.
Trachsel, who joined Baltimore as a free agent in March, makes his first start at Camden Yards since June 2001 when he was with the New York Mets. He is 0-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two career starts in Baltimore.
The Royals lost for the fourth time in five games after falling to Toronto 7-4 on Wednesday. David DeJesus homered and doubled against the Blue Jays, and is hitting .483 (14-for-29) with two home runs and four doubles in his last seven games.
He’s struggled in his career at Camden Yards, though, batting just .158 (3-of-19) in five games.