After winning consecutive road games for the first time in more than a month, the Baltimore Orioles are seeking their first sweep away from home in two seasons.
Baltimore (20-23) has won the first two games of this series by one-run margins, including a 3-2, 11-inning victory on Saturday. The Orioles haven’t swept a three-game series on the road since their final series of 2005, when they won three straight against Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field.
“We’re trying to get something going,” Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. “You hope that a couple of wins like that can start a streak.”
Outfielder Jay Payton, who had been batting .125 (3-for-24) in his previous eight games, went 2-for-5 on Saturday including a two-run double in the 11th inning.
“I’m trying not to change anything,” said Payton, who is a .318 career hitter against the Washington franchise. “The hardest thing to do is not to go up and feel like you’ve got to do more. I’m just trying to put good swings on the ball. Tonight I was able to find paydirt a couple times and get us a win.”
After opening the season with three wins in his first four starts, Bedard (3-2, 4.67 ERA) is winless in his last five outings. On Monday, the left-hander held Toronto to three runs and six hits in seven innings, but failed to factor in the decision in Baltimore’s 5-3 loss.
Bedard has never faced the Nationals, but is 4-0 with a 1.60 ERA in seven career interleague starts.
With Saturday’s defeat, Washington (15-28) fell to 1-14 against teams outside the NL East, including an 0-10 mark outside the division in May.
The Nationals had won six of seven before opening interleague play against the Orioles.
First baseman Dmitri Young is 4-for-6 in the series, raising his career average against Baltimore to .369 (31-for-84). Young is also batting .367 this season at RFK Stadium, compared to .140 on the road.
Washington sends Micah Bowie (0-2, 3.71) to the mound for his first major league start since 1999. Bowie has made 20 relief appearances this season, and has allowed only three earned runs in 9 2-3 innings spanning nine outings at RFK.
He does not anticipate problems switching back to a starting role.
“You get to work out a little bit more, you get to do a little more conditioning, things like that, but as far as preparation for the game, there is no difference because you have to have to get outs,” Bowie told the team’s official Web site.
The left-hander struggled as a starter with the Chicago Cubs in 1999, when he went 2-3 with an 8.54 ERA in seven starts outings.
“It was ugly,” said Bowie, who has never faced the Orioles. “Let’s just say I didn’t have the stuff then that I’ve had recently. I have a new elbow now. Hopefully, with a little bit of age, a little bit of time, a little bit more maturity, I will have a little bit more success on the major league level.”