While Sunday is a day of rest for many people, the Baltimore Orioles may be taking that far too literally.
The Orioles hope to end a 10-game losing streak on Sundays as they close a three-game interleague series against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
Since beating Seattle on the first Sunday of the season, the Orioles (38-35) have lost on 10 consecutive Sundays.
Manager Dave Trembley has no explanation for the losing streak, but an offense that has averaged 2.6 runs in 11 Sunday games compared to 4.8 all other days has certainly played a role in that lack of success.
“People have brought that to my attention,” Trembley said. “I have no rhyme or reason for it.”
Baltimore hoped to end its Sunday woes and complete a three-game sweep of Pittsburgh last weekend, but lost 5-4 in 10 innings after Brian Roberts’ two-out, two-run homer in the ninth tied the game.
While a sweep won’t be possible, the Orioles can win their third straight series with a victory Sunday.
Baltimore held on for an 8-5 victory in Friday’s series opener before losing 3-2 on Saturday.
Pinch-hitter Oscar Salazar provided all the offense for the Orioles, hitting a two-run homer in the seventh inning. After Baltimore’s first four hitters went 10-for-19 with seven runs on Friday, that group went 1-for-14 with three strikeouts in Saturday’s loss.
Playing by National League rules has forced Trembley to sit either Aubrey Huff, Kevin Millar or Melvin Mora in the first two games of this series. Mora sat out Saturday with Huff moving to third, but with left-hander Manny Parra (6-2, 4.22 ERA) on the mound Sunday, Huff figures to be the odd man out.
The Brewers are 18-8 since McClung joined the rotation in May.
“I feel like I can be replaced at any time. That keeps me hungry,” McClung said. “I want to go out and win a championship. I’ve never had the opportunity to be part of a team that has the potential to do that.”
Parra looks to win his fifth straight start and sixth consecutive decision. The left-hander has been a revelation as a starter after appearing mostly in relief last season. He is 4-0 with a 2.49 ERA in his last four starts, and 5-0 in his past eight outings since losing to Houston on May 3.
Parra threw seven strong innings in a 7-0 victory over Toronto on Tuesday in his first career interleague appearance. He was at his best when he had to be, getting out of two-on jams in the second, fifth and seventh innings.
“There’s been some games where sixth, seventh inning, fifth inning even, things just don’t seem to go my way,” Parra said. “I was just happy to battle and get out of a little sticky situation.”
Garrett OIson (5-2, 4.80) looks to get back on track for Baltimore after two straight poor outings. The left-hander went 5-1 with a 3.86 ERA in his first eight starts before getting tagged for 10 runs and 13 hits over 10 innings in his last two.
He lasted 4 2-3 innings Tuesday against Houston, allowing four runs and six hits before leaving without a decision in Baltimore’s 6-5 win.
Olson, who has never faced the Brewers, is 1-0 with a 6.52 ERA in two career interleague starts.