Winning on Sunday has been a monumental problem for the Baltimore Orioles this season. The rest of the days of the week haven’t been any kinder lately.
The Orioles hope to avoid a 16th consecutive Sunday loss and a season-high sixth straight overall defeat when they close a three-game series against the red-hot Los Angeles Angels.
Since beating Seattle on April 6, the Orioles (48-55) have dropped 15 consecutive Sunday games. The major league record for consecutive losses on a specific day is 21—the 1939 St. Louis Browns and 1890 Pittsburgh Innocents both did it on Tuesdays.
Baltimore has been outscored 86-42 on Sunday since the win over Seattle.
“It’s frustrating,” Orioles catcher Guillermo Quiroz said. “It’s something that we have to get out of the way.”
Another poor outing from a starter was too much for the Orioles to overcome as they lost their fifth straight, 11-6 on Saturday night.
Radhames Liz was reached for six runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings, the eighth straight game a Baltimore starter has failed to go six innings. Orioles starters have a 10.23 ERA during the five-game skid, their second this month and fourth this season.
Torii Hunter went 3-for-3 with two homers and five RBIs as the Angels (64-39) won their fourth straight and ninth in 10 games. Los Angeles owns the best record in the majors and has opened a 10 1/2-game lead over Texas in the AL West.
Hunter’s grandmother died Friday, soon after he returned from a two-day stay on the bereavement list to be at her side in Pine Bluff, Ark.
“She passed and she’s not worrying about too much pain or struggle right now,” Hunter said. “Whenever I come to the field, you know this is my safe haven. She always used to tell me, ‘Just have fun.’ … You kind of remember that, you go out there, just have fun and play the game.”
After facing Daisuke Matsuzaka and Justin Verlander in their last two Sunday games, the Orioles figure to have a difficult time ending their skid against Los Angeles’ Ervin Santana (11-4, 3.37 ERA), who has been particularly good on the road.
The right-hander is 8-1 with a 3.44 ERA in 12 away starts this season, going 4-0 in six outings since losing at Toronto on May 22.
In his first start after pitching in the All-Star Game, he was charged with four runs - three earned - and seven hits over seven innings while striking out eight and walking none in a 5-2 loss Monday to visiting Cleveland.
Santana is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in five starts against the Orioles, pitching seven innings in each appearance.
Perhaps pitching to keep his place in the rotation, Garrett Olson (6-5, 6.11) seeks his first win in a month. Since going 5-1 with a 3.86 ERA in his first eight starts, the left-hander is 1-4 with an 8.62 ERA in his last eight games.
Olson was unable to hold a 4-0 lead in Baltimore’s 10-8 loss to Toronto on Tuesday. He was tagged for a season-high nine hits and six runs in 4 2-3 innings, and has allowed 18 runs in his last three starts.
To record his first home win since May 26, Olson will have to limit an offense that has totaled 31 runs and 38 hits in the last three games.
“If he trusts his stuff and attacks the hitters maybe a little more aggressively, he’d probably find the outcome to be a little bit more positive for him,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “But that’s something he’s going to have to figure out on his own.”