The Orioles have a chance to sweep the Nationals franchise on the road for the first time, but they’ll need to find a way to win on a day of the week that has plagued them.
Baltimore (18-25) can win three straight for the first time this season and sweep Washington (12-30) with a win in the finale of this three-game set. The Orioles, though, have lost 26 of their last 29 Sunday games dating back to last season, when they dropped 15 straight such contests, and are 1-5 this year.
Baltimore has lost four straight Sunday games against Washington, missing chances to sweep a three-game series in three of those matchups. The Orioles haven’t had a Sunday victory in this series since the Nationals were still in Montreal, winning 3-2 on June 10, 2001.
Baltimore has never swept a series on the road against the Nationals franchise.
Aubrey Huff(notes) was the hero in the Orioles’ latest victory, driving in the tiebreaking run with a pinch-hit triple in the seventh inning as Baltimore made the most of three hits in a 2-1 win Saturday night.
Huff didn’t start with Washington left-hander Ross Detwiler(notes) on the mound and he was stuck in a 1-for-18 rut that dropped his average to .256, but his big hit came against Washington lefty Ron Villone(notes).
“I’ve been struggling the last four or five games,” Huff said. “To be able to get that hit against a left-hander was a little bit more satisfying because I haven’t hit well against them this year.”
The veteran first baseman, batting .173 against lefties, had only three RBIs in his previous 10 games, but still has driven in 35 runs on the season.
Huff will likely be back in the starting lineup against Washington rookie right-hander Shairon Martis(notes) (5-0, 4.53), who leads the team in wins even though he has struggled at times. He gave up five runs and five hits in six innings during Washington’s 8-5, 10-inning loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.
Martis has never faced the Orioles.
Baltimore will counter with Brad Bergesen(notes) (1-2, 5.35), who has posted a 6.00 ERA in losing his last two starts. The rookie right-hander walked a season-high four in his last outing, giving up four runs and three hits in 6 1-3 innings during Baltimore’s 9-1 loss to the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.
This will be his first appearance against the Nationals, who have been held to two runs or fewer in three of their last four games.
“You’re just not going to win too many games when you only score one run,” Washington manager Manny Acta said.
Guzman, batting a team-high .357, hit his second homer of the season. Zimmerman went 1 for 3 to reach base for the 41st consecutive game, one shy of the single-season franchise record held by Tim Raines of Montreal in 1986.