Millwood will try to end his own skid while leading the Orioles to a season-high fifth straight win and their first road sweep of the Indians in 23 years Thursday night.
The Orioles improved to 8-1 under Showalter with a 3-1 victory Wednesday night as Brad Bergesen(notes) earned his first win since May 12. A 14-8 victory the previous evening gave rookie Jake Arrieta(notes) his first in nearly a month.
Millwood (2-11, 5.84 ERA) hasn’t recorded a victory since June 24 and enters this start having lost three consecutive decisions. Facing the Indians could help since he’s 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA in five matchups and won his only outing as a visitor at Progressive Field on April 29, 2006, while with Texas.
Another victory over the Indians would also give Baltimore (40-74) its first five-game win streak since June 17-21, 2009. If Millwood can build off his previous start, he might have a chance to deliver that victory.
After giving up at least five runs in five consecutive starts, the veteran right-hander yielded one run and four hits over six innings Saturday against the White Sox but did not get a decision in a 4-2 loss.
Orioles starting pitchers have posted 2.30 ERA in nine games under Showalter, with Arrieta’s most recent outing the only non-quality start in that span.
Millwood will be supported by an offense that’s continued to hit well since Showalter’s debut Aug. 3, with the Orioles batting .308 in those nine games. That has put Baltimore on the verge of its first sweep in Cleveland since April 10-12, 1987.
If his team can continue its success, Showalter would match the best 10-game start for a Baltimore manager. Davey Johnson won nine of his first 10 with the team in 1996.
In his third major league start, the right-hander gave up one run and four hits over 5 1-3 innings Friday against Minnesota but did not get a decision in a 7-6 victory.
“(Gomez) didn’t have his best slider or changeup,” manager Manny Acta told the team’s website. “But the movement on his fastball continues to help him, even when he doesn’t have his best stuff.”
The Orioles recorded their previous sweep of the Indians at home May 7-9, 2004.