Some much-needed strong pitching helped the Baltimore Orioles end their latest losing streak. A third straight solid outing from Chris Tillman(notes) could help them win another home set in the Beltway Series.
The Orioles look to build on their latest victory and win their fourth consecutive home series over the Washington Nationals on Sunday.
After being outscored 30-7 the previous two games, Baltimore (20-24) got seven solid innings from Jeremy Guthrie(notes) and a two-run homer from Nolan Reimold(notes) to help snap a four-game skid with an 8-3 win over Washington on Saturday.
The Orioles have won eight of 11 at home over the Nationals since they were swept by their interleague rival at Camden Yards in 2007.
Vladimir Guerrero(notes) looks to stay hot for the Orioles after he recorded his career-high seventh straight multi-hit game Saturday. He’s hit .469 during that stretch, and .423 with eight RBIs in seven games against the Nationals - the franchise he broke into the majors with in 1996 when it was in Montreal.
Tillman (2-3, 5.25 ERA) will face Washington for the first time in the finale.
The right-hander allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 3 2-3 innings of a 9-1 loss at Kansas City on May 5, but just one run and eight hits in 11 innings to go 1-0 in his last two starts. Tillman thew five scoreless innings, but the Orioles’ bullpen could not hold a 6-0 lead in an 8-7 loss at Boston on Monday.
Tillman pitched despite being bothered by a stiff back that he believes won’t be an issue Sunday.
“For the most part, I didn’t feel it in my pitching delivery,” Tillman told the Orioles’ official website. “It was more to do with when I was breathing.”
Though the Nationals (21-24) set a franchise record with 17 runs and recorded 19 hits Friday, they have totaled three runs and 18 hits in the three losses over their last four games.
Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann(notes) (2-4, 4.13) takes the mound for the first time in 10 days after his scheduled start Tuesday against Pittsburgh was postponed by rain. Manager Jim Riggleman opted to skip Zimmermann’s turn in the rotation to help conserve his total innings, which is expected not to exceed 160 this season.
“It’s probably better to get skipped now than toward the end of the season,” Zimmermann told the Nationals’ official website. “I want to be able to pitch, still have innings left and help the team out.”
Though Zimmermann has not received a decision in his last two starts, he’s 1-0 with a 3.44 ERA in the last three. The right-hander allowed three runs and struck out a career-high 11 in 6 1-3 innings of a 6-5, 10-inning loss at Atlanta on May 12.
In his only appearance against Baltimore on May 22, 2009, Zimmermann gave up two runs and struck out seven in seven innings of a 4-2, 12-inning home loss.