After an extra-inning thriller, Baltimore hosts Cincinnati on Saturday night as the teams continue a three-game set.
Cincinnati has dropped eight of 10 against the AL - including all four on the road - while scoring four or fewer runs in nine of those contests.
“That was a tough one to lose,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We got out of trouble quite a few times tonight.”
Baltimore, one of only two last-place teams along with Oakland with a winning record at home (21-18), bounced back after a rough trip. The Orioles have won seven of eight interleague matchups at Camden Yards.
Lee’s walk-off homer was his first since May 11, 2005, while playing for the Chicago Cubs. The veteran first baseman has gone 14 for 32 his last seven games to raise his average 33 points to .247, and Friday’s home run was his first since May 8.
“It felt good to finally get one over the fence,” Lee said. “I put a good swing on that one. If that one didn’t go over the fence, we would have had some problems.”
Orioles starter Brian Matusz(notes) (1-2, 5.60 ERA) has run into problems of his own recently. He’s lost his last two starts, allowing four runs in losses to Tampa Bay on June 12 and Washington on Saturday. Matusz lasted only 1 1-3 innings against the Rays.
The left-hander left his outing against the Nationals after 5 1-3 innings due to left hamstring cramps, though Matusz said he should be ready to go. He’ll look to win his first interleague start after going 0-3 with a 4.91 ERA in his first four career outings against the NL.
Arroyo has won last two starts, allowing five runs over 15 2-3 innings while beating the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 13 and Toronto on Sunday. The victory against the Blue Jays improved the right-hander to 3-1 with a 4.15 ERA over his last five interleague starts.
Arroyo hasn’t faced the Orioles since beating them Sept. 23, 2005.
He’ll look for help from a Reds offense which has scored four or fewer runs in six of seven games. Chris Heisey(notes) went 1 for 5 after hitting three home runs in Thursday’s victory against the New York Yankees, and Joey Votto(notes) went 1 for 6.
Votto, still batting a team-best .314, is hitting .182 over his last 11 games and .200 in 10 interleague contests.
Baker attempted to shake things up by moving Jay Bruce(notes) back to the No. 5 spot in the lineup Friday while moving Scott Rolen(notes) to fourth. Each had two hits, and it’s likely Baker will stick with that order Saturday.
“It puts pressure more on the opposition, especially when they have a couple of left-handers they have in the bullpen over there,” Baker told the team’s official website.
Baltimore has won five of seven home games overall.