The same struggles the Baltimore Orioles endured heading into the All-Star break have not subsided after it.
For the second straight season, the Orioles look to avoid a 10-game losing streak Saturday night against the first-place Cleveland Indians at Camden Yards.
Baltimore (36-54) lost seven straight heading into the break and the first two of a four-game set with Cleveland this week. The Orioles have dropped 14 of 15 overall and five straight at home. They are 6-23 since June 11 and in position to lose 10 in a row again after doing so from May 26-June 5, 2010.
“We played a better game than we did (in Thursday’s 8-4 loss),” Jones said. “But we still lost. So it’s still the same result to me.”
“It’s a matter of when the discomfort goes away,” manager Buck Showalter said. “We’ll see what the next day or two brings. This is a guy that plays through a lot of things. You know that if he’s feeling that type of discomfort, there’s something going on there.”
Markakis has batted .390 with 19 RBIs his last 31 games, but .158 (3 for 19) this season versus Cleveland, which has won six straight over Baltimore.
Cleveland has not won seven in a row overall against the Orioles since an eight-game run over the 1998-1999 seasons, and five in a row at Baltimore since the 1987-1988 seasons.
Michael Brantley(notes) had three hits and All-Star Asdrubal Cabrera(notes) homered for the second straight game Friday. Cabrera, who has never homered in three consecutive games, is batting .363 with three home runs and 24 RBIs in 26 career games versus Baltimore.
Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco(notes) (8-6, 4.28 ERA) looks to avoid a third consecutive losing start Saturday. The right-hander was 4-1 with an 0.98 ERA in his final five starts in June, but has posted a 14.14 ERA in two starts this month. He allowed five runs and seven hits in three innings of a 7-1 loss to Toronto on Sunday.
“Carlos needs to be aggressive with his fastball, but overall he has handled things well,” pitching coach Tim Belcher said.
After making seven relief appearances and spending half of June on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, Simon allowed three runs in 4 2-3 innings of a 4-0 loss at Boston last Saturday in his fourth career start and first since 2009.
“I just tried to keep the game close,” Simon told the Orioles’ official website. “I felt great.”
Simon, a former closer who is 0-2 with a 6.27 ERA as a starter, allowed four runs in one-third of an inning in his only appearance versus Cleveland on May 15, 2010.