For the Los Angeles Angels to close the first leg of their 10-game road trip on a successful note, they’ll have to try and get off to a good start against a pitcher looking to avoid becoming the first 14-game loser in the major leagues.
After cruising to a 6-1 win Friday, Los Angeles fell 3-2 to the last-place Orioles on Saturday. Adam Jones(notes) homered and drove in two runs as Baltimore (40-57) won for the fifth time in 22 games.
“I’ve said it quite a few times and the first day of spring training, regardless of what’s going on with our pitching, our team, whatever, Adam’s been solid,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “…Nobody in the American League’s played the game with more passion and energy than Adam has.”
“The plan was to score early. You’ve got to add on and we didn’t after that,” said Wells, who’s 4 for 9 with two homers and six RBIs in the series, and 11 for 35 (.314) with two homers and seven RBIs against Guthrie.
Wells’ 34 homers and 112 RBIs versus Baltimore are his highest totals against any opponent.
One player, though, who’s not fared well against the Orioles right-hander is Bobby Abreu(notes). After going hitless in three at-bats Saturday, Abreu is batting .153 (9 for 59) in July. He’s 5 for 28 when facing Guthrie, but four of those hits have been home runs.
Guthrie (4-13, 4.35 ERA) ended a four-start losing streak with a 6-2 win over Boston on Tuesday, surrendering two runs in seven innings.
“It seemed like he didn’t have a win since ’07,” Jones said following Guthrie’s second victory in 11 starts. “That’s what it feels like. We got him an early lead and he was able to settle down, get comfortable.”
Guthrie is tied for sixth in the AL with an average of 3.38 runs of support per game in 2011. He’s 3-2 with a 3.88 ERA in seven starts against the Angels, but has received three runs or less to work with in four of those contests.
The rookie right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.11 ERA in three games this month, but has been backed by a total of three runs. Chatwood has also walked 11 with just five strikeouts over 15 1-3 innings during his slide.
“I’ve got to cut down on walks. That’s been an issue all season,” said Chatwood, who’s third in the AL with 56 walks. “I’ve got to stop trying to nitpick and just go after them.”
He gave up three runs in five innings of a 7-0 loss to Texas on Tuesday.
Baltimore is seeking its first series win since taking two of three from Cincinnati from June 24-26.