It's hard to envision either team getting a well-pitched game from one of the struggling right-handers that will be on the mound Friday night for this series opener at Camden Yards.
Baltimore (32-25) fell 7-0 at Boston on Thursday, missing a chance at a three-game sweep. The Orioles have scored more than three runs just three times in their last 11 games.
Philadelphia (28-31) is enduring its longest losing streak of the season. The Phillies seemed eager to start a nine-game trip after ending a seven-game homestand with Thursday's 8-3 loss to the Dodgers.
"We don't scare (anybody)," manager Charlie Manuel said.
It's tough to determine a favorite in this matchup between Philadelphia's Joe Blanton (4-6, 5.27 ERA) and Baltimore's Jake Arrieta (2-7, 5.53). Only one pitcher in the majors has a higher ERA since May 10 than Blanton (8.44) and Arrieta (7.82).
Blanton actually has a 10.98 ERA during an 0-3 stretch in his last four starts, yielding 10 homers over 19 2-3 innings. He lasted six-plus innings and allowed five runs in Sunday's 5-1 loss to Miami.
"You never want to give up five runs but I felt like it was a huge improvement over the way I threw the last two to three times, even though the results don't look much better," Blanton said. "I felt like it was a lot better."
Blanton went 1-2 with a 5.09 ERA against Baltimore from 2005-08 with Oakland. He's 2-3 with a 6.31 ERA in seven interleague starts since joining the Phillies.
Arrieta, meanwhile, is 0-5 with a 7.96 ERA in his last six outings to move within one defeat of matching his career-high total from last year. He has failed to get through the fifth inning in each of his last two appearances, lasting 4 2-3 and giving up four runs with two hits and four walks in Sunday's 8-4 loss at Tampa Bay.
"I'm not pitching well right now, there's no doubt about that," said Arrieta, who has never faced the Phillies.
He'll get a look at several slumping hitters. Carlos Ruiz is 2 for 16 during this losing streak, Shane Victorino is 5 for 21 and Hunter Pence 5 for 23.
"I think we're a better team," Victorino said. "We've all got to get a gut check, including myself."
Jimmy Rollins fared better as he went 7 for 16 over the four games the Phillies were swept by Los Angeles this week.
Ty Wigginton, who has 13 hits in his last 32 at-bats, will return to Camden Yards for the first time since spending 2009-10 with the Orioles.
Adam Jones is in a 5-for-26 slump for Baltimore since his career-high 20-game hitting streak ended. It won't help the Orioles that Nick Markakis, who leads all active players with a .353 interleague average, is on the disabled list.
Baltimore holds a 24-21 lead in this interleague series since beating Philadelphia in five games in the 1983 World Series.
- The Orioles
- Baltimore Orioles
- Jake Arrieta
- Joe Blanton