Phillies-Orioles Preview

The Associated Press

Facing a pitcher struggling to keep his spot in the Baltimore Orioles' rotation helped the Philadelphia Phillies end their longest losing streak of the season.

Their next mound opponent was recently demoted to the minors following a run of dismal performances.

Philadelphia looks to continue its road success and send the Baltimore Orioles to a fourth straight home loss on Saturday.

Looking anywhere for a lift after losing six straight - all at home - Philadelphia (29-31) received one when Jake Arrieta started Friday night's series opener for Baltimore. The Phillies sent 10 batters to the plate and hit for the cycle in a six-run second inning against the struggling right-hander and held on for a 9-6 victory in the opener of a nine-game trip.

Shane Victorino fell a triple shy of a cycle and matched a career high with five RBIs as Philadelphia won for the ninth time in 11 road games. The Phillies went 6 for 10 with runners in scoring position after going 9 for 47 during the skid.

"We came out hitting, right off the bat,'' manager Charlie Manuel said.

Nine straight games against AL teams will give Jim Thome the chance for extended playing time as Philadelphia's designated hitter. The 41-year-old, who came off the disabled list Wednesday, had three hits and his first RBI of the season Friday.

"I've always enjoyed interleague play. It gives you a chance to see different clubs, to go to different places,'' Thome said. "It gives you a good chance to see where you are, where you stand with other teams."

Thome doubled twice off Arrieta, who gave up career highs of nine runs and 11 hits in four innings, pushing his ERA to 6.32.

Homers from Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy couldn't prevent the Orioles (32-26) from losing their ninth in 12 games. Davis is 7 for 15 with three homers and six RBIs in his last four contests at Camden Yards while Hardy is batting .421 (8 for 19) with two home runs and five RBIs in that span.

Baltimore desperately needs an extended outing from Tommy Hunter (2-3, 5.59 ERA) after its last two starters combined to throw six innings.

Hunter, however, hasn't been able to provide quality pitching at the major league level lately. Optioned to the minors on May 29, one day after allowing six runs over three innings in a loss to Toronto, the right-hander is 0-2 with a 7.18 ERA in his past five starts.

Hunter did pitch well in his only appearance at Triple-A Norfolk last Saturday and is 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA in four interleague starts - all with Texas.

Vance Worley (3-2, 3.38) hopes to fare better in his second start after a three-week stint on the disabled list due to inflammation in his throwing elbow.

The right-hander wasn't sharp in his first appearance since May 11, allowing four runs, five hits and three walks in four innings against the Dodgers on Monday but escaped without a decision in a 4-3 loss.

"I wasn't perfect,'' said Worley. "I was around the zone, but didn't get it over. It got better as I went on.''

Worley, who is 2-1 with a 2.52 ERA in four road starts this season, has never faced the Orioles.

Baltimore's Adam Jones went 0 for 4 Friday to end his 13-game home hitting streak. He is hitless in his last 14 at-bats overall.

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