The suddenly surging Baltimore Orioles welcome the New York Mets to Camden Yards for a two-game interleague series beginning Tuesday night.
The Orioles, who recently ended a 14-game losing streak, pounded out 21 hits Sunday in an 18-5 victory over the Cleveland Indians, marking Baltimore’s fourth win in five games. Baltimore has won successive series for just the second time this season.
Meanwhile the Mets earned a split of a four-game series in San Diego and will visit Baltimore before a return match with the Padres this coming weekend in New York.
New York left-hander David Peterson (1-4, 5.89 ERA) opposes left-hander Bruce Zimmermann (3-3, 4.96) in the opener.
With two-fifths (Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard) of the Mets’ rotation still on the injured list, they are looking to Peterson to help them tread water. Lately that hasn’t been happening. Over his past five starts Peterson has allowed 16 runs in 20 innings, though the Mets have rallied to win two of those games.
Last time out, Peterson was staked to a 4-0 lead at Arizona, but didn’t survive the first inning, allowing five runs on three hits and three walks while recording one out. He felt he might have been affected adversely by having eight days off between starts due to postponements and rotation changes.
“Any time you get off routine like that it has an effect,” Peterson said. “But my job is to deal with that and go out and give the team a chance to win.”
In his only previous appearance against Baltimore, Peterson threw four innings of scoreless relief last Sept. 2 and earned the win.
On the plus side for New York, several of its regulars are heating up at the late. Shortstop Francisco Lindor had an eight-game hitting streak snapped Sunday, during which his average rose from .182 to .218 and he has scored 10 runs in his past eight games. Catcher James McCann has three homers and eight RBIs in his past four games.
First baseman Dominic Smith has boosted his average from .242 to .260 over the first seven games of the road trip. He has two homers and four RBIs in that stretch and an .800 slugging percentage.
“I just think I’m staying with my process, trying to put together good at-bats and good things are happening,” Smith said. “Earlier in the year, I was hitting the ball just right at people. It just seems to be now, the balls I was hitting right at people are starting to fall.”
The Orioles offense exploded for 18 runs on Sunday and Cedric Mullins concluded a very impressive weekend. After a 5-for-5 game on Saturday, Mullins finished a triple short of the cycle on Sunday, going 3-for-4 with two walks.
“What he’s doing right now, I don’t have words for it,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’s doing a little bit of absolutely everything right now.”
Zimmermann has allowed two earned runs or fewer in three of his past four starts.
Last time out he helped the Orioles end their losing streak by beating the Twins, allowing two runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out a career-high seven batters, including Josh Donaldson with two out in the fifth.
“That was the pitch of the game,” Hyde said, of the third strike to Donaldson. “(Zimmermann) emptied it there.”
This will be Zimmermann’s first appearance against the Mets.
–Field Level Media