Orioles look to open homestand with win vs. Cubs

Wed Aug 17 10:50pm ET

Orioles look to open homestand with win vs. Cubs

It's not a large sample size for these interleague opponents, but the Baltimore Orioles have pretty much had their way with the Chicago Cubs this season.

Now there's a final meeting between the teams set for Thursday afternoon in Baltimore.

This Chicago team is carrying a different vibe now than earlier in the season. The Cubs have won five of their last seven games, with a newcomer making a big impact.

It will be a one-game stop for the Cubs, who are making up a postponed June 8 game that was rescheduled a day after Baltimore battered the Cubs 9-3 to begin what was supposed to be a two-game set.

Then the Orioles won twice last month in Chicago by a combined score of 11-3, so they've outscored the Cubs 20-6 in three meetings.

This begins what will be a seven-game homestand for the Orioles, who have a day off Monday.

More so than the Cubs, it's the Orioles who've made a bigger splash overall by moving into the American League wild card dialogue. Nowadays, defeats often seem a bit awkward.

The Orioles suffered a 6-1 loss Wednesday afternoon at Toronto, failing to complete a three-game series sweep. Meanwhile, the Cubs took a 3-2 decision at Washington.

The Orioles broke up a perfect game with Cedric Mullins' base hit in the seventh inning. It was the first of just four Baltimore singles.

Orioles relievers were responsible for all six Toronto runs.

"It's going to happen," Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said of a rare rough outing for his relievers. "Our bullpen has done extremely well. We pitched so well this series, and happy with how we played. We got out of here with a series win."

Orioles starter Austin Voth went six shutout innings, perhaps a good omen for Baltimore's pitching staff going into a date that otherwise would have been a day off Thursday.

"That was big for us," Hyde said.

Baltimore's pitchers will have to deal with Cubs newcomer Franmil Reyes, who has six extra-base hits among his 11 hits since joining Chicago last week.

"The way they treat me here, the way they let me play, they let me be me," he said. "It's special to be here."

Reyes, who wasn't with the Cubs for the previous matchups with Baltimore, said he has skyrocketing confidence with his new team. He has at least one hit in all seven games with Chicago.

"Everybody knows me and knows -- when I'm good -- what I can do," Reyes said. "I just control picking my pitch, doing damage and taking advantage of what the game is giving me."

Right-hander Spenser Watkins (4-2, 4.23 ERA) will be Baltimore's starter. He controlled the Cubs by allowing just one run on four hits in five innings to notch a victory July 13 at Chicago. That marks the only time he has faced the Cubs.

Watkins' last appearance was in relief, when he gave up three runs in three innings in the Orioles' loss Saturday at Tampa Bay.

The Cubs will use right-hander Adrian Sampson (0-3, 3.88) as their starting pitcher. He was the losing pitcher July 12 at home when the Orioles beat Chicago as he gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings. That was his only decision in two career matchups with Baltimore.

Since then, Sampson has made five appearances, including his two longest outings of the season with seven innings against Pittsburgh and six innings against Miami.

--Field Level Media

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