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Game 113: Orioles (61-51) @ Padres (52-60), 10:10

Off to the West Coast, where the Orioles will try to get a better run against sub-par teams going on Tuesday night.

Patrick Smith

Another day, another game against a pitcher with a 5+ ERA that the Orioles absolutely need to win and maybe they won't. This west coast trip is primed to be a complete and total disaster, with the O's needing to feast on sub-.500 teams to a greater degree than they did against the Astros and Mariners at home. No excuses, just win some freaking games. They aren't doing it. They won't stay in the race for long at this rate. Maybe they'll surprise us tonight.

The last time the Orioles were in San Diego, Juan Samuel was the interim manager of the team. O's pitchers who had decisions in the three-game series were David Hernandez (loss), Kevin Millwood (win), and Jake Arrieta (loss). Alfredo Simon got the save in the lone win. Leadoff batters in the games were Corey Patterson and the backup second baseman, with Ty Wigginton batting cleanup in all three games of the series. Frank Mata pitched in one of the games. Who the hell is Frank Mata?

The good news is that Edinson Volquez, the Padres starter, is right-handed. The Orioles can actually hit righties this year. The bad news is that maybe Volquez has been super unlucky, with a 4.01 FIP against a 5.56 ERA. He is equally bad at home as he is on the road, which is interesting because Petco tends to be a pitcher's park. It is not for Volquez, or at least not this year.

Maybe the fact that Petco tends to be a pitcher's park will play well for trade acquisition Bud Norris in his second Orioles start. He won his debut and now starts again on the road. Good luck, I guess? I don't know what to expect from Norris, particularly. He will probably give up a home run or two to a left-handed batter because that's how he rolls.

Will the Orioles ever get some offense going again? We sure hope so. The two-game series to open up this road trip will be important for setting the tone blah blah blah sportswriting cliches. I don't know. I don't care. They just need to wake up from whatever slumber they're in so they can keep their names in the chase rather than fall into a good-but-not-great pattern that would have thrilled us in 2011 but no longer seems so exciting after last year's playoff run.

Nate McLouth - LF Will Venable - RF
Manny Machado - 3B Chris Denorfia - LF
Nick Markakis - RF Chase Headley - 3B
Adam Jones - CF Yonder Alonso - 1B
Chris Davis - 1B Jedd Gyorko - 2B
Matt Wieters - C Alexi Amarista - CF
J.J. Hardy - SS Logan Forsythe - SS
Brian Roberts - 2B Nick Hundley - C
Bud Norris - P Edinson Volquez - P