The seesaw of wins and losses has to end at some point for the Baltimore Orioles.
Eyeing a postseason push, the Orioles have traded victories and defeats through the first eight games of August.
Baltimore looks to shake off its most recent downswing from a walkoff loss to the team its chasing for the second wild-card spot with Monday night’s series opener against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
The Orioles (56-54) won six of their final seven games of July but have been unable to carry that success over to this month. They dropped two of three in Anaheim over the weekend and fell three games back of the Angels for a playoff spot with Sunday’s 5-4, 11-inning defeat.
Baltimore took two of three from Seattle (52-60) in mid-May and this matchup pits southpaws Wei-Yin Chen and Vidal Nuno against each other.
Chen (5-6, 3.32 ERA) was Baltimore’s top pitcher through the first half of the season, bringing a 2.78 ERA into the All-Star break. He has struggled since with a 6.30 ERA in four starts, allowing 30 hits – five of them home runs – in 20 innings.
Opponents are batting .353 against Chen since the break, and he has allowed 10 hits twice, a number reached only once in 17 previous appearances.
“Ever since the second half started, I’ve felt not as good as the first half so I tried to do a couple different (mechanical) things that didn’t work out,” Chen told MLB’s official website through an interpreter. “So now, I don’t want to keep doing that.”
He has failed to complete six innings in his last three outings, snapping a streak of six-straight quality starts. Chen – who has matched his loss total from a year ago when he went 16-6 – surrendered three runs and four hits while walking four in five innings of Wednesday’s 7-3, 12-inning win at Oakland.
He went seven innings against Seattle on May 20, yielding four runs in a 4-2 loss.