A preview: Orioles vs. Nationals

The Orioles enter with a record of 13-29 after back-to-back losses at Texas to start this five-game road trip.

They have lost five of the last six games and are 11-13 since the 2-16 start. The Orioles are 5-17 in road games and 2-10-2 in series on the year.

Baltimore posted an 11-7 record vs. the National League last year, tied with an 11-7 mark in 1999 for its best ever in Interleague play. The Orioles are 101-128 all-time in Interleague games.

Orioles starters had pitched to an ERA of 2.78 over an eight-game stretch before Brian Matusz allowed a career-high seven runs over 2 1/3 innings last night.

Updating O's hitters:
Atkins: Is 3 for his last 32 with one RBI his last 22 games.
Izturis: Is 4 for 7 since ending a 4 for 41 slump.
Jones: Batting .327 (17 for 52) over 12 games but with just 2 extra-base hits his last 18 games.
Lugo: Is 1 for 12
Markakis: Is 6 for 15 during four-game batting streak, but with just 5 RBI his last 18 games.
Montanez: Has two hits his last 23 at bats.
Patterson: Is 4 for 16 during four-game hitting streak.
Scott: Is 18 for 34 (.529) with 5 homers and 11 RBI his last nine games. Batting .396 in May.
Tatum: Has three hits his last four at bats.
Tejada: Is 5 for 28 his past six games.
Wieters: Is 4 for 24 with 0 RBI his past 13 games.
Wigginton: Over 11 games, batting .348-2-7.

The pitching matchups:
Friday at 7:05: David Hernandez (0-5, 5.84) vs. Scott Olsen (2-1, 3.15).
Saturday at 4:05: Brad Bergesen (3-3, 5.45) vs. Craig Stammen (1-2, 5.86).
Sunday at 1:35: Kevin Millwood (0-4, 3.65) vs. Jon Lannan (1-2, 6.02).

Nick Markakis' run production is down:
After 42 games, 2009: .315-7-32....521 slugging...910 OPS.
After 42 games, 2010: .304-2-14....437 slugging....846 OPS.

The Orioles went 4-2 vs. the Nationals last year, taking both series, 2-1. They are 12-12 vs. the Nats since their 2006 move to Washington and 15-18 all-time vs. the franchise.

The O's hit .258 last year in those six games scoring 31 runs and with a team ERA of 3.21 which was their second best vs. any team in 2009.

The Nationals are 21-21 on the year, but are just 1-6 since their 20-15 start. They just split a two-game series with the Mets.

Nats in the NL rankings:
7th with .263 team average
6th with .418 slugging percentage
9th with 36 homers
11th with 180 runs
12th with team ERA of 4.56
1st with 16 saves

Closer Matt Capps is 15 for 15 in saves, leading the Majors in saves and the Nationals are 19-0 when leading after eight innings.

Updating selected Nats hitters:
Adam Dunn: Batting .361 (13 for 36) and has hit safely in his last nine starts with 6 doubles, 3 HR and 6 RBI.
Ryan Zimmerman: Batting .333-2-9 his last eight games and sitting on 99 career home runs.
Cristian Guzman: Batting .438 in 16 games in May.

When you watch the games on MASN this weekend, you'll enjoy the three-man broadcast booth featuring both teams' broadcasters. Each team will have its usual pre and post-game shows. On the radio side, Joe and Fred call the play-by-play while I'll join Dave Johnson this weekend for pre and post-game coverage on 105.7 FM the Fan and the Orioles radio network.

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