The Baltimore Orioles haven't experienced sustained success over the past few weeks.
Now they have a chance to get something going.
The Orioles will pursue their third consecutive win when they face the visiting Kansas City Royals on Saturday in the middle game of a three-game series.
Baltimore won 3-2 Friday in the series opener, giving the Orioles consecutive victories for the first time since May 24-25.
"We had a tough stretch on the road there, the schedule and just not being able to put up enough runs," Orioles left fielder Austin Hays said. "To bounce back and get a big Game 1 win was huge for us."
The Royals have lost four games in a row and seven of their past eight. In that eight-game stretch, they have scored more than two runs just twice -- and lost both times.
"Anytime you don't hit, there's a guy on the other side of the field trying to get you out," Kansas City manager Matt Quatraro said.
Kansas City's starting pitcher Saturday will be right-hander Brady Singer (4-4, 6.45 ERA), who has won his past two decisions and is coming off his best outing of the season. He blanked the Colorado Rockies for 5 2/3 innings and didn't issue a walk while striking out seven on Sunday.
Singer is set to make his 13th start of the season but only his fifth in a road game. He surrendered five or more runs in two of the previous road outings, though the Royals are 3-1 in the games he started outside of Kansas City.
Even with 78 career appearances, with 75 of those starts, spread across parts of four seasons, Singer has faced the Orioles just once. He lost to Baltimore on July 17, 2021, after giving up seven runs in two-plus innings at Kansas City.
The Orioles will bring left-hander Cole Irvin (0-2, 10.38) back from Triple-A Norfolk to pitch on Saturday.
"We're looking forward to watching him start," Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said.
Irvin struggled with the Orioles earlier this season. He made three starts in April, was sent back to Norfolk, then was recalled and used for just one-third of an inning out of the bullpen during his only major league appearance in May.
Irvin appreciates getting another chance.
"Part of my job is to be a pro and continue working no matter what level I'm at," he said. "The expectation of us is, when your number is called is to be ready and take the ball."
Baltimore has questions about its lineup, as first baseman Ryan Mountcastle missed the Friday game because of an illness.
"Just not feeling real good. (He) tried to play through it (Thursday)," Hyde said. "I could tell he wasn't feeling well. He tried to battle through it and still was feeling sick."
Mountcastle is slumping at the plate, as he is 4-for-30 (.133) with no homers and two RBIs over his past eight games.
Hays came through for the Orioles on Friday with a home run and double. He was in the leadoff spot for the 12th time this season.
Kansas City might have questions regarding its first baseman for Saturday as well. Vinnie Pasquantino left Friday's game with discomfort in his right shoulder.
--Field Level Media