BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles finally ended a long losing streak and will look to build on that much-needed victory against the New York Yankees at Camden Yards on Tuesday.
The Orioles took the series opener 3-2 in a Monday matinee and snapped a seven-game skid -- their longest drought since losing nine straight in July 2011. Dylan Bundy pitched seven strong innings while Jonathan Schoop drove in a pair of runs.
Despite the loss, the Yankees have a firm grip on first place in the American League East with an opportunity to further distance themselves. After leaving Baltimore on Wednesday, the Yankees travel to Toronto for a four-game series against the last-place Blue Jays before returning home for six games with the Boston Red Sox and Orioles.
"I think this is a very important stretch obviously because we're in our division," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "But you can't look too far ahead. You just have to look at the game in front of you and prepare the best you can."
The Orioles are hoping to turn things around over the nine-game homestand that began Monday. Baltimore is 16-7 at Camden Yards -- the best home mark in the American League.
Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said some mental fatigue has played a part in the recent slide that has seen his team lose 13 of the last 17 games.
"That's true with any club," Showalter said. "That's one of the challenges you go through. It's a convenient excuse. We're always looking for whys on both sides of it when things are showing up well on the scoreboard and when they're not.
"But it's always a factor. It's always a factor, and I think everybody is the same degree of physical challenges here. Everybody's got a tale of woe with the schedule or something that they've been wronged somehow."
Yankees right-hander Luis Severino (3-2, 3.11 ERA) will start Tuesday and he has been dominant, allowing three or fewer runs in each of his past four starts. In his last outing against Kansas City, Severino threw eight shutout innings with four hits and seven strikeouts.
It's been a long road for Severino, who was bumped from the starting rotation and was 0-8 in 11 starts last season. The Yankees sent him down to the minors to work on his mechanics before he pitched effectively as a reliever.
Now, he is showing top-of-the rotation command.
"He's pitching the way we thought he was capable of pitching," Girardi said.
In six appearances against the Orioles, including four starts, Severino is 1-1 with a 4.74 ERA.
Baltimore will counter with Chris Tillman, who has been inconsistent after starting the season on the DL with right shoulder bursitis.
Over five starts, Tillman (1-1, 4.43 ERA) has pitched past the fifth inning just once and has walked nine batters and struck out 15.
Tillman struggled early in his past start against the Twins, but eventually settled down. However, he still took his first loss after allowing four runs on nine hits over five innings and 104 pitches.
"Definitely didn't feel like a setback," Tillman said. "Physically felt great, as good as I've felt in a long, long time. Just mechanically I was off, timing was off, (and my) tempo was off. Positives I'm able to take from the game is I finished with three zeros, I guess."
In 19 career starts against the Yankees, Tillman is 8-6 with a 4.63 ERA.