The Baltimore Orioles open Tuesday's series against the Kansas City Royals with the clubs headed in opposite directions
The Orioles continue their season-long, 10-game road trip having won six straight series, their best streak since 2014
"We go game-to-game, series-to-series," manager Brandon Hyde said after the 3-1 series win at Detroit. "We've done a great job with that."
After winning 11 of 13, Baltimore improved to 19-9 for its best start since 1997.
Ryan Mountcastle and Jorge Mateo lead a balanced Orioles' attack with six homers apiece, while Mountcastle and Cedric Mullins lead with 21 RBIs
Mateo has hit safely in 11 of 12 while scoring in a career-best seven consecutive games, the longest active streak in the American League.
Reliever Yennier Cano extended his hitless and walkless streaks to 11 innings. Only a hit batsman reached safely as he retired 32 of 33 batters.
"He's throwing bowling balls up there," Hyde said. "They haven't taken good swings off him yet, so hopefully he can keep it going for a while."
"I know my stuff is good," Cano told MLB.com after securing his second save Sunday. "It was just a matter of finding the strike zone and finding a way to work through it."
Right-hander Tyler Wells (1-1, 2.79 ERA) makes his eighth start of the year. He collected his first win Wednesday, allowing two runs in 5 2/3 innings against Boston.
Wells, who leads the majors with a 0.724 WHIP, made his only two career starts against Kansas City in 2022, going six innings each while winning both games.
The Royals are in a 3-14 slide, falling to the bottom of the American League Central with baseball's second-worst record. The 7-22 start matches their worst in club history
"It's one day at a time," said first-year manager Matt Quatraro. "Just because the month changes doesn't mean you should change your mindset or anything like that. The guys are doing a good job of coming in every day ready to work and ready to compete."
Kansas City opens a season-long, 10-game homestand, but a return to Kauffman Stadium is not particularly encouraging for the Royals as they have been outscored 81-32 while losing 12 of 13 home games
Kansas City's 96 runs are second fewest behind Detroit. Shut out six times, the Royals are last in the majors with a .624 on-base-plus-slugging-percentage
Vinnie Pasquantino's five homers lead the club.
"We're trying to look for anything here to flip the script from April," Pasquantino told MLB.com after Sunday's 8-4 loss at Minnesota. "Whether that's a new month, a homestand, anything."
Edward Olivares' career-best nine-game hitting streak provides a bright spot.
"In the past, I've swung at too many balls," said Olivares, who reached safely eight times in three games at Minnesota. "It's not good. But now I'm focused on swinging at the pitch I can hit."
Left-hander Ryan Yarbrough (0-3, 6.35 ERA) will make his second start after throwing 77 pitches over four innings in his previous start Wednesday at Arizona.
The Orioles are a familiar opponent for Yarbrough; he is 5-3 with a 3.72 ERA in 16 appearances (nine starts). He went six innings, allowing one run on four hits and no walks, fanning eight on July 28 at Baltimore
--Field Level Media