The Baltimore Orioles have been one of baseball's biggest surprises, but their struggles against the New York Yankees - particularly at home - have remained.
Avoiding a fifth straight home loss to their AL East rivals will be a challenge with a red-hot CC Sabathia on the mound Tuesday night in the conclusion of this two-game series.
While the Orioles (22-14) appear to be an improved team and figure to have a good chance at ending a run of 14 straight losing seasons, that hasn't helped them against the Yankees (20-15).
Baltimore has lost five of seven meetings in 2012 and dropped to 0-4 in the season series at home with Monday night's 8-5 defeat. Slumping Mark Teixeira snapped a tie with a two-run homer in the seventh and Curtis Granderson also went deep to help New York win for the fourth time in five games.
Asked if his two-hit, two-RBI performance made him feel any better, Teixeira replied, "I'd like to say yes. I want to be positive, but the truth is ... not really. I'm just trying to grind through it. In this game, you're always playing through something."
The Yankees are 104-55-1 in the regular season at Camden Yards - a .652 winning percentage which is the best by any AL team in the park's history.
Adding another win to that total seems likely with Sabathia (5-0, 3.51 ERA) on the hill. He's 16-2 with a 2.86 ERA in 23 starts against the Orioles and has completed at least six innings in the last 13 matchups.
The left-hander has looked every bit like an ace lately, lasting eight innings in four straight outings and posting a 2.52 ERA during his five-start win streak after compiling a 6.75 mark in his first two. He outpitched David Price in a 5-3 victory over Tampa Bay on Thursday, allowing two runs with a season-high 10 strikeouts.
Sabathia's last appearance that didn't result in a win came at Baltimore on April 11, when he gave up four runs and eight hits over six innings of an extra-inning victory.
Robert Andino is 8 for 17 with a homer against Sabathia while Matt Wieters is 4 for 21 with eight strikeouts.
Baltimore has lost five of eight on a nine-game homestand to fall into a tie with Tampa Bay for the top spot in the East.
First baseman Chris Davis made a key error in the sixth Monday, letting a potential double-play grounder get through as two runs scored.
"I just wasn't ready to make the catch," Davis said. "Tried to make the throw before I had the ball."
The Orioles have received quality starts in only two of their last nine games and Wei-Yin Chen (3-0, 2.43) was responsible for one of those. The Taiwan native has allowed two runs or fewer in five of six starts and is coming off arguably his best outing.
He limited a potent Texas lineup to two runs - one earned - and six hits over a season-best 7 2-3 innings with one walk and five strikeouts Thursday in a 6-5 victory.
Chen made his major league debut against the Yankees on April 10, yielding four runs - two earned - and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings before leaving without a decision in an extra-inning loss.
Derek Jeter led off that game with a home run. He had his 3,143rd hit Monday to move into sole possession of 16th place on the career list.