Mussina could make runs scarce


Mike Mussina and the California Angels have shared a common trend recently. When either is present, runs are a rarity.

Mussina (11-4, 2.67 ERA) has not allowed an earned run in 15 innings, and just one in his past 18 innings. He has won four of his past five decisions and is 6-1 in eight starts following an Orioles loss.

On the other hand, California hasn't scored a run in 22 innings. The struggling Angels were shut out in their past two games against an Oakland A's staff that has a 5.15 ERA.

Mussina and the Angels meet tonight at Camden Yards as the Orioles and California open a three-game series.

Another problem for California is that its top two run producers could be neutralized tonight.

Tim Salmon (16 home runs, 55 RBIs) and Chili Davis (13, 54) represent 40 percent of the Angels' home runs and 31 percent of their RBIs. However, Davis is questionable after missing the past three games with a groin injury and Salmon is 3-for-17 (.176) lifetime against Mussina.

California did surprise Mussina earlier this year. The Angels, who were 1-4 against Mussina before this season, scored three runs in 8 1/3 innings on April 20 to hand him his first defeat of the season.

That is also the only California victory over the Orioles this year. The Orioles have won four of five from the Angels.

The Orioles have dominated the Angels at Camden Yards. In their two seasons at Camden Yards, the Orioles are 8-4 against California.

The Orioles have won just one of the past six home series. California is 17-21 on the road.

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