(Sports Network) - In order to restore the glory of a fading franchise, the Orioles tabbed Buck Showalter as the club's new manager. Showalter will engrave his name in Baltimore's history books when he makes his debut tonight in the opener of a three-game series versus the LA Angels of Anaheim at Camden Yards.
Showalter was introduced as the Orioles' new skipper on Monday and takes over a team with the worst record in the major leagues (32-73).
"I'm going to need help from the people who have been here and walked that walk. This is a proud organization. We need to put ourselves in a position to make really good decisions for the long term success of the Baltimore Orioles," Showalter said in his introductory press conference.
The 54-year-old Showalter managed the New York Yankees from 1992-1995, then the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1998-2000. He also the Texas Rangers from 2003-06 and was named AL Manager of the Year in 1994, and again 10 years later. His overall record stands at 882-833 (.514).
Juan Samuel had been guiding the team on an interim basis since Dave Trembley was fired back on June 4. Samuel will remain with the organization, but steps down in the midst of three straight losses and eight in the past nine tries. The Orioles just the last three matchups of a four-game series in Kansas City and dropped a 5-4 decision Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.
Kevin Millwood has been an albatross to the team's rotation and fell to 2-11 this season after allowing five runs on 11 hits over 5 2/3 innings to absorb the loss. Ty Wigginton and Luke Scott both homered in a losing effort for the Orioles, who lost by one run for a second straight time and will begin a seven-game homestand this evening versus the Angels and White Sox.
"You wish you would have ended it differently with a few more wins here, but we have nothing to be ashamed of," Samuel said. "These guys played hard. All these games came down to the wire."
Perhaps a few more wins from Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie would have kept Samuel in the dugout, but now Showalter gets to see the right-hander work in person Tuesday night. Guthrie is just 1-7 with a 4.79 earned run average in his last 11 starts, but has pitched well in his last three trips to the hill, allowing just a total of a three earned runs over 20 2/3 innings. Guthrie allowed one unearned run through seven innings of last Wednesday's 5-0 setback at Toronto to fall to 4-11 in 21 starts this season.
Guthrie is just 3-5 in 10 home starts in 2010 and hopes to even his career record against the Angels. He is 1-2 with a 5.25 ERA in six career meetings (5 starts) with Anaheim.
The Angels haven't been playing well either and own just three wins in their previous 11 contests. The did take two of three matchups with the Texas Rangers over the weekend at the Big A and recorded a 4-1 victory over Cliff Lee and the Rangers on Sunday.
Jered Weaver notched his 10th win of the season (10-7) by holding the AL West- leading Rangers to one unearned run and four hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts. Fernando Rodney tossed a scoreless eighth inning before Brian Fuentes earned his 20th save in the ninth.
"When you go up against Lee, it's a battle," Weaver said of his competition. "We got two in the first and it took some pressure off me. Our defense did a great job. I just tried to keep their hitters off balance."
Mike Napoli, Howie Kendrick, Juan Rivera and Alberto Callaspo each knocked in a run, while All-Star Torii Hunter finished with three hits for the Angels, who are tied with Oakland at eight games off the lead in the AL West.
Anaheim, which will also visit Detroit on its six-game road trip, hopes that Trevor Bell can spoil Baltimore's night when he takes the mound in Showalter's debut as manager. Bell is 1-2 with a 6.46 earned run average in 17 games (1 start) this season and threw a scoreless inning of relief in a 9-7 win over Texas on Friday. In his previous appearance on July 25 in Arlington, Bell lasted 3 1/3 innings and gave up four runs on eight hits and two walks to absorb the loss in his first start since last August.
Bell, a right-hander, has never faced Baltimore in his career.
The Angels and Orioles are meeting for the first time since Anaheim won eight of 10 meetings a season ago, including five of the six contests at Camden Yards. Anaheim has won three in a row as the visitor in this series.