Orioles manager Buck Showalter said when batters haven't seen a pitcher, the hurler has the advantage. The Orioles are in the midst of a West Coast stretch during which they'll see a few unfamiliar National League pitchers, including Saturday's starter, Chad Gaudin.
Friday's series opener was a low-scoring affair that seemed to favor pitchers, so it appeared Showalter was right, at least Friday night. As for Saturday's tilt, no Orioles batter has more than five at-bats against Gaudin.
The Orioles will also own an edge as only one batter has seen Wei-Yin Chen. Outfielder Jeff Francoeur has eight at-bats against the Orioles' second-year lefty.
Baltimore will count on Chen to continue his run of good starts, as they look to stay hot on their West Coast swing. It's an important road trip for the Orioles, on the heels of a 4-5 homestand that saw them lose ground in the American League East standings.
Chen, who missed nearly two months this season with an oblique injury, has been solid since his July 10 return from the disabled list. In his five starts since he was reactivated, the Orioles have gone 3-2, all of them quality starts.
He'll face a Giants lineup that has hit the second fewest home runs in all of baseball. Brandon Belt added a solo shot in the sixth inning Friday, but the Giants have just 69 homers on the season. By comparison, the Orioles, who lead baseball, have hit 153 this year.
It's been a disappointing season overall for the defending World Series champs, but Showalter said that greatness is difficult to duplicate.
"Of course it is. So many things have to fall [into place]," Showalter said. "The thing I have the most respect for in team sports, all sports, is teams that continually win year after year after year. Because I think the mentality is so hard to duplicate as much as the physical part of it.
"And nobody has done it better than the Giants have for a long time. They are a week away from being back in it. It's that time of year when things snowball, both ways."
Orioles: Machado completes full year with Orioles
• Friday represented the one-year anniversary of Manny Machado's Major League debut. The third baseman -- a converted shortstop -- has made quite an impression in that calendar year.
Machado, originally called up for his slick fielding, has been an offensive force for the team the Orioles as well. The 21-year-old hit .287/.318/.451 in his first year in the big leagues, entering Friday. The All-Star infielder added his Major League-leading 41st and 42nd doubles in Friday night's 5-2 win over the Giants.
Along with shortstop J.J. Hardy, he has stabilized the left side of the Orioles infield as Machado has started every game at third since his contract was selected.
Giants: Sandoval hoping extra BP helps
• Third baseman Pablo Sandoval, seeking to improve his production at the plate, took an intensive session of extra batting practice Friday.
The reigning World Series Most Valuable Player reportedly concentrated on waiting for pitches to travel, rather than lunging for balls and swinging too early.
Sandoval went 0-for-3 with a walk Friday, and hit just .259/.310/.380 this season entering the series opener with the Orioles, well short of the 27-year-old's career numbers of .296/.347/.474.
• Hardy hit his 20th homer of the season on Friday. It's his third consecutive season with at least 20 homers.
• With Friday's extra-innings loss, the Giants fell to 11-53 when they score fewer than four runs. They are 6-9 in extra-inning games this season.
Derek Wetmore is an associate reporter for MLB.com. . This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.