08/11/09 11:30 PM ET
O's move forward with A's monkey off back
Baltimore (47-66) vs. Oakland (50-63), 1:35 p.m. ET
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
"They've certainly had our number," said Baltimore manager Dave Trembley. "We've hit a lot of line drives that have been caught. A lot of chances probably to put some more runs on the board. I really feel like this is one that can get you through. ... There's been some tough times. But they've had our numbers. They've got very, very, very good young starting pitching, as well. And they're ground-ball pitchers. I think that's the key."
The Orioles also broke a streak of poor luck in one-run games with Tuesday's 3-2 victory. The Orioles had lost six consecutive one-run decisions and hadn't earned a victory in those circumstances since July 11. That fact had to feel good on Tuesday night, especially paired with the team's streak-breaking win over Oakland.
"We were on the other side of the coin with Kansas City," said Trembley of one-sided streaks. "We had Kansas City's number there for a pretty good stretch. I don't know why that happens. But I'm glad we got that one so maybe [the A's] won't be so anxious to play us. I don't blame them. They had our number."
The Orioles also got several plus performances on Tuesday night that they hope will carry over to Wednesday. Danys Baez provided a strong setup performance in front of newly-minted closer Jim Johnson, who then survived the crushing pressure of a one-run game. Now, he's got to hope to do it all over again.
Baltimore will hand the ball to Jason Berken in the series finale, and he'll be hoping to carry over some momentum of his own. Berken won his last start after dropping nine straight decisions. The right-hander is 1-5 with a 5.49 ERA in eight starts at Camden Yards, and the Orioles have gone 2-6 in his starts at home.Pitching matchup
BAL: RHP Jason Berken (2-9, 6.72 ERA)
On Friday, Berken won for the first time since his Major League debut in a 7-5 win over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Berken gave up three runs on five hits over six innings for the victory. He also struck out six batters -- his second-highest total of the season. Berken has made one start against the A's this season, lasting only 3 1/3 innings and giving up nine runs on seven hits and three walks en route to a loss. OAK: RHP Vin Mazzaro (3-8, 5.70 ERA)
Mazzaro picked up his first win since June 7 in his last start against the Royals. He'd lost eight consecutive decisions before his breakthrough in Kansas City. He lasted just five innings and allowed three runs, but was the beneficiary of nine runs from the Oakland offense. Manager Bob Geren said he hoped that the win would give Mazzaro a confidence boost after a rough July. Mazzaro was 0-4 with an 8.51 ERA in July, before allowing seven runs in his first start in August. Bird bites
Brian Roberts stole third base on Tuesday night and is 12-for-12 at that endeavor this season. Roberts is tied with Juan Pierre for the most steals of third base (71) since the beginning of the 2003 season. Shockingly, Roberts has been caught only six times over that span. ... Nick Markakis singled Tuesday night and has now reached base safely in 32 consecutive games, the longest streak in the Major Leagues. Markakis is batting .330 (34-for-103) since the All-Star break. ... The Orioles are 33-25 when they score first and 14-41 when their opponent draws first blood. Baltimore is 6-40 when it scores fewer than four runs and 41-26 when it manages to score four runs or more. Tickets
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Friday: Orioles (Chris Tillman, 0-0, 5.19) vs. Angels (Jered Weaver, 12-3, 3.73), 7:05 p.m. ET
Saturday: Orioles (Brian Matusz, 1-1, 7.04) vs. Angels (John Lackey, 7-5, 3.88), 7:05 p.m. ET
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.