Monday, May 26, 2008

Unlike the Road, O's Feel Right at home

BALTIMORE -- They don't understand it any more than you do. The Orioles returned home on Monday and snapped a five-game losing skid by submitting to one of the season's most perplexing trends. Baltimore is 15-7 at home and 10-18 on the road this season, a glaring set of circumstances that manager Dave Trembley really isn't sure how to explain.

"We seem to get the timely hit at home. We seem to get the timely out at home," Trembley said on Monday. "We seem to find a way to get it done at home. On the road, we haven't. I don't think the energy level is any more or any less playing on the road or at home. I don't think the approach has been any different. ... Things have fallen our way at home, for whatever reason.

"But it certainly has helped us to be in position to know we're going to have the last at-bat. It's nice to have that option, knowing that you have one more opportunity in the bottom half of the inning to get something done."

The Orioles have gotten the better of the Yankees so far this season and stand a half-game ahead of them in the American League East standings. Baltimore has won four of the first seven games in this series, going into Tuesday's game with a perceived pitching mismatch. The Orioles will go with hot starter Brian Burres, while the Yankees will send rookie Ian Kennedy to the mound.

Baltimore is 5-1 in its last six home games and is 8-5 at Oriole Park against AL East rivals. By contrast, the Yankees have a losing record on the road (11-14) and against divisional rivals (12-13).

Pitching matchup
BAL: LHP Brian Burres (4-4, 3.16 ERA)
Burres is 1-0 with an 0.68 ERA in his first two starts against the Yankees this season.

NYY: RHP Ian Kennedy (0-3, 7.27 ERA)
Kennedy is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in two home starts and 0-2 with a 7.30 mark on the road.

The Orioles have scored five runs or more in each of their last eight wins. For the year, Baltimore is 22-7 when scoring at least four runs and just 3-18 when scoring three runs or fewer. ... Right fielder Nick Markakis had three hits on Monday, and he threw out a runner for his AL-leading eighth assist. Markakis fell a triple shy of the cycle.


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