R.A. Dickey and his confounding knuckleball will present the latest challenge for the Orioles, who don't care to dance with his signature pitch.
They couldn't keep up the last time he faced them in a June 18 interleague game with the Mets. Dickey tossed a one-hit shutout in a 5-0 victory.
Dickey struck out a career high 13 batters while improving to 11-1 with a 2.00 ERA. Wilson Betemit had the only hit against him, with two outs in the fifth inning.
Jake Arrieta also carried a shutout into the sixth, but Dickey singled to start a rally that concluded with Ike Davis' grand slam.
Dickey is 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA in seven career appearances against the Orioles, including four starts. He's allowed 26 hits in 33 1/3 innings, with six walks, 32 strikeouts and only two home runs.
Eight Orioles on the current 25-man roster are a combined 5-for-36 against him, with two doubles, one walk and 12 strikeouts. Arrieta was the ninth Oriole to face Dickey before being optioned yesterday, going 0-for-1 with a walk. If you include him, the line comes out to .135/.200/.189.
The Orioles had interest in Dickey over the winter. He's a favorite of manager Buck Showalter from their Texas days. But the Mets wanted too much in return. Way too much.
Markakis is now batting .439 (18-for-41) at Camden Yards this season. He's been leading off against left-handers and moving down to third against right-handers.
Adam Jones has reached base in 18 of the first 19 games. He has at least one hit in 17.
Darren O'Day has allowed one extra-base hit since Stephen Drew's home run on Sept. 16, 2012 in Oakland. Tampa Bay's James Loney homered off him Thursday.
Opponents are batting .140 (8-for-57) in 17 innings against O'Day since Drew's homer - seven singles, Loney's homer and two walks. He's struck out 16 batters.
The Orioles won their first game last night without hitting a home run. They were 0-3.
The Orioles improved to 5-2 in the first game of a series. They're 3-3 in the second game.
A win tonight would move the Orioles four games above .500 for the first time this season.
Note: Freddy Garcia is still listed as Triple-A Norfolk's starter tonight. If he isn't scratched, he won't be starting Wednesday for the Orioles.
Zach Britton and Josh Stinson, both on the 40-man roster, are the other candidates for Wednesday's assignment.