The homestand begins: Indians at Orioles

Game Preview
Cleveland (56-70) at Orioles (52-75)

It may be August 27th, the time for pennant races and almost time when Major League rosters can expand to 40 players, but tonight the Orioles will meet the Cleveland Indians for the first time this year.

The O's host the Tribe tonight at 7:05 p.m. in game one of a four-game series and a ten-game homestand. The teams also meet in a three-game series late next month at Cleveland.

Series pitching matchups:
Thurs, 7:05p - David Hernandez (4-6, 4.3) v. Aaron Laffey (7-3, 3.42)
Fri, 7:05p - Jason Berken (3-11, 6.49) v. Fausto Carmona (3-8, 5.92)
Sat, 7:05p - Chris Tillman (1-2, 4.58) v. Jeremy Sowers (5-9, 4.93)
Sun, 1:35p - Brian Matusz (2-2, 6.46) v. Justin Masterson (4-5, 4.47)

The Orioles ended a nine-game road trip which featured a lot of close games with a 5-1 win at Minnesota last night as Jeremy Guthrie allowed just six hits and one run over seven innings.

Five of the nine games on the trip were one-run decisions and the O's went 2-3 in those contests.

The Orioles are 30-31 at home this year.

O's pitching is slowly getting better. The team ERA is 3.28 over the last eight games and O's starters have pitched to an ERA of 3.18 over the past six games.

But the O's are just 12-27 in the second half and are 1-10-1 in second-half series.

They did go 4-3 in the final seven games of the road trip providing some hope that the club can avoid another late-season collapse.

Over his last 19 games, Nick Markakis is batting .346-2-9 with seven doubles. Nolan Reimold is batting .300 with 7 RBI over his last 13 games. Brian Roberts is batting .342 over his last 16 games with five homers, 14 RBI and 10 doubles. His 48 doubles leads the AL.

Cleveland's record at the All-Star break was 35-54, that was its worst record at the break since 1991. But the Tribe is 21-16 in the second half, has won six of its last eight series and eight of 12 series since the break.

Cleveland, which beat Kansas City 4-2 on Thursday, has the second best ERA in the American League in the second half at 3.99.

Cleveland has identical records right now of 28-35 at home and on the road, but the Indians are 12-6 in their last 18 away games.

Cleveland's Asdrubal Cabrera is batting .380 with 12 RBI over his last 19 games.

The Indians are 13-10 in August and 14-15 vs. AL East teams this year.

O's hitters on the just-concluded road trip:
Andino: 0-4
Aubrey: 6-16/0/3
Izturis: 6-31/0/2
Jones: 3-17/0/2
Markakis: 11-36/0/1
Moeller: 3-10/0/2
Mora: 3-25/0/0
Pie: 8-23/2/3
Reimold: 11-35/2/7
Roberts: 12-38/4/9
Scott: 6-30/0/1
Wieters: 7-28/1/3
Wigginton: 5-20/0/1

O's vs. Tribe
Last season these clubs did not meet for the first time until August 11th. They split eight meetings last year, with each team going 2-2 at home. The Tribe won the season series, 4-3 in 2007. In the decade of the 2000's, the Orioles are 25-36 vs. Cleveland.

Since moving to Baltimore in 1954, the Orioles are 378-407 vs. the Indians.

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