Tonight's pitchers: Berken vs. Romero

RHP Jason Berken (1-9, 6.93) tonight will make his 14th start of the season, his 6th on the road and his 3rd of the year vs. Toronto.

Berken remains winless since beating Toronto in his Major League debut on May 26th. That night he gave up seven hits and two runs over five innings.

His most recent start was his worst of the year. Sunday he took the loss vs. Boston and gave up six runs and seven hits in just 1 1/3 innings, throwing only 53 pitches.

Berken is 0-9 over his last 12 starts and the Orioles are 2-11 when he takes the mound, losing in his last eight starts.

One reason for his struggles is the inability to easily get through the first inning. He has given up 17 runs in the first and a batting average against of .383.

Berken, who has just two quality starts, is 0-4, 9.53 in five road starts.

Berken is 1-1, 3.37, in two starts this year vs. Toronto. In 10 2/3 innings, he has given up 12 hits and four earned runs with five walks and four strikeouts.

LHP Ricky Romero (10-4, 3.53) tonight makes his 18th start, his 9th at home and his 3rd this year vs. Baltimore.

The 24-year-old has emerged as a strong Rookie of the Year candidate.

In his last start, he picked up his 10th win Sunday at Oakland, allowing just two runs over seven innings. His ERA was 6.89 in his previous three starts.

Romero's 10 wins are tied for first among AL rookies. He has 12 quality starts, tied for 2nd among league rookies behind only the O's Brad Bergesen, who is first with 13.

Right-handed batters hit .254 off Romero, while lefties bat .297. The Blue Jays are 11-6 when he starts with three wins in a row.

In eight home starts, he is 6-2, 3.33.

Romero, a first-round draft pick, number six overall, in 2005, is 0-1, 5.40 this year vs. the Orioles in two outings. In 13 1/3 innings, he has given up 18 hits and eight runs.

Romero played his college ball at Cal-State Fullerton and was a member of the school's 2004 national championship team.

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