Saturday afternoon baseball: Texas at Orioles

Game Preview
Texas (76-58) at Orioles (54-81)

The Orioles pitching staff struggled in its three-game series vs. New York, giving up 24 runs as the Birds lost three straight.

The O's offense scuffled Friday in a 5-1 loss vs. Texas to open a three-game series.

Today, at 4:05 p.m. in game two of this series, Brian Matusz (3-2, 5.28) will pitch for the Orioles vs. Texas right hander Kevin Millwood (10-8, 3.61).

Today's game will be telecast on the Fox TV network.

The Orioles were held to just four singles on Friday, going 4 for 30 at bat. The Birds have scored just three runs over the last two games and 10 runs over their past four contests.

They have scored three runs or less in 22 games since the All-Star break and are 1-21 in those contests.

The O's have lost four in a row to fall a season-high 27 games under .500. They are 14-33 since the All-Star game.

Felix Pie went 0 for 3 Friday to snap a seven-game hitting streak. Still, over his last 18 games, Pie is batting .362-6-13. Pie has four homers over his last seven games and five in his last ten games.

Brian Roberts batted third in the lineup Friday, going 1 for 3 with an RBI. He has hit in three games in a row but is batting just .158 over his last ten games. Roberts' next double will be his 50th of the year.

Last night was the first time since 2004 Roberts batted anywhere other than leadoff in the order.

With its win last night and Boston's loss, Texas is now just two games back of the Red Sox in the wild-card race. Texas is 3 ½ games behind Los Angeles for the AL West lead.

The Rangers have won four in a row, 14 of 23, 17 of 28 and 28 of their last 45 games. Texas is 12-5-1 in its last 18 series.

Texas is 5-5 in its last ten road games.

Nelson Cruz has homered in back-to-back games for the Rangers and now has 31 homers on the year. He is one of 14 players in the Majors with 30 or more.

He is the third Ranger to reach 30 in his first full Major League season, joining Pete Incaviglia in 1986 and Ruben Sierra in 1987.

Texas leads the season series, five wins to three over the O's. Texas is 4-1 this year at Camden Yards and is 28-18 vs. Baltimore since the start of the 2005 season.

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