Two young guns on the mound tonight in Baltimore

Tonight’s pitching matchup at Camden Yards features two young-gun, rookie left-handers that were third-round draft picks out of high school.

Zach Britton will be making his 10th major league start for the Orioles and 22-year-old Danny Duffy will be making his second big league start for Kansas City.

Britton was drafted in the third round in 2006 out of Weatherford High in Texas. Duffy was drafted in Round 3 of 2007 out of Cabrillo High in California.

Britton pitched 538 minor league innings for the Orioles, going 37-28 with an ERA of 3.09. Duffy pitched 344 minor league innings for the Royals, going 27-14 with an ERA of 2.59.

Britton was named as baseball’s 28th best prospect before this season by Baseball America. Duffy was rated 68th on that top 100 list by BA.

Duffy was 3-1 with an ERA of 3.00 in seven Triple-A starts this year before his callup. He fanned 43 over 36 innings and last Wednesday became the sixth Royals pitcher this season to make his major league debut.

He pitched four innings without a decision against Texas, giving up four hits and two runs with six walks and four strikeouts. He threw 94 pitches, 54 for strikes.

The scouting report says Duffy throws 95-97 when he tops out with his fastball with a real solid changeup. His velocity, scouting reports say, takes a while to get cranked up and he can throw 90-93 or so early in games.

Britton enters this start with 19 1/3 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run since the second inning against Tampa on May 6th. Britton is 5-2 with an ERA of 2.14 over his first nine starts.

That ERA is the current 6th best in the American League and 11th best in the majors.

In six home starts, Britton is 3-1, 1.54. In four May starts he is 1-1, 1.32. In four starts versus American League East opponents he is 2-1, 1.85.

Tonight, will the Orioles get him some runs? They have not scored while Britton has been in the game over his last three starts, a span covering 21 1/3 innings.

So tonight, Britton will be trying for the fourth time to win his sixth game. May the best young gun win.

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