Hiroki Kuroda has had two very different starts against the O’s this year (updated)

Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda makes the start against the Orioles here tonight. He is 7-5 with an ERA of 2.77 in 16 starts.

Kuroda ranks fifth in the American League in ERA and has had two very different starts this year against the Orioles.

On April 14 at New York, in another ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game, he pitched a five-hit shutout, throwing 113 pitches.

On May 22 here at Camden Yards, Kuroda went two innings plus two batters and gave up eight hits and five runs, throwing 55 pitches and taking the loss vs. the Orioles.

Kuroda entered that outing at 6-2 with an ERA of 1.99, which was second best in the AL at the time. He had an ERA of 1.21 in his four previous starts, but then the O’s hit two homers against him in the first inning with a Nick Markakis solo shot and a Chris Davis two-run blast.

Then, Kuroda took a ball off his right calf in the second inning and exited the game in the third due to the injury, although he’d also been hit hard by that time.

In four career starts against Baltimore, he is 2-2 with a 3.42 ERA. He got a no-decision in Game 3 of the American League Division Series last October, giving up just two runs over 8 1/3.

Matt Wieters is 4-for-14 against him, Davis is 4-for-14 with a homer and Adam Jones is 6-for-15. Manny Machado is 3-for-12, and Nate McLouth is just 5-for-26 vs. Kuroda.

Chris Tillman tries to become a 10-game winner tonight. He is 9-2 with a 3.72 ERA in 16 starts. Over his last five starts, he is 5-0 with an ERA of 2.61.

In seven career starts against New York, Tillman is 2-3 with an 8.16 ERA, but the O’s are 4-3 in those games.

Updated: The Orioles moved ahead 3-1 tonight after four innings on solo homers by Machado, Davis and McLouth. For Machado, his sixth of the year was his first since May 5, and he had gone 219 at-bats between homers. Davis broke the tie he held with Brady Anderson from 1996 for most homers before the All-Star break by an Oriole. He now tops the list at 31.

By the way, haven’t these last two nights been a great showcase of Manny, Davis, Buck and the whole team - plus the fans - for the revival of baseball in Baltimore that began last season and that has continued in 2013?

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