Afternoon baseball: Oakland at Orioles

Game Preview Oakland (50-63) at Orioles (47-66) Now that the Orioles have ended a nine-game losing streak vs. Oakland, this afternoon they'll try to take the next step and win a series from the A's. The clubs have split the first two of this series and today, in the deciding game at 1:35 p.m. Jason Berken (2-9, 6.72) pitches for the Orioles vs. Vin Mazzaro (3-8, 5.70). The O's last win over Oakland before Tuesday's 3-2 victory came on July 22, 2007. That was also the last time the O's took a series from the A's as they won two of three at Oakland July 20-22, 2007. In Tuesday's win, David Hernandez gave up two runs over 6 2/3 to pick up his fourth win of the year. Jim Johnson got his fourth save and Brian Roberts had three hits, two steals and an RBI. The win ended an O's 19-game losing streak when they had scored three runs or less. Still, the Orioles have struggled vs. Oakland with a record of 28-64 since 1999 and a home mark in that time of just 14 and 32 vs. Oakland. The O's offense continues to scuffle. The Birds have scored three runs or less in four straight games, six of seven and in 13 of 25 games since the All-Star break. The Birds have scored only nine runs total over the last four games and 21 runs in the last seven. They have just one game with double figure hits in the last seven contests and only one homer over their past six games. Cesar Izturis has a five-game hitting streak and is batting .327 over his last 15 games. Nick Markakis is 7 for 21 during a five-game hitting streak. Since the All-Star break, Markakis is batting .330-5-21 with nine doubles. Markakis has reached base in 32 consecutive games, the longest streak currently in the Majors. He has reached base safely in 98 of 112 starts this season. The Orioles record is 52 games by Kevin Millar from June 20 - August 25, 2007. The O's will start another rookie pitcher today. Rookie pitchers have started 62 of 113 O's games on the year. The team's record is 25-37 in those contests. Oakland is 3-2 on a six-game road trip that ends today. The A's have won six of their last nine and nine of the last 15 games. Oakland is 6-5 in August, 13-14 in the second half and 24-35 in road games this year.

Post-game Notes: O's top A's
A quick take on the O's offense from Terry Crowley

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