RHP Jason Berken (1-8, 6.55) tonight makes his 12th start of 2009, his 7th at home and the 1st of his career vs. the KC Royals. Berken won his Major League debut on May 26th vs. Toronto, but is 0-8 in ten starts since. The Orioles are just 2-9 in Berken's 11 starts, losing the last six. In six home starts, Berken is 1-4, 4.54 and the O's are 2-4 in those outings. In his last two starts, at Chicago and at New York, Berken is 0-2, 9.58. (11ER in 10 1/3IP). Right-handed batters hit .274 against him and lefties bat .331 off Berken. He has struggled in the first inning, allowing 11 runs and batting average of .354 in the opening frame. Berken has just one quality start among his 11 starts and has given up four earned runs or more six times. RHP Brian Bannister (6-7, 3.76) tonight will make his 19th start of this season, his 9th on the road and the 2nd in his career vs. the Orioles. In his last start, Wednesday vs. Los Angeles, Bannister gave up eight hits and four runs over 6 2/3. In four July starts, he is 1-1, 3.20. On the season he has pitched 110 innings, with 36 walks and 70 strikeouts. In eight road starts, Bannister is 2-4, 4.37. His last road win was May 24th at St. Louis. Right-handed batters hit .233 off him and lefties bat .279. The Royals are 8-10 in his starts this season. Bannister began the year at Triple-A Omaha. He was 0-1, 3.46 in three starts before his recall on April 21st. In his only career appearance vs. the Orioles, he pitched eight shutout innings to get a win on May 11, 2008. In that game he gave up just two hits in a 4-0 win, allowing two walks and fanning five.
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