Oakland (24-23) at Baltimore (21-27)

Cloudy Currently: Baltimore, MD, US
Temp: 60° F
  • Game info: 7:35 pm EDT Sat May 26, 2007
  • TV: FSBA, MASN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Oakland Athletics are barely above .500 this season. Their recent play against the Baltimore Orioles has been much better than that.

The Athletics look to continue their dominance of the Orioles on Saturday night when the teams continue a three-game series at Camden Yards.

Dan Haren allowed one run and two hits over seven innings and Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer as Oakland remained perfect this season against Baltimore with a 3-2 victory in Friday’s series opener.

“The key to the game was Dan Haren,” Oakland manager Bob Geren said. “He gave up the one run in the first inning, then he really settled in. He just was better as it went on.”

The win, however, didn’t come easy as Alan Embree put runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the ninth before getting Ramon Hernandez on a forceout and striking out Jay Gibbons with runners on the corners.

Oakland (24-23) has won all three games this season against Baltimore (21-27) and 11 of the past 13 meetings. The A’s have won five straight at Camden Yards and are 14-2 there since the start of the 2004 season.

A victory on Saturday would give the A’s their first three-game win streak since they won a season-best four in a row from April 15-20.

Three of Swisher’s seven homers this season have come against the Orioles. He is only batting .240 (12-of-50) lifetime against Baltimore, but half of his hits have been home runs.

Few starters have pitched in tougher luck this season than Joe Kennedy (1-3, 2.70 ERA), who has only one win despite allowing three runs or fewer in each of his nine starts. The A’s have scored 37 runs in Kennedy’s nine appearances, but 17 of those came in a win over Kansas City on May 10. Oakland has scored two runs or less in five of his starts.

Kennedy pitched well again Sunday in a 4-1 loss to San Francisco, allowing three runs and eight hits in 7 1-3 innings. The left-hander is 2-1 with a 4.01 ERA in eight career starts against Baltimore.

Friday’s loss was the fourth in five games for the Orioles, who dropped a season-worst six games under .500.

Since matching a season high with their fourth straight win on May 11, Baltimore has lost nine of 12. It has averaged 3.3 runs during that span.

The middle of the Orioles’ lineup - Aubrey Huff, Hernandez and Gibbons - were a combined 1-of-12 Friday. Hernandez is 1-of-22 in his last six games while Gibbons is hitless in his last 12 at-bats.

Regular third baseman Melvin Mora was angry that he wasn’t told about manager Sam Perlozzo’s decision to rest him Friday. Mora groused before the game about a lack of communication between the manager and the players.

“Everyone deserves an explanation,” he said. “I hope nothing will happen anymore. I want communication. I need communication.”

Orioles left-hander Brian Burres (1-2, 3.67) will make his first appearance since May 16. His spot in the rotation was skipped last week because of an off day.

Burres has pitched well in his last two outings, but hasn’t lasted more than five innings in any of his three career starts. He gave up two runs and seven hits over five innings in a 2-1 loss at Toronto on May 16.

Burres threw three scoreless innings against the A’s in relief on April 23 in his only appearance against them.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Kennedy TOR vs. B. Burres COL
4-9 Record 6-8
4.80 ERA 5.95
51 K 96
55 BB 66
1.57 WHIP 1.70