The Orioles look to complete a three-game sweep of the struggling Yankees on Thursday night when the AL East rivals meet at Camden Yards.
After winning Tuesday’s series opener 3-2, the Orioles (34-43) received another excellent performance from their starter as Erik Bedard allowed two hits over seven innings in a 4-0 victory Wednesday.
“What a matchup between two outstanding pitchers,” Orioles interim manager Dave Trembley said. “Erik Bedard seemed to get better as he went along. For him to bring his game to the level that he did tonight, knowing who he was facing, one-on-one with Mr. Clemens and the New York Yankees, I think says something about what we’ve got with Erik Bedard.”
The Orioles have won four of five meetings against the Yankees (36-39) this season, and failed to hold a four-run lead in the eighth inning in the loss.
New York won the season series against Baltimore each of the last nine years, and entered this season with a 101-48 record in those games.
The Orioles are 5-3 under Trembley and 3-2 since losing star shortstop Miguel Tejada to a fractured left wrist.
Newly appointed president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said Wednesday that Trembley will get at least another month to prove he’s the right man for the job.
“I’ll do my due diligence, but I won’t be doing interviews here until I would imagine at least the trading deadline,” MacPhail said. “There is no search that’s going to take place for a while. We’re going to let Dave manage and see how things go. There’s no race here. Let’s get the right guy. That’s what the object is.”
The Yankees, shut out for the fourth time, have lost four straight and seven of their last eight. They have scored 21 runs in that eight-game span.
“Right now, it certainly is puzzling,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “You really can’t worry about the season as much as you need to worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow we need to come out here and start winning.”
Abreu is 4-for-31 (.129) with one RBI on the first eight games of a nine-game road trip, while Damon is 2-for-17 (.118) in that span. Damon is batting .247, 39 points below his career average.
The Orioles will hand the ball to Daniel Cabrera (6-8, 4.98 ERA), seeking their first three-game sweep of the Yankees since April 15-17, 2005.
After allowing four runs or more in five of his previous six starts, Cabrera limited Arizona to one run and two hits over six innings with three walks and six strikeouts Friday in a 7-1 victory. He did not allow a home run after yielding six in his previous two starts.
Cabrera has struggled at home, going 4-4 with a 5.78 ERA in 10 starts at Camden Yards, compared to 2-4 with a 3.76 ERA on the road.
The right-hander is 2-3 with a 3.94 ERA in eight career starts against the Yankees. He came within two outs of a no-hitter in his last appearance against them in a 7-1 victory at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 28.
New York counters with Chien-Ming Wang (7-4, 3.51), who seeks his fifth straight win. The right-hander had won four straight starts before failing to record a decision for the first time in 12 starts at San Francisco on Saturday. He allowed four runs and six hits over 6 1-3 innings with two walks and no strikeouts after fanning a career-high 10 in his previous start.
Wang had held opponents to three runs or fewer in seven consecutive starts before Saturday.
He is 2-1 with a 4.28 ERA in five career starts against the Orioles.
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