The Baltimore Orioles are making a habit out of rallying for wins.
They’ll try to make things a little easier on themselves Saturday when they face the Pittsburgh Pirates in the middle game of their interleague series.
The Orioles (33-33) have won 18 games in come-from-behind fashion after overcoming a five-run, fourth-inning deficit to beat Pittsburgh 9-6 on Friday.
“We never give up. We fight to the end,” said Orioles third baseman Melvin Mora, who went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI on Friday.
Baltimore now looks to move above .500 again by winning for a fourth time in five games against the NL—all at home. The club went 1-8 during interleague play at Camden Yards last season.
Luke Scott has been hot of late, going 8-for-20 (.400) with four homers and five RBIs in his last five games. The left fielder went 1-for-4 with a solo homer Friday, and he’s hitting .276 with 11 homers and 26 RBIs this season after being acquired from Houston in a six-player offseason deal.
Scott is 2-for-3 with a homer off Zach Duke, Saturday’s scheduled starter.
The Pirates (33-35) hope Duke (4-4, 4.10 ERA) can win a third consecutive start for the first time since his rookie season.
The left-hander, who will be facing Baltimore for the first time Saturday, is 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA in his last two games. He hasn’t won three starts in a row since July 7-21, 2005, en route to an 8-2 record and 1.81 ERA in 14 starts during an impressive debut season.
Duke outpitched Randy Johnson on Monday, yielding two runs and five hits with five strikeouts in six innings of a 5-3 win over Arizona. It was the 10th time in 13 games that Duke lasted at least six innings.
“He got the ball on the ground, and when he does that, his sinker is working very well,” Pirates manager John Russell told the team’s official Web site.
“He’s forcing contact, which is a good sign for Zach. That’s what he wants to do. He’s not a big strikeout guy. But it all centers around the sinker and he’s been throwing.”
The Orioles will give the ball to Radhames Liz (1-0, 3.48), who has been solid in two starts since being called up from Triple-A Norfolk on June 2.
The right-hander has allowed four runs and eight hits with seven strikeouts and four walks in 10 1-3 innings over his two outings. He was reached for two runs and four hits with three strikeouts and three walks in five innings of Sunday’s 5-4 loss at Toronto, but he wasn’t happy with his performance.
“I feel a little bit upset with myself, because I think I could’ve been better,” Liz told the Orioles’ official Web site. “I think maybe I tried to be too perfect. I could’ve (stayed) in the game longer, gone six or seven innings. So I feel a little bit sad about it.”
Liz went 0-2 with an 11.48 ERA in four starts last season—his first in the majors.