Angels-Orioles Preview

The Associated Press

The Baltimore Orioles' success at home is coming with a slight margin for error.

Nick Markakis is doing his part to provide the difference.

Markakis looks to continue his impressive production at Camden Yards as the Orioles attempt to sweep this three-game series from the struggling Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.

Baltimore (37-28) has won eight of nine at home after dropping seven in a row on its own field. The surge has included six wins by one or two runs, including Tuesday's 3-2 victory over the Angels (27-38) after beating them 4-3 a day earlier.

Markakis had two hits Tuesday and put the Orioles ahead for good with a two-out, two-run single in the seventh inning.

"You want to be in those situations," said Markakis, who's batting .346 with 10 RBIs when there are two outs and runners in scoring position.

The right fielder may play a part in Baltimore beating Los Angeles for a fifth straight meeting for the first time since it swept the six-game season series in 2010.

Markakis is hitting .347 at home, and he's batting .362 with 11 RBIs during a 14-game hitting streak there. That may only continue since he's hitting .344 in his past 16 matchups with the Angels, and he's 4 for 8 against scheduled starter Jerome Williams (4-2, 2.87 ERA).

The Orioles are scheduled to give the ball to Jason Hammel (7-4, 5.18), who is trying to avoid a third straight losing start.

The veteran right-hander turned in his shortest outing of the season June 1, lasting three-plus innings and allowing five runs and three homers in a 10-3 loss to Detroit.

Hammel, though, was much better Friday, yielding two runs in 6 2-3 innings in a 2-1 defeat at Tampa Bay.

He had been 6-0 with a 4.17 ERA over his first seven road games, including an 8-4 victory over the Angels on May 5 during which he gave up four runs in six innings.

Los Angeles continues to underachieve, losing nine of 11 and four in a row, one shy of its season-high skid from April 7-12.

Mike Trout can't be blamed for those struggles since he's hitting .352 - with 15 of his 31 hits going for extra bases - while driving in 13 runs and scoring 18 over the past 21 games.

Last year's AL Rookie of the Year is 9 for 22 with two homers, four doubles and four RBIs heading into the finale of a six-game road trip. He's 4 for 10 against Hammel, hitting a solo homer last month.

Williams is getting a spot start due to Saturday's doubleheader at Boston. He allowed three runs in the final three innings of that game as the Angels lost 7-2.

The right-hander is 3-2 with a 3.08 ERA over six starts this year, making the latest in a 2-0 loss to Houston on June 1. He allowed both runs in seven innings before being moved back to the bullpen due to the returns of Jered Weaver and Tommy Hanson.

Williams has won three of four starts against Baltimore with a 4.26 ERA, losing the most recent opposite Hammel on May 5. Williams gave up five runs and two homers in 4 1-3 innings.

He will be making his first appearance at Camden Yards since June 13, 2004, with San Francisco.

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