The Baltimore Orioles are making their presence known in both the American League East and wild-card races. The Orioles will vie for their sixth straight victory and attempt to move 10 games over .500 on Thursday when they open a four-game series versus the visiting Kansas City Royals. Baltimore, which sits 4 1/2 games behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees, is tied with Oakland and Detroit atop the wild-card standings.
Matt Wieters had a pair of two-run doubles and matched a career high with five RBIs in Baltimore’s 9-2 victory over Seattle on Wednesday. While the Orioles are making a charge in the standings, the Royals are actually playing good baseball despite residing in the basement of the AL Central. Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez homered as Kansas City claimed two of three from the division-leading Chicago White Sox with a 2-1 triumph on Wednesday.
Royals Orioles Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Thursday, August 9, 2012
Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSKC (Kansas City), MASN (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals LH Will Smith (2-4, 6.00 ERA) vs. Orioles LH Wei-Yin Chen (10-6, 3.46)
Smith suffered his third loss in four decisions after yielding four runs and matching a season-high of eight hits in a 4-2 setback to Texas on Saturday. The rookie has struggled with his control, issuing at least three walks in two of his last three starts. Smith has yet to face Baltimore in his brief career.
Chen won his second straight start after scattering five hits over seven scoreless innings in a 4-0 win over Tampa Bay on Saturday. The 27-year-old Taiwan native pitched six solid innings against Kansas City on May 26, but settled for a no-decision.
1. Baltimore’s Nick Markakis has flourished since returning from a fractured right hamate bone. Markakis is hitting .362 during that 26-game stretch.
2. Kansas City’s Jeff Francoeur, who had two hits on Wednesday, is 7-for-15 with two homers and four runs scored in his last four games. Francoeur fared well in his previous stint versus Chen, going 2-for-3 with a double.
3. The Orioles are expected to call up prized prospect Manny Machado from Double-A Bowie prior to Thursday’s contest. Machado is the third overall pick of the 2010 amateur draft.