After winning 20 of their last 29 games, the surprising Baltimore Orioles have remained within striking distance of the New York Yankees in the American League East. The Orioles, who trail the Yankees by three games in the division, can close the gap even further on Friday when they open a three-game series in the Bronx. Baltimore continued its winning ways by taking three of four from the Chicago White Sox following a 5-3 triumph on Thursday.
New York has lost six of its last nine after dropping two of three to AL East rival Toronto. Curtis Granderson has certainly feasted off Baltimore pitching, homering five times during the season series. Granderson, however, struggled versus Friday starter Miguel Gonzalez, striking out twice while going 0-for-3 on July 30.
Orioles Yankees Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Friday, August 31, 2012
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, MASN (Baltimore), YES (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Miguel Gonzalez (5-3, 3.66 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Hiroki Kuroda (12-9, 2.98)
Gonzalez saw his three-game winning streak come to an end after permitting four runs and walking three in five innings against Texas on Aug. 20. The 28-year-old Mexican won his lone start versus the Yankees after striking out eight in 6 2/3 innings. Gonzalez yielded a season-high three homers in the 5-4 victory.
Kuroda had his two-game winning streak go by the boards after receiving a hard-luck loss to Cleveland on Saturday. The 37-year-old Japan native recorded his third complete game in the setback. Kuroda won his lone start versus Baltimore after allowing one run on four hits in seven innings in a 2-1 triumph on April 30.
1. Alex Rodriguez is expected to serve as a designated hitter for Single-A Tampa on Friday. The Yankees slugger, who has been sidelined since July 24 with a broken hand, could return to the club by next week.
2. Although Taylor Teagarden homered and drove in a pair of runs during a rare start on Thursday, Matt Wieters is expected to return to the lineup for Friday’s contest. Wieters has struggled lately, but is 18-for-42 (.429) in the season series.
3. The Yankees are the only team in baseball to have yet to win a game when trailing after eight innings. They are 0-47 in such circumstances.