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News » Rays-Orioles Preview 2009-05-13

Rays-Orioles Preview 2009-05-13

Rays-Orioles Preview 2009-05-13
The way Baltimore's Adam Jones is hitting against them, the Tampa Bay Rays are probably grateful that after Wednesday they won't be facing their AL East rival again for a few months.

Jones and the Orioles look to complete a two-game sweep of the Rays in the finale of a seven-game homestand.

Jones is among the top hitters in the AL with a .363 batting average, and he's been especially successful against the Rays (15-19) this season. The center fielder homered twice in a 7-5 win on Tuesday, raising his average against Tampa Bay to .391 (9 for 23) with four doubles and two home runs in 2009.

Tuesday was Jones' first multihomer game in the majors, and he drove in four to lead Baltimore (14-19) to its fourth victory in six games.

"I got a bat in my hand. I'm not going to go up there swinging gingerly," said Jones, who has three homers in his last three games after hitting 17 in his first 233. "I got three strikes and I'm just trying to make the best of it up there."

Tampa Bay, which had led 5-1 in the second inning, lost for the third time in four games.

The Rays' Carl Crawford had two doubles and passed current Oriole Aubrey Huff for the franchise lead with 451 RBIs. Crawford also is batting .438 (14 for 32) in a seven-game hitting streak.

Baltimore, which went 3-15 last season against Tampa Bay, has won four of the first six meetings in 2009. After Wednesday, the division rivals don't meet again until Aug. 18.

Orioles rookie Brad Bergesen (1-0, 4.98 ERA), who is looking for his first win since his major league debut on April 21, will take the mound.

The 23-year-old right-hander has a 6.19 ERA in his last three starts, in which Baltimore has gone 2-1. He pitched six innings last Thursday against Minnesota, allowing three runs and 11 hits in a 5-4 victory.

"The nerves and the adrenaline, that sure hasn't gone away," he told the Orioles' official Web site. "I never want to get out there and feel too comfortable. It's such a humbling game. I'm just going to keep going about my business."

Baltimore has won all three of his starts at Camden Yards, and this will be the first time he's facing the Rays.

Tampa Bay goes with Jeff Niemann (2-3, 5.65), who hasn't made it out of the fourth inning in his last two outings. The right-hander went 3 1-3 against the Yankees last Thursday, allowing two runs, three hits and four walks in an 8-6 win. He did not factor in the decision.

Niemann is 2-1 with a 5.93 ERA in two starts and one relief appearance versus the Orioles. On April 11, he pitched 5 1-3 innings against them, allowing six runs and six hits in a 6-0 loss.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 13, 2009

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