Interleague Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, June 14th (All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (32-29) at Baltimore Orioles (36-26), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - Erik Bedard (4-6, 3.59) Baltimore - Tommy Hunter (2-3, 5.40)
(Sports Network) - Though Erik Bedard pitched very well for the Orioles during his six-season tenure with the club, Baltimore's decision to deal the lefty in 2008 did net the franchise one of its current star players.
Now with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bedard makes his second visit to Camden Yards as an opposing hurler and he'll try to prevent Adam Jones and the O's from logging their first-ever sweep of the Bucs.
Bedard takes the hill for tonight's finale of a three-game series coming off a victory over the Royals on Friday. He held them to a pair of runs on five hits and three walks over seven innings to record his longest outing in eight starts.
It was just the second time in his past five outings that Bedard has allowed less than four runs. The left-hander moved to 4-6 with a 3.59 earned run average in 12 starts this season.
"It was good to see him have his good stuff early," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He really had his changeup working. That's Erik being Erik."
Bedard began his career with the Orioles after they selected him in the sixth round of the 1999 draft. He made 114 appearances (111 starts) during his time with Baltimore and went 40-34 with a 3.83 ERA. He won 15 and 13 games, respectively, in his final two years with the O's before getting dealt to Seattle for a package of five players on Feb. 8, 2008.
The 33-year-old is 1-0 with a 3.57 ERA in five career starts versus his former club and that includes one start at Camden Yards on Sept. 27 while with Boston. Bedard gave up three runs over 3 1/3 innings of a no-decision.
One of the players that the Orioles received for Bedard was Jones, who has blossomed into one of Baltimore's best players. He is hitting .307 with 18 homers and 39 RBI in 62 games this season and signed a six-year deal worth $85.5 million, the largest contract in team history.
After logging four hits in Tuesday's win over the Pirates, Jones went 0-for-3 with a walk in last night's 7-1 triumph. Chris Davis, though, smacked a two- run homer and drove in three runs, while Wilson Betemit recorded a solo homer and three RBI.
With Brian Matusz having his start pushed back to Friday due to a nose contusion suffered while practicing bunting earlier this week, Jake Arrieta got the start and logged seven innings of one-run ball. He snapped a six- decision slide and struck out nine.
"He had good command of his fastball and had a good tempo tonight," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter about Arrieta.
Baltimore has won four straight and six of eight to remain one game behind the New York Yankees for first place in the American League East, while Pittsburgh has fallen two games behind first-place Cincinnati in the NL Central. The Pirates had won four straight prior to this series.
Kevin Correia was tagged for five runs -- four earned -- on 10 hits over six innings to take the loss for the Pirates, while Neil Walker drove in the lone run.
"The game is pretty simple when you break it down and they've outplayed us in these games," said Hurdle. "So it shouldn't surprise anyone here that we're down two. We have a chance to go out and win the game tomorrow and that's what I'm looking for."
The Pirates will try to salvage tonight's finale against Tommy Hunter, who is winless in his past seven starts for the Orioles with an 0-2 record in that span since his last win on April 24.
Hunter did pitch well versus the Phillies on Saturday in a no-decision, allowing three runs -- all on solo homers -- over seven frames without a walk. That left the 25-year-old righty 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA in 11 starts this season.
Hunter displayed the same kind of control in his lone previous encounter with the Pirates. He beat them on June 22, 2010 while with the Rangers, allowing two earned runs over six innings with six strikeouts and no walks.
Baltimore has won six of 11 meetings in interleague play since the Pirates knocked off the Orioles in seven games to win the 1979 World Series.
06/14 10:41:30 ET