The O’s open up a three-game series at U.S. Cellular field tonight against the Chicago White Sox. The two teams met for a four-game series earlier this month at Camden Yards, with the O’s winning three of the four games, all by one run. The O’s are coming off a series split with the AL West-leading Rangers and a 3-4 home stand and are now 12-8 under Buck Showalter. The White Sox come home after six-game road trip where they went 2-4 and slipped further down in the AL Central. They are now 67-57 and five games behind the division-leading Twins. They are still within striking distance of the Twins, though, and need to beat the teams they should beat down the stretch in order to stay in contention. You would think the O’s would fall into this category, but as we have figured out over the last 20 games, these aren’t the same old O’s. Plus, they have held their own at U.S. Cellular Field over the past three seasons, going 7-7.
Tuesday, August 24, 8:10pm
Orioles – Jeremy Guthrie (7-12, 3.97 ERA)
White Sox – Gavin Floyd (8-10, 3.97 ERA)
Guthrie entered his last start with the best second-half ERA in the majors, but couldn’t keep that success going against the Mariners last Wednesday. He did last eight innings, though, but he allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits and took his 12th loss of the season. Guthrie is getting closer to the .500 mark and if he continues to pitch like he has been, he shouldn’t eclipse the 17-loss mark that he had last year. Mount St. Joseph graduate Gavin Floyd looks to bounce back from a couple of sub-par performances against the Twins. In those two games, both losses, he allowed 13 earned runs and 20 hits in just 12 innings. Floyd had only allowed 11 earned runs in a 12-start span before being rocked by the Twins. He won his only start against the O’s this season, going seven innings and giving up just two earned runs on six hits.
Wednesday, August 25, 8:10pm
Orioles – Brian Matusz (5-12, 4.97 ERA)
White Sox – Mark Buehrle (12-9, 3.87 ERA)
Matusz is coming off the best start of his young career after pitching eight shutout innings against the hot-hitting Rangers. He allowed five hits and struck out six in the 115-pitch outing, earning him his fifth win of the season. Matusz pitched well against the White Sox back on Aug. 9, allowing just one earned run over six innings, but didn’t receive a decision in a 3-2 O’s win. In his last outing, Buehrle showed us why he is still the ace of the White Sox staff. In what was almost a must-win game, Buehrle pitched a gem against the Twins. He threw seven scoreless innings and struck out four to up his second half record to 4-2. Buehrle took the loss the last time he faced the O’s, though. He allowed four runs (three earned) on 10 hits and suffered his ninth loss of the season.
Thursday, August 26, 8:10pm
Orioles – Jake Arrieta (4-5, 4.90 ERA)
White Sox – Edwin Jackson (1-0, 1.35 ERA)
Arrieta has lost his last two starts, but pitched well enough to win in his last outing against the Rangers. He went 6 2/3 innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on eight hits. He hasn’t been pitching too badly as of late, but is still walking more batters than he should (43 walks in 79 innings). Jackson should have a well-rested arm considering he only threw seven pitches last Friday against the Royals after the game was called due to rain. But the White Sox were cautious and didn’t allow Jackson to start the following day. Jackson spent the first half of the season with the Diamondbacks and is making his fourth start as a member of the White Sox. He has only allowed three earned runs in 20 innings pitched with his new team and has struck out 24 batters in those three games.
Submitted by Steve Giles