Finale is when O's hope to get to Livan

Finale is when O's hope to get to Livan

BALTIMORE -- Brian Roberts is .500 lifetime against him. Aubrey Huff has hit two home runs in just eight at-bats against him.

And yet, in five games against the Orioles, Mets pitcher Livan Hernandez has been dominant, posting a 3-1 record with 16 strikeouts in 32 innings.

Hernandez and Baltimore's bats will continue their battle on Thursday as the Orioles take on the Mets in the series finale.

Hernandez last pitched against the Orioles in 2007, when he was with the D-backs. The right-hander earned the win, despite allowing four earned runs.

During his tenure with Washington, Hernandez went 2-0 against Baltimore, accumulating a 2-0 record at Camden Yards.

He'll try to slow down an Orioles offense that, after suffering a long drought in which it scored three runs or fewer in 11 out of 12 games, has begun to improve with the start of Interleague Play.

Roberts, who is 0-for-10 vs. New York pitching in the first two games of the series, batted .500 over seven games, matching his career average against Hernandez. Nick Markakis hit his first home run since May 21 on Tuesday night against the Mets, increasing his season total to eight.

Dueling Hernandez on the mound will be Jason Berken, who is just 1-3 this season, and he has lost his past three starts. Thursday will be his first career start against the Mets, a team that is hitting a collective .279, top five in the Majors.

Pitching matchup
BAL: RHP Jason Berken (1-3, 7.32 ERA)
Berken had his second rough outing in a row in his last start. The right-hander lasted just 4 1/3 innings, allowing four earned runs on eight hits. He got into an early deficit by allowing a two-run home run in the first inning in his last start against Atlanta, and has seen his ERA go from 2.25 at the end of May to 7.32 in two starts in June.

NYM: RHP Livan Hernandez (5-1, 4.33 ERA)
Though he wasn't completely undone until reliever Jon Switzer allowed both of his inherited runners to score, Hernandez labored through 5 1/3 innings last Friday against the Yankees. He allowed seven hits and six runs in all, including three home runs -- one more than he had served up in his previous seven outings combined. Hernandez's next start will come at another homer-friendly park, Camden Yards, where he is 2-0 with a 3.95 ERA for his career.

Entering Wednesday's game, the Orioles are third in the Majors in home runs allowed, trailing only the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies. Jeremy Guthrie leads the American League with 16 home runs allowed. ... Over its past 13 games, the Orioles' bullpen has posted a 2.56 ERA. Reliever Matt Albers has lowered his ERA from 7.71 on May 22 to just 4.01. ... After drawing nine walks in a span of seven games, the Orioles have drawn 30 walks in their past five games through Wednesday. They had a season-high nine walks on Sunday against Atlanta.

 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• 105.7 The Fan

Up next
• Friday: Orioles (Rich Hill, 2-1, 5.81) at Phillies (Antonio Bastardo, 2-1, 5.25), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Orioles (Brad Bergesen, 4-2, 3.79) at Phillies (J.A. Happ, 4-0, 3.53), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie, 4-7, 5.42) at Phillies (TBD), 1:35 p.m. ET

Brian Eller is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.