Zaun adjusting to role with Orioles

Zaun adjusting to role with Orioles

BALTIMORE -- When Matt Wieters debuted with the Orioles one month ago, teammate Gregg Zaun was, consequently, ushered into the team's reserve catching role.

Zaun had spent the early part of the season as Baltimore's starting catcher and a veteran mind for a staff relatively new to the Major Leagues.

But now Zaun has seen his role change, and though it took some time to adjust to being the team's backup catcher, the 15-year veteran seems to be getting comfortable behind the plate, even if it's only a few times a week.

And though it likely will be Wieters behind the plate when the Orioles open a series against the Red Sox on Monday, it just means Zaun will be busy preparing for his next start.

"Zaun has prepared himself admirably," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "He knows way ahead of time when he's catching, who he's catching [and] who he's facing. I think he has done very well for the team and very well for himself when he has the opportunity to play."

Zaun has found a niche at the plate recently. He has hit two home runs in his past four games, including knocking in four RBIs during that span.

His home run on June 20 helped spark a late-inning comeback for the Orioles against the Phillies in Philadelphia, one of three hits for Zaun in that game.

Zaun is hitting .246 with three home runs and nine RBIs this season. He has nine doubles and is on pace to have his highest doubles output since hitting 24 in 2007 with Toronto.

Trembley said the system is set so Wieters catches five times a week while Zaun gets the call for the other games.

"Zaun has been catching as we told him he would," Trembley said. "He'll go two times a week, and Wieters is going to catch five games."

Pitching matchup
BAL: RHP Jason Berken (1-4, 6.32 ERA)
Berken pitched relatively well in his last start, when he worked five innings and gave up three runs. One of those was unearned, and Berken was pulled for a pinch-hitter in a 3-0 game. The rookie hasn't won since his big league debut, and he's completed six innings once in his past four starts. Despite an erratic start, Berken will continue to get opportunities for the foreseeable future.

BOS: LHP Jon Lester (6-6, 4.68 ERA)
The left-hander continued his recent roll by holding the Nationals to six hits and three runs over six innings in his last start, a 6-4 win. Lester has given up three earned runs or fewer in six of his previous seven starts. In his four June starts, Lester is 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA. He won his only start against the Orioles this season, firing seven shutout innings and striking out nine on April 19. In eight road starts this season, Lester is 3-3 with a 5.26 ERA.

The leadoff man for the Orioles reached base safely in five of nine innings on Sunday. ... Ty Wigginton extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single in the eighth inning. The longest hitting streak of his career is 15 games, set from Aug. 3-18, 2008. ... The Orioles fell to 3-8 on Sundays and 11-13 in the month of June. ... Baltimore finished Interleague Play with an 11-7 record, including a 4-2 mark against Washington.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

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On radio
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Up next
• Tuesday: Orioles (Rich Hill, 3-2, 6.03) vs. Red Sox (John Smoltz, 0-1, 9.00), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Orioles (Brad Bergesen, 5-2, 3.76) vs. Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 9-3, 3.48), 1:35 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie, 6-7, 5.11) at Angels (John Lackey, 2-3, 5.06), 10:05 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.