The road doesn't get any easier. Facing two of the top hauls of the 2008-09 Hot Stove season -- free-agent acquisitions A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia -- over the next two days, the Orioles will counter with a pair of rookies. David Hernandez will take the ball on Tuesday, and Jason Berken will try to continue a modest streak on Wednesday.
The Orioles are 32-34 at home and 22-44 on the road, and they'll have to have a strong September to avoid a 100-loss season. The current winning percentage puts the O's on pace for 66 victories, which would mark their lowest output since 2001.
And after this series ends, Baltimore faces Texas, Boston and New York again.
NYY: RHP A.J. Burnett (10-8, 4.10 ERA)
BAL: RHP David Hernandez (4-6, 4.24 ERA)
Hernandez shrugged off a run of ineffective outings in his previous start, against the Indians on Thursday, when he worked six strong innings and left the game with a lead. But Cleveland later battled back to stick him with a no-decision. The rookie worked to a 5.83 ERA in August but is 2-4 with a 4.46 ERA since the All-Star break, and the Orioles will watch him closely all the way through September.
Burnett has not won in six starts, a streak he will try to snap at Camden Yards. In his previous outing, against the Rangers on Thursday, he allowed just two hits, but one of them was a big mistake -- a three-run homer to Ian Kinsler -- that saddled him with a loss. It was a step in the right direction but yielded the same result as each of his past three starts, a span in which he has gone 0-3 with a 7.11 ERA.
The Orioles haven't beaten the Yankees since May 9. ... Pettitte is tied for the second-most victories (26) against Baltimore all-time. ... The Orioles are 18-25 in series openers and 15-27 in series finales this season. ... Baltimore is 37-29 when it scores first and 17-49 when its opponent draws first blood. ... The Orioles are 43-43 when they hit at least one home run. They are 48-31 when they score four runs or more, and 6-47 when they score fewer than four. ... Baltimore is 16-32 against American League East opponents this season and 43-71 against AL opponents overall.
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Wednesday: Orioles (Jason Berken, 4-11, 6.33) vs. Yankees (CC Sabathia, 15-7, 3.56), 7:05 p.m. ET
Friday: Orioles (Chris Tillman, 1-2, 4.24) vs. Rangers (Scott Feldman, 14-4, 3.72), 7:05 p.m. ET