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Tillman to get first start at Yankee Stadium

Tillman to face Yankees for first time

BOSTON -- Yankee Stadium can be an intimidating venue for even the most seasoned visiting pitchers.

The question for the Orioles, then, is how to prepare two young pitchers who have never faced the Yankees and never set foot on the mound in Yankee Stadium to face the Bronx Bombers on their home turf?

Right-hander Chris Tillman and lefty Brian Matusz will get their first shots at Yankee Stadium on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

"I don't think there's any way to prepare for it," said Orioles manager Dave Trembley. "I think the new Yankee Stadium is different than the old Yankee Stadium. I think the old Yankee Stadium, to be honest with you, was much more intimidating than the new one, just from the standpoint of the noise level, and it was more on top of the field. I think what the new Yankee Stadium does for young pitchers is you can get that thing in your head about that short little porch out in right field and the wind tunnel going out that way. It might cause you to alter the way you pitch.

"But I don't think there's really any way to prepare for it. Just like there's really no way to prepare for coming [into Fenway Park] and pitching as a first-year guy until you experience it. It's different. I think you'll find out if you're up for the task real quick or not. I know both guys, Tillman and Matusz, are excited. I told Tillman and Matusz both, 'Make sure you give [yourselves] a treat, and the day you don't pitch, walk out to center field and check the monuments out because of the history that exists there.'

"But [the Yankees have] got arguably the best offensive lineup in the big leagues. So we're confident that our young guys will be able to compete, do the best they can. They'll be challenged. They'll be challenged, to say the least."

Tillman is looking forward to that challenge, and his debut in the Stadium.

"I think it's going to be a neat experience," Tillman said. "It would have been nice to play in that old stadium, too. But I think it's going to be great to play in the new one. The history behind the Yankees and their fans being loud, I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I'm anxious to see what it's going to be like."

He knows it can be an intimidating place.

"I try not to [think about that]," he said. "I try to keep my head, and try and focus on what I got to do -- go out there and pitch my game and not buy into all that other stuff. I've been working hard in between starts, so that's all I'm worried about."

Tillman also knows it is likely to be an emotional game, on the eighth anniversary of Sept. 11.

"I've thought about that a little bit," he said. "It's something special, especially for New York and the people there. It's going to be [an important] night. I've heard there's going to be ceremonies before the game. I'm anxious to see how it's going to go."

Pitching matchup
BAL: RHP Chris Tillman (1-3, 4.66 ERA)
Tillman had six days off before his last start and will have seven days off before this one, a function of Baltimore having three off-days in the first two weeks of September. The Orioles have said that they will shut down Tillman early to keep him from running up too many innings, and he may only have two starts left. The rookie has completed six innings in five of his first eight big league starts.

NYY: LHP Andy Pettitte (13-6, 4.10 ERA)
Pettitte allowed four earned runs on four hits and five walks over six innings against Toronto on Saturday as the offense lifted him to his fourth straight win and 13th of the season. The veteran lefty is quietly putting together a solid year for the Yankees and hasn't lost since July 25. Pettitte would love nothing more than a repeat appearance against the Orioles after he took a perfect game into the eighth inning and exited after giving up a run on two hits. He has a 26-6 career record with a 3.56 ERA in 39 games against Baltimore.

Tidbits
Nick Markakis has a 15-game hit streak against Boston this season, batting .373 (22-for-59) with two home runs and 16 RBIs. It is the longest single-season hitting streak against the Sox since Jim Landis' 15-gamer from May 25-July 27, 1958. It is the longest overall streak by an O's hitter against the Sox since a 21-game streak by Cal Ripken Jr. from June 17, 1990-Sept. 18, 1991. ... Brian Roberts collected his 50th double of the season in the fifth inning. He is the fourth player in Major League history to record three seasons of 50 or more doubles. Tris Speaker did so five times, and Paul Waner and Stan Musial did so three times each. It is Roberts' second consecutive 50-double season, with 51 in 2008. He joins Craig Biggio (1998-99) and Billy Herman (1935-36) as the only second basemen in Major League history to record 50 or more doubles in back-to-back seasons. ... Jason Berken posted his fourth consecutive start of three earned runs on fewer Wednesday. In that stretch, he is 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA (eight earned runs, 21 1/3 innings). He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in six of his past seven starts, going 3-2 with a 4.50 ERA (19 earned runs, 38 innings). He has pitched 108 innings in his 20 starts this season and retired the side in order in 23 of those innings. ... Wednesday's loss dropped the O's to 2-13 against the Sox this season, and 7-31 in their past 38 games in Boston. The O's have been outscored, 59-28, at Fenway Park this season.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• MASN HD

On radio
• 105.7 The Fan

Up next
• Saturday: Orioles (Brian Matusz, 4-2, 5.26) at Yankees (A.J. Burnett, 11-8, 4.19), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie, 10-13, 4.96) at Yankees (CC Sabathia, 16-7, 3.40), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Monday: Orioles (David Hernandez, 4-7, 5.05) vs. Rays (David Price, 7-7, 4.65), 7:05 p.m. ET

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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