Orioles shoot for quick sweep of Pirates

The Baltimore Orioles aim to stay atop the AL East standings when they shoot for a quick two-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday at PNC Park.

The Orioles pounded the Pirates, 9-2, in Tuesday's series opener behind the power of first baseman Chris Davis, who clubbed three home runs and finished with four hits, four runs scored and five RBI.


"Sunday against Kansas City I had some good pitches to hit and I rolled over everything," said Davis. "I was really frustrated so I got here early today and worked on some stuff in early BP, and sometimes it just clicks for you. Today was one of those days."

Nelson Cruz also homered for the Orioles, who have won three of five games after losing four in a row and sit a half-game ahead of both the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays for division supremacy.

Orioles starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez allowed two runs over six innings for the win and struck out seven with no walks.

After this series in the Steel City, Baltimore will return to Camden Yards for a four-game weekend set with the Cleveland Indians.


Taking the mound for the Orioles Wednesday will be Chris Tillman. Tillman won his last start at Kansas City on Friday, as he went the distance in a 4-0 win and allowed five hits with three walks and one walk.

Tillman, who has a 4-0 mark on the road, is 4-2 with a 3.34 earned run average in nine starts and has faced Pittsburgh just once in his career.

The Pirates have lost six of eight games and Francisco Liriano was dealt the loss on Tuesday, allowing six runs and nine hits in five innings to fall to 0-4 on the season.

"I was leaving too many pitches in the middle of the plate," said Liriano. "Missing my spots a lot."

Ike Davis homered and Andrew McCutchen had two hits and an RBI for Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh, which is scheduled to host Washington for a four-game set next, will hand the ball to Wandy Rodriguez on Wednesday. Rodriguez was bothered by a balky knee and pitched in last Thursday's 4-3 loss at Milwaukee, allowing two runs in five innings.

Rodriguez was back on the hill for the first time since April 19 and has an 0-2 record in five starts with a 6.84 ERA. The lefty lost his only career start against Baltimore as a member of the Houston Astros on June 15, 2005 in a 5-1 setback at Camden Yards. He gave up four runs in six innings and is 9-12 in 25 interleague starts.



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