The Orioles and Chicago White Sox will square off tonight at Camden Yards in the opener of their three-game midweek series. First pitch is scheduled to be thrown at 7:05PM.
The O’s come back home losers of their last five straight, leaving them with an overall record of 6-7, and marking the first time they’ve been under .500 this season. The series ending loss in Texas and a four-game sweep by the Red Sox at Fenway have left them returning to Baltimore truly in critical condition.
During the 6-game road trip, 3B Melvin Mora and utility-man Ryan Freel were sent to the 15-day disabled list and CF Adam Jones missed the last two games with a sore hamstring.
However, the most painful performances have come from the Oriole pitching staff, who have allowed 49 runs during the five game losing skid.
Though it should be noted, fans in Baltimore certainly do have something to look forward to tonight at OPACY.
Brad Bergesen, the organization’s reigning Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year, has been promoted from Triple-A Norfolk and will make his Major League debut as the Orioles starting pitcher tonight. He is the first to throw in the big leagues this season of the new generation of pitchers including Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz, and Chris Tillman, who the front office hopes will be the saviors of baseball in Baltimore.
Bergesen will start in the place of Alfredo Simon, who looks like he will miss a significant amount of time with an elbow injury. In a pair of quality starts for the Tides, Bergesen went 1-1 with a solid 2.45 ERA, while last year at Double-A Bowie he went 15-6 with a 3.22 ERA. The scouting report is that he’ll be more of a finesse-type guy who works quickly and changes speeds effectively to keep opposing hitters off-balance. Maybe of most importance, this season in Triple-A hitters batting with runners in scoring position against Bergesen have gone just 1 for 15.
The White Sox (7-5) will oppose by sending out the hard throwing veteran right-hander Jose Contreras to the mound. He has gotten off to a slow start in the ’09 season, going 0-2 with a 6.97 ERA in his first two outings. In his career Contreras has had mixed results facing the Orioles, last season he was 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA but is just 5-4 with an ERA over 4.60.
Here are tonight’s starting lineups Dave Trembley and Ozzie Guillen handed to the umpires:
Brian Roberts – 2B
* Lou Montanez – LF
Nick Markakis – RF
Aubrey Huff – 1B
Ty Wigginton – 3B
Luke Scott – DH
Gregg Zaun – C
* Felix Pie – CF
Cesar Izturis – SS
* There was a change to the Orioles original lineup. Adam Jones has been scratched after still feeling soreness in his hamstring in batting practice. Felix Pie will move from Left to Center, staying in the #8 slot. Newly re-called Lou Montanez will get the start in Left and bat second.
Getz – 2B
Fields – 3B
Quentin – LF
Thome – DH
Dye – RF
Konerko – 1B
Pierzynski – C
Ramirez – SS
Anderson – CF