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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, April 27th (All times eastern)

Baltimore Orioles (14-9) at Oakland Athletics (13-11), 4:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Baltimore - Chris Tillman (0-1, 5.23) Oakland - A.J. Griffin (2-1, 4.50)

(Sports Network) - A.J. Griffin hopes to bounce back from a dreadful showing his last time out when the Oakland Athletics continue a four-game series with the Baltimore Orioles at O.co Coliseum.

Griffin had allowed two runs or less in his first three starts, but was hit hard by the Boston Red Sox on Monday for nine runs (7 earned) and eight hits in only four innings to fall to 2-1 on the year, while ballooning his ERA more than two runs to 4.50.

"I felt like I was making my pitches, and they were just being aggressive," said Griffin, who has never faced the Orioles. "I was trying to get ahead, and they were putting good swings on them. They had good approaches and stayed on the ball all night."

Baltimore relies on righty Chris Tillman on Saturday, as he takes another crack at his first win of the season. Tillman was effective on Monday against Toronto, surrendering a run in 6 2/3 innings, but did not factor in the decision of his team's 2-1 win.

"I was able to get ahead with my pitches early, and my secondary stuff was there for me," said Tillman, who is 0-1 on the year with a 5.23 ERA. "I was able to pound the strike zone early and kind of make the pitches when I needed to."

On Friday, Wei-Yin Chen was brilliant over eight scoreless innings to lead Baltimore to a 3-0 win. Steve Pearce, Nate McLouth and Nick Markakis each drove in a run for the Orioles, winners in seven of their last nine games.

Chen (2-2) scattered two hits and two walks while striking out five to earn his second straight win. Jim Johnson then stranded a runner in the ninth to pick up his AL-leading ninth save. He is now tied with Pittsburgh closer Jason Grilli for the most saves in the majors.

Tommy Milone (3-2) absorbed the loss for Oakland, despite yielding just one unearned run over 6 2/3 innings. He allowed six hits and struck out five in his second setback in as many starts.

Oakland won five of its nine meetings with the Orioles last season and has beaten them in 16 of the last 21 matchups at home. In fact the Athletics are 13-0-1 in the last 14 season series against the Orioles, dating back to the start of the 1999 season.

04/27 10:19:28 ET

TV
  • Hoops Headquarters: Final Four Special

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    Sunday at 5:00 pm on WRAL-TV

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