Thursday, June 30, 2016

O's eye June HR history in opener vs. Mariners

The red-hot Orioles -- who have 55 homers this month and are one shy of setting a new Major League record for most in June -- will take their enviable lineup to Safeco Field for a four-game series against the Mariners that opens on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. PT.
Seattle will face a familiar foe in the opener in former Mariners prospect Chris Tillman. In 2008, Tillman, along with teammate Adam Jones and three other players, was sent to Baltimore in exchange for left-hander Erik Bedard. The right-hander (10-1, 3.52 ERA) is enjoying an excellent season for the first-place Orioles, who enter the series 5 1/2 games ahead in the American League East.
Tillman will square off against Mariners right-hander Taijuan Walker. The 23-year-old has enjoyed much more success at home than on the road this season. In eight starts at Safeco Field this year, he has a 2.92 ERA.
Things To Know About This Game
• Walker missed his last scheduled start due to tendinitis in his right foot. The right-hander has a 3.45 ERA in 14 starts on the year and is 0-1 with a 5.52 ERA in three career starts against the Orioles.
• Baltimore is expected to bolster its bullpen by activating right-hander Vance Worley from the disabled list prior to the opener. Catcher Caleb Joseph could also rejoin the team.
• Seattle's offense has been led by former O's slugger Nelson Cruz, who hit his 20th homer on Tuesday. Cruz is among the league leaders in dingers, with Baltimore's Mark Trumbo (23) currently on top.

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