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Sun, Apr 14, 2013 - 8:05 PM ET
 

Orioles-Yankees Preview

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The Baltimore Orioles snapped a 14-year playoff drought last season thanks in large part to beating up on fellow AL East opponents.

That success appears to have carried into 2013.

The visiting Orioles try to win their third straight series against an East foe Sunday night as they conclude a three-game set against the New York Yankees.

After 14 consecutive losing seasons, Baltimore (6-5) came out of nowhere to win one of two wild-card spots last year. The Orioles compiled a 43-29 division record in 2012, and have already taken two of three from Tampa Bay and Boston this season.

While Baltimore dropped Friday's series opener 5-2, Nick Markakis, Ryan Flaherty and Nolan Reimold all hit solo homers as the Orioles bounced back Saturday with a 5-3 victory.

"They don't dwell on past things, good or bad," said manager Buck Showalter, whose team has won three of four on the road. "That's one of the characteristics of our club."

Also coming up big was Nate McLouth, who went 3 for 5 with a run scored. Adam Jones, batting .426, singled twice for his seventh multi-hit effort.

"We have a great lineup, one through nine. Anyone can hit the ball out of the ballpark," said Markakis, hitting .407 with four homers and 13 RBIs in his last 14 games in the Bronx. "I'd stack our lineup up against anybody's."

The Orioles will try to stay hot against Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda (1-1, 6.75 ERA), who gave up three runs, five hits and four walks over 5 1-3 innings in Monday's 11-6 win at Cleveland. The right-hander had been dealing with a bruised right middle finger but didn't appear to be hindered.

Kuroda was 1-1 with a 2.66 ERA in three starts - including one in the postseason - against the Orioles last year. J.J. Hardy went deep for his only hit in 14 career at-bats versus Kuroda, and McLouth is 4 for 20.

Baltimore counters with Wei-Yin Chen (0-1, 3.75), who's pitched well but doesn't have much to show for it. After allowing two runs over 5 2-3 innings of an 8-7 walkoff loss at Tampa Bay on April 3, Chen surrendered three runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings Monday in a 3-1 loss at Boston.

"Compared with my last outing, I feel like I'm getting better and better," Chen, who retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, told MLB's official website through interpreter Tim Lin. "But the baseball god is not with me."

Chen has been knocked around in four regular-season outings against the Yankees (5-5), going 1-2 with a 5.25 ERA. He was especially bad in an 8-5 loss Sept. 7, giving up a career worst-tying seven runs before pulled with two outs in the fifth.

The lefty, however, did limit New York to one earned run over 6 1-3 innings in a 3-2 victory Oct. 8 in the AL division series.

Chen will try to slow down Robinson Cano, who is 11 for 19 with three homers and four doubles over the last four games. With Derek Jeter still sidelined and Eduardo Nunez out after getting hit by a pitch on the wrist Friday, Cano moved over to shortstop in the top of the ninth Saturday after Brennan Boesch pinch hit for Jayson Nix. Nunez's status for Sunday is unknown.

"It was weird - the first time that I played there since 2002," Cano said. "But I know that was the situation, that I'm the only guy there. Whatever it takes to help the team, I will do."

Cano and Kevin Youkilis have both homered off Chen, going 3 for 11 and 2 for 6, respectively, against him. Ichiro Suzuki, though, is 0 for 5.

The Yankees have dropped 10 of 16 in the regular season to the Orioles, including seven of 10 at home.

Tagged: Orioles, Yankees, Robinson Cano, Hiroki Kuroda

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