Athletics-Orioles Preview

The Baltimore Orioles’ Chris Jakubauskas said he’s physically

prepared for his next start. Manager Buck Showalter is hoping the

right-hander will be ready mentally as well.

In his first major league start since getting hit in the head

last season, Jakubauskas will try to help the Orioles continue

their strong play at home Tuesday night against the slumping

Oakland Athletics.

Currently using a four-man rotation, Baltimore will need a fifth

starter twice until June 19 and will look to Jakubauskas (0-0, 6.39

ERA) to fill that role. The right-hander has made five relief

appearances this season for the Orioles (27-31) and one since being

recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on May 30.

He was 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA in five minor league starts this

season but hasn’t made one in the majors since April 24, 2010, with

Pittsburgh. He didn’t make it past the first inning of that game in

Houston.

Lance Berkman’s two-out line drive ricocheted off the side of

his head, and Jakubauskas missed the rest of the season with a

concussion. He insists that he’s put the incident behind him.

“Obviously there’s going to be a bunch made out of what I did in

my last start in the big leagues, but I’m ready to go,” Jakubauskas

told the team’s website. “I like starting, so it will be good to

get back out there and start a game.”

Baltimore will try to win back-to-back games for the first time

since its season-high five straight wins May 21-26. The Orioles

will also attempt to improve to 8-2 in their last 10 at Camden

Yards, and they’re hoping Jakubauskas can help them pull off both

feats.

“(An incident like that is) always in the back of your mind,”

Showalter told the team’s website. “Nobody takes that completely

out, but we haven’t seen any signs of it being one of the

challenges that pitchers face pitching.”

Baltimore scored all of its runs in the first two innings en

route to Monday’s 4-2 victory. The win was only the Orioles’ fifth

in 25 games against the A’s, who are a season-worst seven games

below .500.

Oakland (27-34) has dropped 14 of 19 and seven in a row – one

shy of its longest skid in one season. The A’s dropped 10 straight

July 28-Aug. 7, 2008.

“Each (game) it’s something different,” manager Bob Geren said

of the slide. “The majority were well-pitched games. Tonight we got

two runs. It’s a combination – we haven’t played well the past

week, the total package. We have to play better.”

The A’s are also one loss shy of matching their longest road

losing streak this season, and Guillermo Moscoso (2-1, 3.21) will

try to help prevent that in his third major league start.

The right-hander, who made two relief appearances this past

weekend in Boston, was 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA in two starts last

month. One of those wins was a 6-4 victory against Baltimore on May

29, and Moscoso gave up four runs over five innings in that

game.

Jakubauskas was 0-1 with a 9.39 ERA in two starts against

Oakland during his 2009 rookie season with Seattle.