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Orioles try to even series with Athletics

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Baltimore Orioles seek revenge for a loss Friday night to the Oakland Athletics, as they battle at O.co Coliseum Saturday.

It will be the second test of a three-game set.

Baltimore will try to maintain its top spot in the American League East by sending Wei-Yin Chen out to the mound. Chen sports a 9-3 record entering the fray, along with a 4.15 earned run average.

Chen, who turns 29 on Monday, has struck out 75 batters this season and walked just 18. He's coming off two consecutive victories before the MLB went on a brief All-Star hiatus. In his most recent outing, Chen tossed 5 2/3 innings against the Nationals and gave up three runs on eight hits. He struck out six, and his Orioles managed to hold on for the 4-3 win.

Chen has been very successful against Oakland in his career, owning a 3-0 record in four starts with a 1.00 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. The Athletics are batting .167 against Chen in that four-game span.

The Athletics counter with Jason Hammel, who owns an 8-6 record on the season with a strong 3.01 ERA and 107 strikeouts. He started 17 games this season with the Chicago Cubs before heading to the A's in a trade. He's made one start with Oakland.

On July 9, Hammel made his Athletics debut against San Francisco on the road. He lasted just five innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits and struck out three. He was on the hook for the loss when he was chased, and the Giants increased their lead throughout in the 5-2 victory.

Hammel has been awful against the Orioles in his career. In eight appearances (6 starts), Hammel is 0-4 with a 6.68 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP.

The Orioles had the A's right where they wanted them Friday night, leading 4-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning. But Josh Donaldson was of the opposite opinion.

He smacked a three-run game-winning home run deep to center field to power his Athletics past the Orioles 5-4 in the first leg of the series. It was his only hit in four at-bats on the night.

"Any time I can step up to the plate with an at-bat to help our team win the game or win the game right there, I feel better about it," Donaldson said afterward.

Eric O'Flaherty picked up the win for Oakland -- his first of the season -- while Zach Britton was tagged with the loss in the save attempt.

Manny Machado sent a line drive deep to left field and over the wall in the seventh inning, which gave Baltimore a brief 4-2 lead. He and J.J. Hardy led the O's with two RBI apiece in the loss.

Oakland has won two in a row and seven straight at home. Baltimore has dropped two of its last three, but has still taken 10 of its last 14.

Baltimore still sits atop the American League East standings, while Oakland improves to 60 wins on the year and remains in first in the AL West.

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