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After dropping three out of four games to the Toledo Mud Hens, the Norfolk Tides will now hit the road for four games against the Charlotte Knights. The Tides swept a four-game series against the Knights at Harbor Park from Aug. 15-18.

The Bowie Baysox hope to continue playing well on the road and the Aberdeen IronBirds are looking for the sweep in the final game of their series against the Tri-City ValleyCats. The Frederick Keys and Delmarva Shorebirds need to win in order to keep alive their slim playoff aspirations.

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I'll be at the game in Aberdeen, so look for some detailed observations about the game later tonight on O's on Deck.

Norfolk Tides (AAA)

Opponent

Charlotte Knights

Pitchers

Norfolk: Brian Burres (1-0, 0.82 ERA)

Charlotte: Wes Whisler (11-9, 3.55 ERA)

Notes

* Burres has pitched well since being demoted to Norfolk by the Orioles earlier this month. The 27-year-old left-handed pitcher tossed five scoreless innings as a reliever before starting for the Tides on Aug. 17 against Charlotte at Harbor Park. He allowed one run and three hits in six innings during that start.

* Today is the 18th game between the Tides and Knights in 2008. Charlotte currently leads the season series, 10-7, but Norfolk has won the past four games in the series. The Knights won eight straight games against the Tides earlier this season.

* Jon Leicester has allowed only one earned run in 15 innings pitched in August. He has 19 strikeouts in eight outings this month.

* Outfielder Jeff Fiorentino is hitting .358 with nine RBIs in August. Closer Jim Miller is tied for the lead in the International League with seven saves this month.

Bowie Baysox (AA)

Opponent

Binghamton Mets

Pitchers

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Bowie: Brad Bergesen (15-4, 3.00 ERA)

Binghamton: Dillon Gee (1-0, 1.38 ERA)

Notes

* Bergesen is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in one start against Binghamton so far this season. He pitched well against the Mets in his last start on Aug. 17, allowing two runs and four hits in six innings, but suffered his fourth loss of the season.

* After clinching a playoff berth with last night's victory, the Baysox will turn their attention to earning home-field advantage for the first round of the Eastern League playoffs. They currently lead the Akron Aeros by four games in the Southern Division.

* The Baysox have won four straight and 12 out of their past 15 games. They have also won 11 consecutive games away from Prince George's Stadium.

Frederick Keys (A)

Opponent

Salem Avalanche

Pitchers

Frederick: Tim Bascom (5-5, 6.15 ERA)

Salem: Sergio Severino (1-5, 7.56 ERA)

Notes

* Bascom is coming off his best start of the 2008 season. The 2007 fourth-round draft pick struck out a season-high eight hitters in six innings pitched on Aug. 17 against the Kinston Indians. He allowed one run and three hits in the game.

* Relief pitcher Brian Parker and catcher Brian Valichka have both been promoted from Delmarva to the Keys. In a related note, center fielder Danny Figueroa was placed on the disabled list with strained ligaments in his hand. Parker was 7-5 with a 3.65 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings pitched for the Shorebirds. Valichka hit .278 with one home run and 12 RBIs in 29 games.

* Frederick's hopes of playing in the postseason have almost completely faded. After last night's loss to Salem, the Keys trail the Wilmington Blue Rocks by five games for the final playoff spot. The Keys only have nine games remaining in the regular season.

Delmarva Shorebirds (A)

Opponent

Hagerstown Suns

Pitchers

Delmarva: Chris Salberg (1-3, 3.63 ERA)

Hagerstown: Osvaldo Rodriguez (0-1, 1.50 ERA)

Notes

* Salberg was 3-1 with a 2.17 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 29 innings for Aberdeen before being promoted to Delmarva. He is 1-3 with a 3.63 ERA in eight starts at Delmarva. The 24-year-old left-hander has 37 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings pitched for the Shorebirds.

* Although they beat Hagerstown last night, 6-1, the Shorebirds remained five games behind the first-place West Virginia Power with 11 games left in the season. The Shorebirds are 12-7 in August.

Aberdeen IronBirds (A)

Opponent

Tri-City ValleyCats

Pitchers

Aberdeen: Cole McCurry (7-1, 2.47 ERA)

Tri-City: Shane Wolf (1-2, 3.96 ERA)

Notes

* McCurry won six consecutive starts in July, but he is 0-1 in his past three games. He's allowed eight runs (seven earned) and 15 hits in 16 innings pitched during that span.

* First baseman Paul Chmiel is currently riding a five-game hitting streak. He was 2-for-3 in last night's game. During the stretch, Chmiel is 7-for-16 with three doubles and three RBIs.

* Third baseman Tyler Kolodny and center fielder Calvin Lester both tripled in last night's game. It was the third time this season that the IronBirds recorded more than one triple in a game.

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