Reporting from Florida

The Baltimore Sun

I just flew into Tampa, Fla., which bills itself either as the City of Champions or the Home of Champions. I raced past the sign in my rental car and thought, "They must not be referring to the Devil Rays."

You might remember the Rays: Winners of eight of their past 10 games before last night; just took a series from the New York Yankees; swept the Orioles at Camden Yards last week; moved within four games of fourth place in the American League East.

And the Orioles have to face James Shields and Scott Kazmir the first two nights.

The Orioles' Kurt Birkins made his first major league start last night. Radhames Liz makes his third tomorrow and Garrett Olson makes his seventh Thursday, when the Orioles return home.

Factor in Jeremy Guthrie tomorrow night, and it's not exactly the rotation the Orioles envisioned in spring training.

Guthrie now looks like the No. 1 starter, with 14-game loser Daniel Cabrera the No. 2. And it could stay that way with Erik Bedard sidelined indefinitely by a strained oblique.

This leads me to today's trivia question, and the answer that immediately follows: Which pitcher has the most wins in the farm system?

It's Australian left-hander Craig Anderson, with 12 combined victories at Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. In his past 11 starts with the Tides, Anderson is 6-1 with a 2.36 ERA and only 12 walks in 68 2/3 innings.

Think he has earned a look?

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