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Orioles on deck: What to watch Tuesday vs. Athletics

Josh Land
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

Orioles (61-64) vs. Athletics (54-71)

Where: Camden Yards

First pitch: 7:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: MASN/105.7 The Fan

Starting pitchers: Orioles RHP Ubaldo Jiménez (5-8, 6.47 ERA) vs. Athletics RHP Paul Blackburn (3-1, 3.46)

What to watch

1. Powerful August. If it feels like the Orioles’ power has made a resurgence this month, it’s because it has. They enter Tuesday with a major league-leading 37 homers in August, and are on pace for their most in any month this season, averaging nearly two per game. The Orioles’ four-homer performance Monday was their fifth with at least that many in the past 15 games. Although it might seem like the club is spinning its wheels in the playoff race, the power increase has helped it go 10-10 this month after finishing with losing records in May, June and July.

2. Mr. Jones. Yes, Adam Jones hit two homers Monday to put him on pace for 30 this season. But his 4-for-4 showing in the series opener is perhaps more indicative of what he’s been providing this month. Jones’ .342 average and .983 OPS in August are by far his best of any month this season. Can he stay hot against the A’s?

3. Which Ubaldo will stand up. Ubaldo Jiménez put together a run of four straight solid starts before regressing to allow six runs in 4 1/3 innings last Wednesday. Jiménez had a 2.63 ERA over his four prior outings. Tonight’s start will go a long way toward indicating whether Jiménez’s second-half turnaround is for real or coming to a close.

Orioles lineup

SS Tim Beckham

3B Manny Machado

2B Jonathan Schoop

CF Adam Jones

LF Trey Mancini

DH Mark Trumbo

1B Chris Davis

C Caleb Joseph

RF Seth Smith

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