Orioles count on strong Jimenez start vs. A's

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles hope to find some more power and a solid start from Ubaldo Jimenez on Tuesday in the second game of a three-game series with Oakland Tuesday at Camden Yards.

The Orioles (61-64) banged out four homers Monday in a 7-3 victory over the A's (54-71).

Baltimore sits 3 1/2 games out of the American League's second wild-card spot with 37 games left.

"It means something to me to be playing when everyone else is at home," said Adam Jones, who hit two homers and went 4-for-4 on Monday.

Jimenez (5-8, 6.47 ERA) will start against Oakland rookie Paul Blackburn, who has pitched well since being recalled for Triple-A Nashville on July 1.

Jimenez has been inconsistent this season but has pitched better in the second half for the struggling Baltimore rotation. He is 4-1 with a 4.70 career ERA versus the A's.

Blackburn (3-1, 3.46 ERA) had a no-decision in his lone start against Baltimore where he allowed four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings in Oakland on Aug. 11.

In his subsequent start, he yielded four runs in four innings Wednesday during a no-decision against the Kansas City Royals.

Blackburn will have to contend with Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado, who won the American League Player of the Week Award on Monday.

Machado hit .385 (10 for 26) with four homers and 12 RBI last week. His biggest hit was a walk-off grand slam that gave the Orioles a 9-7 victory over the Angels on Friday night.

"It's a great accomplishment and I'm honored, but I've got to keep swinging the bat and keep playing well," said Machado, who went 0-for-5 on Monday.

Orioles reliever Miguel Castro should return to Baltimore on Tuesday but cannot come off of the bereavement list until Wednesday. Castro has been a big plus for the team in middle and long relief.

J.J. Hardy (broken wrist, 60-day disabled list) started rehab work Monday with Triple-A Norfolk, going 0-for-3 while playing shortstop.

A's manager Bob Melvin said that catcher Bruce Maxwell should start on Tuesday against Jimenez after being held out Sunday and Monday.

Maxwell took a ball off his mask Saturday and sat out Sunday. Melvin did not start him again on Monday, but the catcher pinch-hit in the seventh and remained in, going 0-for-2.

The skipper said the left-handed-hitting Maxwell slept about 11 hours Sunday night and felt much better, but because left-hander Wade Miley was starting on Monday, Maxwell didn't get the start.

Melvin also said that the team would not skip anyone in the rotation with five off days coming in the final six weeks of the season.

At least one member of the A's should have some fun on Tuesday. Oakland outfielder Boog Powell is going to meet Orioles legend Boog Powell. The younger Powell will head to the barbecue stand that the former Oriole runs at Camden Yards.

"That will be cool," said Melvin, a former Oriole himself. "Talk about your legends, especially here. He is one of the most popular players in Baltimore Oriole history. It probably makes some sense (that they meet)."

The younger Powell now can talk with the Baltimore legend about home runs as he hit his first in the majors on Monday, a solo shot in the eighth inning off Brad Brach.
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