The Yankees have lost five of six so far on the trip, with three of those losses coming in their opponents' last at-bat and four of them coming by one run. On Wednesday, they fell a half-game back of the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East after falling 4-3 to their division rivals in the rubber match of a three-game set at Tropicana Field.
"We have to get better situational hitting, get some timely hitting," Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez said. "A hit here, a hit there, we could have won three out of five instead of losing four out of five or whatever."
Hoping to get New York back on track tonight will be inconsistent right-hander A.J. Burnett, who has just one win in his last eight starts. Burnett did not get a decision on Saturday in Texas, but allowed two runs and four hits with three walks and had to leave after just four innings because of a rain delay in his team's 7-6 loss.
The 33-year-old right-hander, who is 10-13 with a 5.13 ERA on the year, lost to Baltimore two starts ago, but is a terrific 11-4 lifetime against the Orioles with a 4.51 ERA in 17 starts.
Burnett will be facing an Orioles team that has won nine of 11 and taken their last four series following a three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays that culminated with Wednesday's 3-1 win.
Brad Bergesen (7-10) tossed his third career complete game in that one, while Luke Scott and Corey Patterson both knocked in a run for Baltimore, which had lost its first 12 meetings with the Blue Jays this season before the sweep.
The Orioles are 26-15 under Buck Showalter and need six more wins to match last season's 64-98 record. They have also won four straight series for the first time since August of 2004.
"It's refreshing compared to our start this year," said Scott. "It was very, very rough. We've had adversity. To this team's credit, we could have just rolled over and cashed in the season, played mediocre. But I'm proud of my teammates, how our work ethic has been. We come to the ballpark prepared and ready to play every day."
Getting the call tonight, though, will be veteran right-hander Kevin Millwood, who is an awful 3-15 to go along with a 5.30 ERA on the year. Millwood did not get a decision on Friday in Detroit, as he allowed three runs (two earned) and eight hits in six innings of a 6-3 win.
Millwood lost to the Yanks the last time he faced them and is 2-6 with a 5.50 ERA in 12 career starts against New York. However, he is just 1-7 with a 5.38 ERA in 14 home starts this season.
Millwood will likely have his hands full with Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, who is one RBI shy of becoming the fourth second baseman in team history to reach 100. He is 15-for-24 at Camden Yards this year and a .370 career hitter there. Cano is also 5-for-7 against Millwood this season.
The Yankees have won 11 of their 15 meetings with the Orioles this season, including four of the six matchups in Baltimore. The O's took two of three the last time the teams squared off, though, and have won three of the last four meetings.