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The powerful New York Yankees wouldn't figure to have much trouble with soft-tossing left-hander Brian Burres.
Their results against him prove otherwise.
Burres looks to shut down the Yankees for the second time in less than a week when the Baltimore Orioles continue a three-game series against their AL East rivals at Camden Yards.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made New York -116 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 62% of bets for this game have been placed on New York -116 (View MLB Bet Percentages).
After earning the fifth spot in the rotation with a strong spring, Burres (4-4, 3.16 ERA) has been one of Baltimore's most consistent starters. He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in seven of his nine starts while lasting at least six innings six times.
The left-hander has been at his best in two outings against the Yankees (25-26), going 1-0 while limiting them to one run and 11 hits over 13 1-3 innings.
Burres was outstanding in Baltimore's 2-1 loss at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, yielding one run and six hits in 7 2-3 innings while walking none and striking out five before leaving without a decision.
"That's probably as good as I've seen him pitch, and I've seen him pitch a lot," Orioles manager Dave Trembley told the team's official Web site. "He had a lot of guys swinging and missing over the top of his ball."
Only once in five starts have the Yankees hit Burres hard, reaching him for six runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings on Sept. 30 in a 10-4 victory. In his four other starts against them, Burres has surrendered only four runs in 27 innings.
Yankees right fielder Hideki Matsui has had the most success against Burres, going 4-for-11 with a home run.
Another young left-hander was able to shut down the Yankees in Monday's series opener, as Garrett Olson pitched seven innings of three-hit ball in a 6-1 victory.
Nick Markakis went 3-for-4 with a go-ahead home run, and Aubrey Huff also homered for the Orioles (25-25), who snapped a five-game skid that began with an 8-0 loss at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.
Markakis also came up with the game's key defensive play, a throw from right field that cut down Johnny Damon at home in the third inning.
"It always feels good to hit the ball out of the park, but it's not all about hitting,'' Markakis said. "You've got to play defense, too, and good teams play good defense.''
The Orioles improved to 15-7 at home - 3-1 against the Yankees.
Olson cooled off the Yankees, who had scored 41 runs during their season-high five-game win streak.
"It happens,'' New York manager Joe Girardi said. "They're not going to be perfect every time. There are good days and days that aren't your day. It's one game and you move on.''
In desperate need of a good outing, Ian Kennedy (0-3, 7.27) delivered just that Thursday against the Orioles. He allowed one run and four hits in six innings while walking four and striking out four before leaving without a decision.
The second-year right-hander had surrendered four runs or more in three of his previous four starts, going 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA in that span. Included in that stretch was a 6-0 loss at Baltimore on April 19 during which he gave up four runs in 2 2-3 innings.
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