BALTIMORE (AP) - If the Baltimore Orioles are to remain a contender in the AL East, they're going to do it with pitching.
Although the Orioles staggered into the All-Star break with two straight shutout defeats, All-Star closer Jim Johnson says the success of the team in the second half will depend on the pitching staff. He says, "If we make the pitches, we know our offense can score us some runs."
Right fielder Nick Markakis will be back in the lineup Friday after missing five weeks with a wrist injury. He should enhance an attack that features All-Stars Adam Jones and Matt Wieters, along with newcomer Jim Thome.
Baltimore reached the midpoint with a 45-40 record. If the playoffs were to start now, the Orioles would be a wild-card team.