- Tommy Hanson’s second big-league outing will come against the Orioles in Baltimore. He started off in fine fashion against the Brewers five days ago, only to end up allowing three homers and seven runs in six innings. This could be a tougher assignment, as the Orioles lead baseball with a .294 average at home and are tied for fourth with 39 homers. The Orioles are set to start Jason Berken, who was picked over David Hernandez to remain in the rotation with Koji Uehara back. Berken is 1-2 with a 7.04 ERA in three starts.
- My hopes of seeing Lance Berkman reach 300 homers, 1,000 RBI, 1,500 hits and 5,000 at-bats at the same time were dashed Thursday, when he reached 5,000 at-bats in his final plate appearance. He’s still at 299 homers, 994 RBI (with just one in his last seven games) and 1,499 hits. It won’t be easy to add to the totals with the Astros facing Dan Haren tonight, but maybe we’ll see Berkman get 1,500 hits and Miguel Tejada reach 2,000 (he’s at 1,999) in the same game.
- Roy Halladay, the major league leader in victories and winner of seven straight, will go for his 11th win versus the Marlins on Friday. Florida will counter with Ricky Nolasco, who was effective in his return to the majors last week. The Marlins are 14-4 against the Jays all-time, but this will be the first time they’ve faced off since 2006.
- The Subway Series kicks off with Livan Hernandez and Joba Chamberlain on the mound. Hernandez is working on a streak of four straight victories, but he hasn’t had to face any American League teams this year and he hasn’t pitched in any ballparks like new Yankee Stadium. In fact, not one of his five wins this year has come against a team currently over .500. He’s 0-3 with a 6.37 ERA in five career starts against the Bombers. Chamberlain will be making his first ever start against the Mets. He’s 3-1 with a 3.79 ERA this season.
Game of the Night
Boston vs. Philadelphia - A showdown between the teams with the second- and third-best records in baseball highlights the interleague schedule tonight. The Red Sox will begin the series with Jon Lester, who has lowered his ERA from 6.07 to 5.09 while allowing two runs in 15 innings and striking out 23 over his last two starts. He beat the Phillies last June by throwing seven scoreless innings. Phillies starter Joe Blanton is also much improved recently. He’s lowered his ERA from 7.11 to 5.46 by giving up just five runs over his last three starts. The former Athletic is 3-2 with a 3.75 ERA in eight starts against the Red Sox.