The Baltimore Orioles have won seven straight starts by Chris Tillman.
Adding Brian Roberts back to their lineup can only enhance their chances of making it eight in a row.
Tillman will be on the mound and Roberts will play for the first time since the season's first week when the Orioles try for their first three-game sweep of the New York Yankees in over eight years Sunday night at home.
Tillman (9-2, 3.72 ERA) improved to 6-0 with a 3.98 ERA over his last seven outings as he allowed three runs over seven innings in Tuesday's 6-3 victory over Cleveland to capture his fifth straight start. He's bidding to become the first Oriole to win six games in a month since Rodrigo Lopez in July 2002.
The right-hander has matched his career-high win total from last season. He hasn't faced the Yankees this year, and is 2-3 in seven starts against them with an 8.16 ERA - his second-worst against any AL opponent.
Robinson Cano is 8 for 16 against Tillman while Ichiro Suzuki is 1 for 10.
Tillman and the Orioles will be boosted by the return of Roberts, out since April 4 with an injured hamstring. Roberts went 3 for 13 in a rehab assignment at Triple-A Norfolk that ended Friday.
Baltimore (46-36) will seek its first three-game sweep of New York (42-38) since April 15-17, 2005. The reeling Yankees will try to avoid their second five-game slide.
"They're a tough opponent and we get a chance to see them a bunch during the season, but we have a chance to go for the sweep,' Orioles slugger Chris Davis said. "It would be huge for us."
Davis continued his season-long success versus New York with two homers and five RBIs in Saturday's 11-3 rout. He's the first in the majors to reach 30 homers and is 11 for 28 with four home runs against the Yankees in 2013.
Davis' 30 homers are the most in franchise history by the end of June.
"We made two mistakes with two curveballs tonight," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We left them up in the zone and he hit them both out. He's not hitting 1.000, but I will say he is having a tremendous year. You have to make your pitches."
Cano is 5 for 9 in this series, but he's gone 11 straight games without an extra-base hit. The Yankees have lost 12 of 17 and are now closer to last place in the AL East than to the second-place Orioles.
"You just have to keep fighting,' Cano said. "Hopefully, sooner or later, we'll turn it around and start winning games so we can get closer."
The Yankees are 6 for 26 with runners in scoring position in this series and have lost four straight games at Camden Yards for the first time in the park's 22-year history.
New York has totaled 16 runs over its last six games and starter Hiroki Kuroda (7-5, 2.77) could feel some pressure to keep Baltimore off the scoreboard Sunday due to those offensive woes.
Davis is 4 for 12 with a homer against Kuroda, Adam Jones is 5 for 12 and Nick Markakis 5 for 13. Roberts has never faced the right-hander, who is limiting hitters to a .227 average although New York has dropped his last four road outings.
The Associated Press News Service
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