CHICAGO -- When it all started four months ago, this was to be the time of the year for the Orioles to make a move.
With 18 of the next 24 games at home in the final year of Memorial Stadium's baseball existence, "a season to remember" should be peaking. August is the busiest month on the home schedule -- but that isn't necessarily good news. A 16-31 record at home constitutes a major portion of the Orioles' problems this year.
For the next four nights, the Orioles and Milwaukee Brewers will be dueling for the not-so-prestigious spot of fifth place in the American League East standings. As matters now stand, the Brewers own a half-game advantage, meaning the home team needs three wins to move up a notch.
In the first go-around between the two teams the Orioles were 2-4, dropping two out of three both here and in Milwaukee.
Once the Brewers leave town, the Orioles have to content themselves with attempting to play a spoiler role for the rest of the homestand as the Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers play their final series at Memorial Stadium.
In the first of the four games against the Brewers tonight, Roy Smith (5-3, 5.05) faces Don August (8-5, 4.83). Dave Johnson (1-3, 8.07) makes his second start since coming off the disabled list tomorrow night, facing Jim Hunter (0-4, 6.51).
Ben McDonald (5-5, 5.31) and Bob Milacki (7-5, 4.20) will pitch the last two games for the Orioles. The Brewers will counter with Jaime Navarro (8-9, 4.17) and Bill Wegman (6-6, 3.46).
All four games will begin at 7:35 and be on HTS.