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HOU@TB: Bedard fans eight Astros over 5 1/3 innings

Tampa Bay's Erik Bedard just can't escape his old teams.

For the third consecutive start, Bedard will face a former team when he takes on the Orioles Saturday afternoon at Camden Yards.

Bedard, who pitched for the Orioles' organization from 2002-07, allowed five runs on four hits across four innings on June 17 against the Orioles. In his most recent start against former employer Houston, Bedard (3-5) lasted 5 1/3 innings and gave up just two runs while striking out eight.

In his career against the Orioles, Bedard is 1-2 with a 6.30 ERA and 1.63 WHIP in seven starts. Although he has solid numbers at Camden Yards (20 wins and a 3.72 ERA in 58 starts), Bedard said pitching in Baltimore can be difficult.

"If [the wind] blows out, it's tough," Bedard said. If you're a fly-ball pitcher, it's kind of hard."

After six shutout innings against Seattle on June 6 brought his ERA down to 3.61, Bedard has gone 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA, .328 BAA and 1.73 WHIP in his last three starts.

Bedard has struggled to get deep into games in the last two seasons, pitching at least seven innings just three times in that span. This year, he has only three quality starts in 13 tries.

Wei-Yin Chen (7-2) will take the mound for the Orioles after earning a no-decision on Monday against the White Sox, when he allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings.

He will try to set a new career high by winning his fifth straight decision. He has not lost a game since May 3 at Minnesota.

In his last four starts, he is 1-0 with a 2.81 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. He has only walked seven batters in his last 10 starts while striking out 40.

Dating back to last season, Chen has lasted at least five innings in 16 straight starts.

Rays: Escobar to return Saturday?
Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar was out of the lineup for both games of Friday's doubleheader, but could return to the fold as early as Saturday.

Escobar hasn't played since Tuesday, when he left the game early after injuring his shoulder on a throw to first base. He was available as a pinch-hitter on Friday night, but was not used.

Manager Joe Maddon said he did not anticipate a disabled list stint for the shortstop.

Orioles: Baltimore showing patience with Machado's appeal
The Orioles are still waiting to hear the decision on Manny Machado's appeal, which was heard on Wednesday in New York.

Machado was suspended for five games in a bat-throwing incident against Oakland earlier this month. Manager Buck Showalter said after Friday's doubleheader that they were waiting to hear the decision and hoping to be ready.

"We're prepared if it happens [Saturday]," he said. "We can do a couple things if we have to."

Machado got two of the team's three hits in the 5-2 loss Friday afternoon, but the Orioles will be more concerned about losing his stellar defense at third base when he's gone. He won a Gold Glove there last year and many consider him the top fielding third baseman in the Majors already.

Worth noting
• Before Friday's three-run games, the six previous games between the Rays and Orioles were decided by two runs or less.

• With a win on Saturday, Baltimore will tie a season high by being six games above .500. It was 20-14 on May 10. Comments