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BAL@ARI: Feldman fans eight over 5 1/3 vs. D-backs

Progress is a relative term.

Orioles right-hander Scott Feldman won't exactly need to toss a gem in the rubber game against the Rockies on Sunday afternoon to improve on his career 15.43 ERA -- by far his highest against any club -- in two relief appearances against Colorado. But those two outings were at hitter-friendly Coors Field, and Feldman will surely embrace the fact that this game is at Camden Yards. Though Camden Yards is no pitcher's park, either.

Feldman will be up against a Rockies offense that looked much less intimidating in Saturday's 8-4 loss than it did in Friday's 6-3 win, when four players homered.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter tried to spark his offense by bumping slugger Chris Davis to the No. 3 spot in the lineup and sliding right fielder Nick Markakis to Davis' usual place in the five-hole. The move comes as Markakis tries to break out of an offensive slump. He's hitting just .220 with six RBIs in August, and is still in search of his first extra-base hit this month.

"I'm not married to it. It just fits for us right now," Showalter said of the lineup adjustment. "I think we are far enough in the season, whether Chris is hitting ninth or first or fifth or fourth, it doesn't faze him. He's done well in all spots."

It worked in Saturday's win, when Baltimore erupted for a season-high seven runs in the third to snap a four-game slide.

The Rockies will turn to their most consistent starter, Jhoulys Chacin. Chacin is coming off one of his most dominant starts of the year, allowing one run in eight innings in a 14-2 win over the Padres on Sunday.

The right-hander has logged seven straight quality starts and is 8-3 with a 2.05 ERA since June 11, fourth-lowest in the league over that stretch.

"Jhoulys is really in a good place right now," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "He's been big for us, to have a guy that can go out there and go deeper into a game and keep anybody's lineup in check and give us a chance. He's done that about every time out."

Colorado will look for its seventh victory in nine games, and has already matched the win total of its last 10-game road trip in only two games. The Rockies were 1-9 on that trip.

Rockies: Rosario thrives as DH
It's not a role he gets to serve often, but Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario has made the most of his opportunities as a designated hitter.

Rosario mashed a two-run homer on Friday night in the role, improving to .467 with three doubles and three RBIs in four games as the Rockies' DH this year. He's filled the extra spot in the lineup in four of the club's nine Interleague road games.

The young Rockies catcher, who went 2-for-5 Saturday night, is swinging the bat as well as he has all year, hitting .335 with seven homers and 31 RBIs since June 15.

Orioles: Defense set for historic run
Davis and Co. may give Baltimore a reputation for power and production, but the club may be best remembered for its stellar defensive play.

The Orioles have committed only 36 errors in 122 games and are on pace for 48 this season, a total that would easily rank as the best in Major League history. The 2003 Mariners hold the 162-game season record with 65.

The O's would set another big league record if they hold onto their Majors-best .992 fielding percentage, besting the Rockies' 2007 mark of .989.

For context, Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is alone responsible for 24 errors -- nearly three times as many as Orioles third baseman Manny Machado -- and 14 clubs have at least twice as many errors as the Orioles.

Worth noting
Chacin is 1-3 with a 2.82 ERA in six career Interleague outings.

Michael Cuddyer is the only Rockies hitter with more than two at-bats against Feldman. He's found plenty of success -- 7-for-13 with two homers, three doubles and five RBIs.

Machado smacked his 43rd double off Rockies starter Chad Bettis on Saturday, tops in the Majors and enough for a margin of two over Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter. Comments