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05/19/10 1:04 AM ET

O's trying to avoid the jinx while in Texas

In an effort to keep the mood light, Baltimore manager Dave Trembley is trying to accentuate the positive by not eliminating the negative.

The manager kidded that he's hesitant to praise a player who's done well for fear of creating a self-fulfilling negative prophecy.

"I'm a little reluctant to talk about anybody who's been doing anything rather well, because it seems like every time I talk about somebody doing something well, it goes south," Trembley joked.

The Orioles and the Rangers square off for two games in Arlington starting Wednesday. Baltimore will send Jeremy Guthrie to the mound in the series opener. Texas will counter with Rich Harden.

Here's why Trembley fears the jinx: He recently praised Ty Wigginton as the team's best hitter, and Wigginton responded by striking out with the tying and winning runs on second base Monday night. The manager praised rookie closer Alfredo Simon as a feel-good story over the weekend and the right-hander went out and blew his first save.

  When it was jokingly suggested that reporters should just stick to negative topics, Trembley smiled.

"You can be a little negative if we're going to win some games," he said. "I'll take it. I'm sure they would as well."

Harden is probably also looking for a new approach. He allowed seven runs in 2 2/3 innings in his last start against the Blue Jays on Friday in Toronto. He walked six, giving him 31 walks in 38 1/3 innings. Harden was 2-0 with a 2.82 ERA in his previous four starts.

"He needs to throw strikes," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's got a chance to redeem himself."

Harden is 1-0 with a 3.79 ERA in four starts at home this season. Right-handers are hitting .203 off him, while left-handers are hitting .256. He has a 0.69 ERA without a decision in two career starts against Baltimore.

As for Guthrie, he allowed a two-out, first-inning hit against Cleveland, but recovered quickly to retire 16 straight at one point, and he exited after tossing eight innings of one-run baseball in his best start this season. He is 3-0 in seven games (five starts) against Texas, sporting a 3.48 ERA over 33 2/3 innings.

Baltimore: Hernandez on track
Orioles right-hander David Hernandez will make his next scheduled start Friday. He had been experiencing a pinching sensation in his right shoulder for the past two weeks and was skipped for his scheduled outing Sunday.

Rangers: Bullpen on a roll
Texas relievers combined to toss 8 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in two games against the Angels and are riding a 10 2/3 scoreless-innings streak during the last three games. During the last 17 contests, the bullpen has allowed one run or less 13 times, including 10 scoreless efforts. ... Michael Young is hitting .361 (26-for-72) during his last 18 games with nine multihit games to raise his batting average from .247 to .298.

Worth Noting
Rangers designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero is the 32nd player in Major League history to hit a home run against all 30 teams. The slugger also has 415 home runs in his career, ranking him 42nd all-time. He has hit safely in 15 of his last 16 starts and is tied with Young for the team lead with 16 multihit games.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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