Both clubs remain hot. Both have won two of their last three series, and the pitching matchup for Saturday's contest at Camden Yards features two arms coming off strong outings.
Baltimore lefty Wei-Yin Chen and A's righty Tyson Ross tossed 6 1/3 innings and 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball, respectively, in their most recent outings -- both on Sunday and both in games their teams won.
"I feel like I'm kind of picking up where I left off last year, before [a left oblique] injury," Ross said. "The deeper I go into games, the more confidence I get, and if I stop walking as many guys and pitch a little smarter, hopefully I'll be pitching complete games here at some point."
Ross (1-0, 2.13 ERA) is making just his third start of the season, because the A's did not need a fifth starter until the middle of April. Chen, who is from Taiwan, is making just his fourth career big league appearance.
With 15 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings and no more than two runs allowed in any of his outings, Chen hasn't had any trouble breaking in.
Chen held the Angels' Nos. 2-5 batters hitless -- with two strikeouts of Albert Pujols -- in a no-decision last Sunday, which Baltimore eventually won 3-2.
"He got us deep in the ballgame and was able to get those big outs," O's closer Jim Johnson said. "He battled all day, and I think he has gotten better every time out since we first saw him. So we're really excited for him."
"We are still learning about him," manager Buck Showalter said of the 26-year-old Chen, who was signed to a three-year deal this winter out of Japan. "Quite frankly, he didn't get the benefit of a lot of borderline calls like [Angels starter Dan] Haren, but he was able to work through that. He was the difference."
For Oakland, Saturday is the second game of a nine-game road trip. The Orioles are wrapping a six-game homestand, with one more game to go Sunday.
A's: Crisp returns from ear infection
Battling an ear infection, A's outfielder Coco Crisp went 1-for-3 with a double, walk, run scored, stolen base and a strikeout on Friday.
Crisp missed seven of the previous eight games, and Triple-A Sacramento outfielder Michael Taylor was in Baltimore in case Crisp needed to be placed on the disabled list.
Crisp told manager Bob Melvin on Friday he felt better. Taylor will likely re-join the Triple-A club Saturday.
"I think the three days off really helped him and he came in today and said he was good to go, and that was all I needed to hear," Melvin said.
Orioles: Johnson, Andino return Friday
Orioles closer Jim Johnson was back with the club Friday after spending four days at an area hospital because of food poisoning. He left Saint Agnes Hospital Friday morning.
"They said I got food poisoning," Johnson said. "I just had some bad food. They were able to narrow it down and treat it."
Second baseman Robert Andino returned after spending three days in Miami for the birth of his third child. Andino's wife, Renee, delivered a baby girl named Amarise Hazel on Wednesday -- Andino's 28th birthday.
The Orioles will honor Hall of Famer Frank Robinson with the unveiling of a statue in the bullpen picnic area before Saturday's game. It's the first of six statues to be unveiled this season. Expected to join Robinson for the ceremony are fellow Orioles Hall of Famers Earl Weaver, Jim Palmer and Eddie Murray, each of whom will be honored with their own statue unveiling later this season
A's outfielder Josh Reddick homered on Friday. Six of his 13 career home runs have come against Baltimore. He's hitting .441 in 12 games at Camden Yards.