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Braves vs. Orioles Preview: Adam Jones, Matt Wieters Arrive In Atlanta For Interleague Series

One of baseball's biggest surprises this season lands in Atlanta for a three-game series.

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Not many predicted the Baltimore Orioles would be hanging around the AL East by the time June rolled along, but that's exactly what they've been doing. They sit just one-half of a game behind the Yankees in the standings at 37-26, good for second place in baseball's toughest division.

Adam Jones has been the story for the O's this year. He is finally becoming the player so many thought he would be coming up through the Minor Leagues, batting to the tune of .307/.352/.582 with a WAR of 3.4, good for a top-10 spot among all hitters in the game. Matt Wieters is also having a fine season with a wOBA of .331, and is arguably the best defensive backstop around right now.

Shortstop J.J. Hardy is having a solid season both in the field and at the plate. First baseman Chris Davis finally got a chance to prove himself and is repaying Baltimore with 12 homers and an OPS of .882 through two months of play. Two of the Orioles' starting outfielders, Nolan Reimold (herniated disk) and Nick Markakis (right hamate bone fracture), will both miss the series and will be out until at least the final week of June.

This O's squad doesn't have very many household names on the roster as of yet, but manager Buck Martinez has really brought the team together and they're finding ways to win. This is a club that will give the Braves fits if they continue to struggle with runners in scoring position.

Pitching Matchups & Start Times:

Friday, 7:35 p.m. ET - Tommy Hanson (7-4, 3.55 ERA, 4.19 FIP) vs. Brian Matusz (5-6, 4.82 ERA, 4.50 FIP)

Saturday, 7:15 p.m. - Brandon Beachy (5-4, 1.98 ERA, 3.56 FIP) vs. Jason Hammel (6-2, 3.22 ERA, 3.57 FIP)

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. - Randall Delgado (4-6, 4.34 ERA, 4.32 FIP) vs. Wei-Yin Chen (6-2, 3.68 ERA, 4.00 FIP)

Team Sites: Talking Chop; Camden Chat

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.