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KC@PIT: Bedard talks about fitting in with Pirates

Pirates left-hander Erik Bedard spent the first five seasons of his career pitching before a home crowd at Camden Yards.

Since being traded from the Orioles to the Mariners before the 2008 season, Bedard has pitched against his former club five times, but only once as a visitor. He'll have another chance to throw in Baltimore wearing an away uniform on Thursday evening, hoping to halt Pittsburgh's losing streak at two games and keep the club from suffering its second sweep of the season.

This year marks the Bedard's first season in the National League. Skipper Clint Hurdle said that the southpaw has adapted well to his spot in the Pittsburgh rotation.

"Bedard has been a good fit in his own out-of-left-field kind of way," Hurdle said. "You talk about a slow heartbeat -- sometimes you have to put a mirror under this guy's nose to make sure he's breathing."

Bedard was Pittsburgh's Opening Day starter. His ERA is second best in the rotation, and his 61 strikeouts rank second on the team as well. But he also has walked 28 batters, more than any other Pirates starter.

Bedard is 1-0 in his career against the Orioles, and he's never given up more than three earned runs in any of his five appearances against them. When he visited Baltimore in 2011, he lasted into the fourth inning, giving up three earned runs while striking out six and walking three.

One of the five players the Orioles received in the Bedard trade was outfielder Adam Jones.

Jones has been a durable, significant piece of the Baltimore lineup for five seasons now, and 2012 is shaping up to be his best year yet. Jones had never hit more than 25 home runs in a season, but when Thursday's matchup with the Pirates begins, he'll already have 18 under his belt.

Jones has a .307 batting average for the season. His career average is .279. He'll be looking to power the O's to a sweep of the Pirates on Thursday, something only the Dodgers have done this season.

Pirates: Walker looks to continue hot hitting
Second baseman Neil Walker entered June with a .254 batting average. But as the weather got warmer, so, too, did Walker's bat. Despite a 1-for-10 performance in this series, Walker has a .333 average for the month, with 11 RBIs and two homers. He has raised his batting average on the season to .271.

Orioles: Hunter taking the hill
Facing Bedard on Thursday will be right-hander Tommy Hunter. Hunter faced the Pirates just once, in 2010 while with the Rangers. In that start, he got the win, pitching six innings while allowing just two earned runs. He didn't issue any walks, and struck out six.

Worth noting
• The Orioles are 7-4 this season when Hunter starts.

• Pittsburgh is 6-6 this year when Bedard gets the nod.

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