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Could Orioles have pitching surplus?

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Could Orioles have pitching surplus?

At MASN’s website, Orioles blogger Steve Melewski asks a question that would have seemed ridiculous last year at this time but now has become quite relevant: Should the Orioles trade some of their pitchers?

If you’d asked that question in November 2011, the answer would have been along the lines of this: The Orioles have hardly any reliable pitching, and who would want any of them anyway?

But the outlook is far different now. Many members of the staff have shown themselves to either be capable major-league pitchers or potentially capable. And Melewski makes the argument that, despite the baseball truism about no one ever having enough pitching, the Orioles may have a surplus that could bring valuable pieces in return.

Counting on a re-signed Joe Saunders, adding top prospect Kevin Gausman and minor-league arms on the 40-man roster, Melewski comes up with 21 pitchers. He points out that just six of that group have more than three years’ big-league service, making most of the pitchers attractive to other clubs that wouldn’t have to worry about losing them for at least five years.

Melewski writes: “Also the [Dylan] Bundy and Gausman factor is at work for the club. How soon will one or both be ready to join the big-league rotation? If the pair proves to be as good as they look right now, not only will they add to the depth, but they may be paired together at the top of the club's rotation for a long time to come. … I am usually against trading pitching and believe in that you-never-have-enough-pitching theory. But the Orioles may have reached the point to test that theory by moving some pitchers this winter.”

It’s another sign of progress for the Orioles that we’re even entertaining the notion.

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Orioles bats stay silent against Cleveland

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Orioles bats stay silent against Cleveland

BALTIMORE -- Mike Clevenger pitched a two-hitter in his first career complete game, and the Cleveland Indians hit three solo homers off Chris Tillman in a 4-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Jose Ramirez went 3 for 4 with his team-leading fifth home run. Yan Gomes and Yonder Alonso also went deep for Cleveland, which came into the game ranked second-to-last in the AL in runs and last in batting average.

Clevenger (2-0) hardly needed the offensive support. Pitching on seven days' rest, the right-hander struck out three, walked two and allowed only one runner past first base.

The only two hits he allowed were singles by Manny Machado in the fourth inning and Chance Sisco in the fifth.

It was Clevenger's 35th career start. His previous longest outing was 7 1/3 innings, earlier this month against Kansas City.

While Clevenger is unbeaten in 11 starts since July 31, Tillman has experienced an opposite fate. This was his 22nd straight start without a victory, dating back to his first outing last season.

Tillman (0-4) gave up four runs, eight hits and a walk in six innings. The three home runs were one more than he yielded in his first three starts this season.

Michael Brantley hit a run-scoring groundout in the first inning and Gomes connected in the fourth for a 2-0 lead.

The Orioles put runners on the corners with one out in the fourth, their lone threat against Clevenger, who responded by retiring Tim Beckham on a short fly to left and getting Anthony Santander to ground out.

Ramirez led off the sixth with a drive to left, and Alonso hit a two-out shot that landed on Eutaw Street beyond the right-field scoreboard.

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Orioles pitching falls apart as Tigers complete sweep in Detroit

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Orioles pitching falls apart as Tigers complete sweep in Detroit

DETROIT - Leonys Martin hit his first big league grand slam, Jeimer Candelario had four hits and three RBIs, and the Detroit Tigers beat Baltimore 13-8 Thursday to extend the Orioles' losing streak to six.

Jordan Zimmermann (1-0) gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, allowing two home runs to Manny Machado and one to Chris Davis. Zimmermann was pitching for the first time since being hit in the jaw by a line drove off the bat of Cleveland's Jason Kipnis on April 11.

Alex Cobb (0-2) made his second start after signing a $57 million, four-year contract in spring training and his ERA rose to 15.43. He allowed seven runs - five earned - and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Machado had four RBIs for the Orioles, who were outhit 18-14 in the game and outscored 23-15 in the three-game sweep.

Victor Martinez hit an RBI single in the first, but Davis put Baltimore ahead with a two-run homer in the second, his sixth hit and fourth homer in 10 career at-bats against Zimmermann.

Detroit went ahead for good with four runs in the bottom half after third baseman Tim Beckham's throwing error allowed James McCann to reach base leading off. Jose Iglesias hit a two-run triple, Miguel Cabrera had an RBI single and Nick Castellanos a run-scoring groundout.

Machado's homer in the third cut Baltimore's deficit to 5-2, but Candelario's two-run homer extended the lead to 7-2 in the bottom half. Martin homered off Mike Wright Jr. in a five-run fifth.