Orioles

Quick Links

Orioles starts are getting shorter--and worse

gausman.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Orioles starts are getting shorter--and worse

LOS ANGELES—If you’ve stayed up late during the Orioles’ increasingly challenging West Coast road trip, you’ve seen something disturbing. 

Not only have the Orioles not been winning during this season-long five-game losing streak, but they haven’t been getting the starting pitching they need to even be truly competitive. 

The terrific offense carried them for the last four games of their seven-game winning streak, but it hasn’t been enough during these five games. 

In only two games on the first seven games of this trip has a starter been able to pitch even six innings, and the Orioles haven’t gotten a starter even into the seventh inning since Kevin Gausman pitched 7 2/3 on June 25, and that’s 10 games ago.

In the first 82 games of the Orioles season, starters have worked six innings just 38 times.

Only three of their starters, Gausman, Chris Tillman and Tyler Wilson have completed more than half of their starts.

RELATED: BULLPEN CAN'T HOLD GALLARDO'S FRAGILE LEAD

Tillman, who starts Tuesday night has finished six innings in 10 of his 17 starts—including eight straight. In Tillman’s last three starts, he’s given up 14 runs on 21 hits in just 14 2/3 innings.

While his 10-2 record is impressive, Tillman has recorded an out in the eighth inning just once in those 17 starts. 

Tillman’s June 8th start of 7 1/3 is one of only five times an Orioles starter has pitched that long.

Gausman pitched 7 2/3 on June 25 and 8 innings on May 5. Wilson and Ubaldo Jimenez each had an eight-inning start. No starter has made it to the ninth.

Five starts of more than seven innings in 82 games isn’t acceptable, at least not for a team that’s still in first place. 

Manager Buck Showalter is insistent on not having his relievers pitch often. He proudly points out that his most used relievers aren’t in the American League’s top 10 in appearances. 

Brad Brach whose 36 games leads the team is six behind Texas Sam Dyson who has been in 42 games. 

Since Showalter became Orioles manager in Aug. 2010, only one pitcher, Jim Johnson has thrown more than 90 innings in a season (91 in 2011). 

Brach has thrown 44 2/3 innings in just over half the games, and while Showalter might like to pitch him more—especially with his sparkling 1.01 ERA—he won’t. 

The short starts are making it difficult for Showalter to manage his bullpen, particularly without Darren O’Day who has missed five weeks with a strained hamstring. 

“We are really having to pitch people in situations where their best skills are not really suited for that situation,” Showalter said after Monday night’s game. 

That was a game where Yovani Gallardo pitched just four innings and threw 95 pitches. 

If the Orioles want to talk about playing beyond Oct. 2, some longer starts—many longer starts—are going to be needed from pitchers already here—or acquired from elsewhere.

MORE ORIOLES: ORIOLES ADD A LEFTY TO THE PEN

Quick Links

Rainout delays Orioles RHP Cobb's reunion with Rays

pjimage_1.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Rainout delays Orioles RHP Cobb's reunion with Rays

BALTIMORE -- The Tampa Bay Rays have to wait at least one more day before taking their swings against former teammate Alex Cobb.

Cobb, now with the Baltimore Orioles, was scheduled to face his old team on Tuesday night before the game was postponed by rain.

Thus, Cobb will start Wednesday in the delayed start of this series between the only two AL East teams with losing records.

The rainout will be made up as part of single-admission doubleheader on May 12.

It was the 27th major league game to be postponed this season, the most related to weather through April since the commissioner's office started keeping records in 1986. Detroit's game at Pittsburgh was washed out later Tuesday, raising the total to 28.

Cobb, 30, spent his entire career with the Rays before signing with Baltimore as a free agent on March 21. Over six years with Tampa Bay, the right-hander was 48-35 and one of the leaders of the staff.

"He was a crucial part to this organization's success," Rays starter Chris Archer said. "He's a big-game pitcher and somebody who's very consistent, very routine oriented. The competitive nature rubbed off on me and rubbed off on the other guys in this clubhouse as well."

Cobb signed a $57 million, four-year deal with the Orioles, who will be counting on him to deliver the same kind of pitching and leadership in Baltimore.

Thus far, it hasn't gone well. Cobb got off to a late start because he missed most of spring training, and since his return he's gone 0-2 with a 15.43 ERA.

"Abbreviation has affected that," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He's going to get going here. Hopefully he can wait one more start before he does."

Brad Miller was down to bat cleanup for the Rays on Tuesday night before the game was called. Miller knew better than to chat with his old friend beforehand.

"Definitely wouldn't talk to him on his start days," Miller said. "Thought about maybe texting him just to rattle him a little bit, but ... ."

Miller won't know what to think when he sees Cobb wearing the orange and black of the Orioles.

"It's definitely going to be weird seeing him on the mound," Miller said. "I miss Cobb a lot. He was the ultimate competitor."

And that, Miller contends, is what sets Cobb apart from most pitchers.

"He's a bulldog. Really intense, kind of an old-school throwback starting pitcher," Miller said. "He's going to go out there and do anything he can for his team. So that, for me, is obviously his biggest trait."

The rainout came at an opportune time for the Orioles, who are hampered by injuries and have lost nine of 10 games to fall 11 games under .500 (6-17).

Baltimore's projected starting lineup did not include infielder Tim Beckham, who's been bothered by a groin injury and is expected to land on the 10-day disabled list.

With Beckham out and Trey Mancini playing with a tender right knee, manager Buck Showalter would have been operating with a short bench.

Help is on the way: Baltimore claimed utility infielder Jace Peterson on waivers from the New York Yankees. He's expected to arrive Wednesday.

Quick Links

Indians' 14-hit victory hands Orioles 8th loss in 9 games

usatsi_10796557.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Indians' 14-hit victory hands Orioles 8th loss in 9 games

BALTIMORE — The Cleveland Indians figured it would only be a matter of time before their struggling offense provided some support to a solid starting rotation.

Jose Ramirez and the rest of the batting order finally got into a groove Sunday, and the result was a 14-hit attack that carried Corey Kluber and the Indians past the Baltimore Orioles 7-3.

Cleveland came into the game with a .211 team batting average and ranked second-to-last in the AL in runs scored. On this day, however, Ramirez hit a solo shot in the fourth inning and a two-run drive in the ninth, and Yan Gomes had three hits to lift his batting average 41 points to .261.

"When things are not going my way, I stay positive and work it," Ramirez said through a translator. "I know eventually I'm going to break out."

Ramirez has three homers in two games and a team-leading seven for the season.

"I try not to do too much," Ramirez said. "I just look for a good pitch and then I hit it somewhere."

RELATED: LATEST MLB POWER RANKINGS

Kluber yielded two home runs to Manny Machado, but the Indians twice came from behind before tacking on three runs in the ninth.

"I thought we did a pretty good job," manager Terry Francona said. "When they came back, we came back at them. We kept pushing and took some better swings."

Kluber (3-1) allowed three runs and six hits over seven-plus innings. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner walked none and struck out four to move past Charles Nagy into sixth place on the Indians' career strikeout list with 1,238.

"It doesn't matter if you feel you pitched well or didn't pitch well. The goal is to end the game with more runs they do," Kluber said. "That's what we did."

Machado's third multihomer game of the season wasn't enough to prevent the Orioles from losing for the ninth time in 10 games, a skid that has dropped them 10 games under .500 (6-16).

"You know what? There's no excuse for what's happening," Machado said. "We need to play better overall. Nobody is in here pointing fingers. We are in here together, and we are going to ride or die together."

Andrew Cashner (1-3) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings, walking two and striking out seven. He's 0-3 with 7.41 ERA in three lifetime appearances against the Indians.

After Machado connected in the first inning, Cleveland went up 2-1 in the fourth when Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso hit successive doubles following a leadoff homer by Ramirez.

Baltimore regained the lead in the bottom half. After Machado homered, Adam Jones doubled and scored on a single by Chris Davis.

A pair of walks and run-scoring singles by Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley put the Indians up 4-3 in the fifth.

"Once you get the lead, you can't give it up," Cashner lamented.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Indians: CF Bradley Zimmer was a late scratch with a mild right ankle sprain. He was replaced by Rajai Davis.

Orioles: LF Trey Mancini missed a second straight game with a swollen right knee. ... DH Mark Trumbo (strained right quad) will begin a three-game stint with Double-A Bowie on Monday, then play three games with Triple-A Norfolk later in the week, manager Buck Showalter said. He won't be rushed to return. "It's important we get it right the first time," Showalter said.

WELL RESTED

Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin threw a side session Saturday and is expected to start Tuesday against the Cubs. Francona opted to skip Tomlin's last scheduled start Wednesday to reset the rotation after Cleveland had two straight games postponed last weekend.

UP NEXT

Indians: Carlos Carrasco (3-0, 3.48 ERA) starts the series finale Monday night. The right-hander is 9-0 with a 1.75 ERA over his past 11 starts since Aug. 27.

Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (1-1, 5.57) makes his fifth start of the season after allowing 27 hits -- including six homers -- over 21 innings.

RELATED: WHERE DO THE O'S FALL IN MLB STANDINGS?