ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jeff Robinson will bring his own new look to what the Orioles hope is a permanent new look for their starting rotation when he faces the Angels tonight (10:35, ESPN).
After a disastrous outing against the A's in Oakland last Thursday, when he retired only one batter and allowed five earned runs, Robinson took out his frustrations on his personal appearance. He visited a barber the next day and had his locks shorn to the bare minimum.
"If you stay in this game long enough, it will drive you to do crazy things," said the 6-foot-6, 235-pound righthander, whose closely cropped mane he hopes won't be as visible as his fastball.
Orioles starters, who had trouble lasting until complete darkness set in earlier in the season, have worked six innings or more in each of the last four games. The streak dates back to, you guessed it, Robinson brief outing just after the All-Star break.
Before that, Robinson (4-7, 4.97) had been more effective than his record indicated, though admittedly not as consistent as he would like.
Longer staying time by the starters is one thing manager John Oates is counting on during the second half of the season. It will determine whether he can continue to operate with 10 pitchers.
The Orioles can assure themselves of a non-losing road trip with a win tonight against the struggling Angels, who have lost seven of eight. The home team will send All-Star lefthander Mark Langston (12-3, 3.64) against the Orioles, who have split eight games against the Angels this year.
Following tonight's game, the Orioles move on to Kansas City for two games before returning home for nine games.