For Guthrie, game plan won't change


Reliever gets 2nd big league start in today's series finale vs. Royals


April 15, 2007|By Stephen Whyno | Stephen Whyno,Sun reporter

Jeremy Guthrie, who will start today's series finale against the Kansas City Royals, said he doesn't need to change anything in his approach.

"My goals always are to try to get ahead early and make them put it in play," Guthrie said. "So that's what I'll try and do to hopefully give the team the most innings I can with [a] limited pitch count - just because of not having started and not having built up a huge pitch count."

Manager Sam Perlozzo said he would like Guthrie to pitch five innings, calling a six-inning effort a "blessing." Guthrie has appeared in two games this season, allowing two earned runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings, while striking out four.

Guthrie has made only one major league start, which came last August with the Cleveland Indians against the Royals. He allowed four runs on five hits and six walks in 4 2/3 innings and got a no-decision.

Guthrie, who is starting because Jaret Wright went on the disabled list Wednesday with a sore right shoulder, said he does not consider the start an audition for a spot in the rotation. Perlozzo said Wright will resume his starting role when he returns from injury.

A rainout today, however, could leave Guthrie in the bullpen. With heavy storms expected to stay in the area through the day, a postponement would enable the Orioles to skip Wright's spot in the rotation and start Adam Loewen tomorrow at the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Striving for consistency

Daniel Cabrera lasted just five innings last night against the Royals, but he had pitched at least seven innings in his two prior starts, averaging the most innings per start on the team.

Perlozzo said the Orioles now are looking for Cabrera to be more consistent on the mound.

"He's going to have his good days and bad days, but I think any pitcher's development is, the more mature you get and the older you get, the more your good days outweigh your bad ones," Perlozzo said. "His stuff has always been tremendous, and we look for him to win a game every time he goes out."

Cabrera's endurance in his first two starts has allowed the bullpen to get some rest.

"It's tremendous. The bullpen can only be as good as the starters," reliever Chris Ray said. "Not only does it cut down on the amount of relievers we have to use in a single game, but it also gives us some momentum so when we go in there we can pick up right where he left off."

Reaching for the clutch

Although the Orioles beat the Royals, 8-1, on Friday, they went 3-for-17 (.176) with runners in scoring position.

Despite the club's struggles in those situations, outfielder Jay Gibbons said the Orioles did well enough to get the win.

"If we came through on every one, we would've won 20-1," Gibbons said. "We scored eight runs, so that's all that matters."

For the season, the Orioles are hitting .219 with runners in scoring position.

"We have bona fide run producers, so I don't think anybody's really swinging the bat as well as they're capable of right now," catcher Paul Bako said. "It might be a blessing in disguise, meaning we're not off to that bad of a start considering our offense is really trying to get on track."

Around the horn

Wright threw for about 15 minutes yesterday in the outfield with assistant trainer Ryan Ebel. ... Catcher Ramon Hernandez took swings off a batting tee and Perlozzo said there is a good chance Hernandez would join the team in Tampa Bay tomorrow to take batting practice.

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