Guthrie Can't Find His Groove

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Notebook

Right-hander Avoids Fifth Straight Loss, But Allows 7 Runs In Uneven Outing

August 17, 2009|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

Jeremy Guthrie did everything that a top-of-the-rotation pitcher shouldn't do Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels.

He put the Orioles in a three-run hole before their first at-bat, allowed runs two different times after his team had scored to get back in the game, walked just as many hitters (two) as he struck out and surrendered another home run.

The only good news for Guthrie (7-12) was that the Orioles' late rally in an eventual 17-8 defeat kept him from suffering his fifth straight loss and 13th of the season. Still, the struggling right-hander was responsible for seven earned runs and 10 hits. It was the fourth time in five starts that he's given up five earned runs or more.

"The hard part to figure out is the guy's got good stuff," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "Like in the fifth, he's got an easy one-two-three inning. ... He comes out in the sixth and gets two quick outs and all of a sudden they're hitting him like they know what's coming. That's the perplexing thing. How can that change so quickly?"

Guthrie currently leads the majors in earned runs allowed (94) and tops the American League with 28 homers allowed after Bobby Abreu took him deep Sunday. He's also tied with the Oakland Athletics' Trevor Cahill for the AL lead in losses.

"I felt I had really good stuff, especially in that first inning," Guthrie said. "That's how it has been. When pitches aren't executed, they've been hit. And when they are, they've been hit as well."

Club agrees to terms with draft picks Ohlman, Hoppy

Less than 24 hours before tonight's midnight deadline to sign 2009 draft picks, the Orioles agreed to terms with 11th-round selection Michael Ohlman, a high school catcher from Bradenton, Fla., and 28th-round pick Kyle Hoppy, a high school outfielder from Orchard Park, N.Y. They continue to have negotiations with second-round pick Mychal Givens, though the high school shortstop remains unlikely to sign.

"I think we're pretty much done," Orioles amateur scouting director Joe Jordan said. "I don't see anything else happening. Obviously that can change, but I don't think so."

Ohlman, who was the 326th overall pick in June's draft, started his physical Sunday in Baltimore. The right-handed-hitting catcher batted .550 with three home runs and 28 RBIs and stole 23 bases in his senior season for Lakewood Ranch High. Ohlman, 6 feet 4 and 215 pounds, had signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Miami.

Hoppy, a high school quarterback, had planned to play football and baseball for Bucknell University. He hit .551 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs in his senior season for Orchard Park High.

Matusz to continue pitching

Trembley said that while the team will err on the side of caution with Brian Matusz, there are no current plans to shut down the rookie left-hander before the end of the season. Matusz has pitched 126 1/3 innings in his first professional season.

"We may talk about limiting the length of his appearances out there, his innings, but no one has talked to me about shutting him down," said Trembley, who is hoping to go to a six-man rotation in September, but that will depend on the health of Brad Bergesen.

Bergesen (left shin contusion) left the team Sunday and headed to the team's minor league complex in Sarasota, Fla., to begin a throwing program.

Doubling up

Brian Roberts hit his 45th double of the season - his fifth in the past three games - in the ninth inning off All-Star closer Brian Fuentes. Roberts and Nick Markakis (38 doubles) are on pace to hit 116 combined doubles, which would tie them for the highest single-season doubles total by two teammates in major league history.

George Burns (64) and Tris Speaker (52) of the 1926 Cleveland Indians hold the major league record for most doubles by teammates in one season since 1900. If Roberts reaches the 50-double plateau, he'll become the fourth player in major league history to have three or more 50-double seasons.

Around the horn

Markakis extended his consecutive games on-base streak to a career-high 36 with his fifth-inning homer Sunday. ... Since Oscar Salazar's pinch-hit homer June 30, Orioles pinch-hitters were 0-for-16 before Matt Wieters' RBI single in the eighth inning. ... The seven pitchers the Orioles used were the most for the club in a game this season. ... Angels leadoff man Chone Figgins' RBI single in the sixth inning was his 1,000th career hit. ... The Orioles' three home runs matched their total in the previous 81 innings.

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