No rest for weary Orioles, who open series with Red Sox on Monday

After finishing five-game road trip, O's set to return home against Boston

May 20, 2012|By Eduardo A. Encina, The Baltimore Sun

WASHINGTON — — Their five-game road trip to Kansas City and Washington completed, the Orioles come home for a three-game set against the Boston Red Sox to complete a stretch of 20 games in 20 days.

The Orioles' off day Thursday will be welcome in many ways. It will also be the first of three off days over the next nine games.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he's considering adjusting the starting rotation to give left-hander Wei-Yin Chen or right-hander Jason Hammel extra days rest. In his first few starts, the Orioles gave Chen an extra day off to help him get adjusted to the majors, while Hammel is dealing with lingering soreness in his right knee.

"We have some options," Showalter said. "We'll see what the next few days bring. You think about our other pitchers, too. It's been a long stretch at 20 games in a row. We have three off days not too far apart, so hopefully we catch our breath. Everybody talks about the pitching, but we've played 21 more innings than the schedule normally dictates. So we've played the equivalent of almost 2 ½ more games than the schedule."

The Orioles have played four extra-inning games in this 20-game stretch for a total of 19 extra innings.

"That would be a real easy excuse to take, but there are a bunch of teams in this league playing 20 days in a row," Showalter said following the Orioles' 9-3 loss against the Nationals, their worst loss during this stretch. "I think everyone's looking forward to taking a blow on Thursday, but that's very short-lived. It's not something that everybody else isn't asked to do. We're on a level playing field with the competition."

"I'm not tired," center fielder Adam Jones said. "I don't think anybody else is tired. I had a good night's sleep last night. I'm not going to make excuses. We all know it's 162, so you have to pace yourself. Late July, little tired, tired can set in, but not yet. Ain't nobody tired. It's the first quarter of the season. If anybody's tired, might need to up your offseason workouts."

Bundy shines again for Shorebirds

Orioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy continued his domination of the South Atlantic League on Sunday afternoon with five shutout innings of one-hit ball against the Hagerstown Suns, continuing to fuel talk about whether he's ready to move up to high Class-A ball.

Bundy, who struck out four and walked none Sunday, retired the first 12 hitters he faced before allowing a double to Matthew Skole to lead off the fifth inning.

Skole moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Bundy also hit a batter that inning, but he was able to get out of the inning without allowing a run.

Bundy, the No. 4 overall pick in last year's June draft, still hasn't allowed an earned run as a professional — he allowed one unearned run in each of his previous two starts — and has allowed just five hits in 30 innings, striking out 40 and walking two.

Opposing hitters are batting .043 off Bundy and he still hasn't allowed a hit with a runner on base.

Tejada debuts at Norfolk

Former Orioles standout Miguel Tejada, signed to a minor league deal, made his 2012 debut atTriple-A Norfolk, going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and an RBI Sunday in a 6-3 win over Pawtucket.

Tejada, who was the team's starting designated hitter, singled in back-to-back at-bats in the fourth and fifth innings. He also popped out to second and lined out to center in the eighth.

Tejada, the 2002 American League MVP in Oakland, is vying for his third stint with the Orioles.

Around the horn

Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold said he will see team doctors Monday to get an update on the bulging disk in his neck. Reimold is considering getting a second epidural injection. … Left fielder Xavier Avery, who had two singles Sunday, has reached base in each of his past seven games after going 0-for-4 in his major league debut. … Hammel said his right knee wasn't feeling "any worse" than it did following Saturday's start. … Nationals rookie Bryce Harper had his second multi-hit game against the Orioles this series with a two-run triple and a single. He was 4-for-13 in the series. … The Orioles are just 5-5 on the road when their starter fails to go six innings or more, compared to 10-1 when he does.

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