BALTIMORE—Oriole pitchers are giving up home runs at an alarming rate. After surrendering five to the Oakland Athletics, they’ve given up 32 in just 12 games. They’ve allowed at least one in each game.
According to STATS, that ties a franchise record. In 1994, the Orioles allowed home runs in their first 12 games. The major league record is 16 by the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies.
Dan Straily, who was making his first start for the Orioles, gave up two, and Josh Rogers allowed three in their 10-3 loss to Oakland on Wednesday.
Signed on Friday after being let go by the Miami Marlins on March 25, Straily got the start when Alex Cobb was sidelined because of back spasms.
Straily, who gave up five runs in 1 1/3 innings in relief on Sunday, lasted just 3 1/3 innings against the Athletics.
“The competitor in me is really upset with the results, but I’m also able to take a step back and go look at some of the steps forward that I was able to take,” Straily said.
“I feel like I’m finishing up spring training right now, which is a tough place to be because it counts. It’s not like we’re up here getting ready anymore. I feel like my pitches were pretty sharp tonight.
“I wasn’t getting ahead of guys with my fastball, and that really puts me sometimes in a bind, but I feel like I’m really close to where I need to be. It’s just like a few small changes here and there that’s going to be a big difference for me.”
Straily also gave up five runs in 1 1/3 innings on Sunday against the Yankees, not a good beginning in his new home ballpark.
“It’s the major leagues,” Straily said. “Everywhere is tough to pitch, but it’s just another ballpark. I pitched an entire season in Cincinnati, and that’s a pretty small place to pitch, and I was quite successful there.
“It’s just one of those things where the ballpark really has no bearing on what I’ve done so far, just throwing the ball over the plate, throwing too many strikes that aren’t quality has been the downfall of my few innings down there. And it’s nice how close I am, even though how frustrating it has been today, to see how close my stuff is to being ready.”
Josh Rogers (pictured above), who was preparing to pitch the first game of a doubleheader for Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday, was told he was going to the Orioles instead.
Rogers gave up five runs in 3 2/3 innings and was sent back to the Tides immediately after the game. Another roster move will come before Thursday’s 12:35 p.m. game.
Frankie Montas retired the first 12 Orioles, then allowed Trey Mancini’s sixth home run and Rio Ruiz’s first. Ruiz hit a two-run home run that put the Orioles within 7-3 in the fifth.
“He’s a really hard thrower,” Mancini said of Montas. “He has some really good stuff, especially when he brought his changeup later in the game, second or third time around. He didn’t really show it too much early on; it was mostly fastball/slider and then he mixed in that changeup. So, it’s a tough mix. He gets it up there 99-100. When he throw that hard, it’s never too easy.”
Injured list for Bleier?: Richard Bleier, who had lat surgery last June, has had a rough start, giving up nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. He has a 14.54 ERA and gave up four runs on Tuesday, the first time he’s allowed that many.
“I’m not quite rebounding as well as I would like, especially yesterday,” Bleier said. “There are good days and bad days. Yesterday just wasn’t a good day.”
Manager Brandon Hyde had said that he was not using Bleier as often as he’d like to because he was being cautious with his recovery.
“My arm’s still attached, so that’s a good thing,” Bleier deadpanned. “This time last year, I felt completely different. I’m still dealing with issues after surgery.”
Hyde indicated that the Orioles are thinking about placing Bleier on the injured list to give him more time to rehab.
“He was pushing the fast-forward button, too,” Hyde said. “He wanted to break with the club. He wanted to be on this team. Getting off to the start that he’s gotten off to, he’s just disappointed. The stuff of his pitches isn’t acting like he’s used to.
“I don’t know how well his arm is responding…He’s getting checked out today. We’re still going to be patient with him. It’s a major injury he’s coming off of. I think it’s pretty cool that he was trying to be on this club, but I think it’s possible we’re going to reset him and see how that goes.”
Bleier is frustrated and isn’t sure what’s next.
“Sometimes it takes me longer than others to recover, so I may need the time off,” he said. “I’m not getting better not pitching, so it’s like a Catch-22, almost…I can only get better, so I’ve got that going for me.”
Davis’ streak continues: Chris Davis equaled the major league record for most consecutive plate appearances without a hit when he flied out to deep center in the ninth.
Davis, who didn’t start for the second straight game, pinch-hit for designated hitter Renato Nunez.
He’s 0-for-50 since his last hit, a major league record, and has not had a hit in 57 consecutive plate appearances, tying Cleveland’s Tony Bernazard, who set the record in 1984.
Davis, who will start Thursday, worked extensively with hitting coach Don Long before the game.
“I really liked his swings,” Hyde said. “He was out in front of a couple changeups. I liked his takes. I thought he wasn’t rushing out. I thought he was balanced and in his center. And he put a really good swing on a ball that he just missed, so really happy with that at-bat.
“I was hoping a good at-bat could spark him for tomorrow a little bit and find the right situation for him. And I was really pleased with his at-bat, and I hope he is, too. One thing about CD, what I find is really admirable, is the days he’s not starting, he’s ready to play.
“A lot of times when you have guys who have been playing every day for a long time and not used to coming off the bench, they kind of don’t know how to find their way throughout the game and not sure when or if you’re going to use them. But he’s ready from the fourth inning on. He’s always giving me eye contact. He wants to hit and so I love that, love that about him, love that about any bench player.”
Cobb update: Cobb, who was scheduled to start on Wednesday before being placed on the injured list because of back spasms, is feeling better, Hyde said. He thinks Cobb will be able to start when he’s eligible to come off the IL on April 16.
Jackson returns to Dodgers: Utility man Drew Jackson, who was put on waivers last week to make room for Straily, cleared waivers and was returned to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jackson was selected in the Rule 5 draft by Philadelphia, which traded him to the Orioles for international signing bonus money, and made the team in spring training.
He was hitless in three at-bats with the Orioles.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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