Here’s the opening statement from Orioles manager Dave Trembley:
“(David) Hernandez pitched well, but their guy pitched better. That’s it. We didn’t score any runs. Had limited opportunities. Needed a couple hits and didn’t get them. I’ll take the way Hernandez pitched. We’ll win some games if he pitches like that.”
Looking at the first five games of the season, Trembley said, “We played competitive baseball. The games are close. We’ve had, for the most part, well-pitched games out of the starters. We haven’t gotten big hits when we’ve needed them, and some games that we obviously could have won, we haven’t won them. But I’d say going along with a start is understanding the game. The game has these things that happen. There’s ups and downs, and the game turns hard in both directions quickly. And right now it’s not getting done by us. The bottom line is win. We’re not doing it. We need to do better.”
Hernandez allowed two runs in six innings. That’s good enough to win on many nights, but the offense wasn’t up to the challenge. Dana Eveland looked like Andy Pettitte out there.
Eveland has thrown 14 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings against the Orioles, including seven on May 5, 2008 while pitching for Oakland.
Asked what he liked about Hernandez, Trembley replied, “The middle innings for Hernandez, he showed command of three pitches. He was not reluctant to back up his off-speed pitch and his breaking pitch. And his fastball command was better. It was much like it was in spring training - pitching down.”
Hernandez said he felt OK after a long layoff.
“It was about 7 days between facing batters,” he said. “I just wanted to go out there and throw strikes. I felt my command was a little off, but I was able to make some good pitches.
“I just need to get in my routine now that I have my first start out of the way.”
Julio Lugo had two hits and a walk while replacing Brian Roberts atop the order.
I passed Roberts in the hallway after leaving the clubhouse and promised not to ask how he was feeling.
Garrett Atkins has hit safely in all five games.
Matt Wieters has thrown out four of five runners attempting to steal this season. Tampa Bay’s B.J. Upton is the only player who’s been successful.
The Orioles went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and are 8-for-46 in five games. They finished second in the AL with a .284 average with RISP last season.
Jose Molina had his first multi-RBI game since April 29, 2009, when he drove in four runs against the Tigers while playing for the Yankees.