Another homestand ends

So does the good vibe from that four-game sweep in Texas.

The Orioles went 2-8 on this homestand and were outscored 64-30. As I wrote earlier, the starter's ERA rises to 10.10 when you remove Jeremy Guthrie's two outings.

"The bottom line for me is we've just got to make pitches when we need to," interim manager Juan Samuel said. "You're not going to get by pitching up in the zone. As a result, we have games like we just saw, balls flying out of the ballpark. We just need to get better games from the youngsters. They've got to take us deep. We've been talking about this for the last week or so. The bullpen continues to be overused because we're not giving ourselves a chance.

"Offensively, there's not a whole lot you can do when you're behind early in the game. You feel like you're fighting back. So, the bottom line for me is we've got to make good pitches, keep the ball down and we have not been able to do that of late."

The starters logged 50 innings on this homestand. The bullpen turned in 44 and lost effectiveness.

"What happened is, you are bringing guys earlier in the game than what we were doing, and guys get comfortable coming out of the bullpen in certain situations and certain innings," Samuel said. "And what we've been doing is bringing guys in too early and in situations they were not pitching earlier in the season. That's one of the differences."

A few more notes:

* Nick Markakis' sacrifice fly in the first inning produced his first RBI since July 10 in Texas.

* Luke Scott went 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk. He's hit safely in all seven games since coming off the disabled list, batting .481 (13-for-27) with three doubles and four home runs.

Today's attendance: 17,408.

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