The Orioles and Blue Jays each had 10 hits tonight.
That’s pretty much where the similarity ended.
“We had as many hits as they did. It certainly didn’t feel like it,” manager Buck Showalter said following tonight’s 8-4 loss.
“It took a while for us to get adjusted to what we knew he (Carlos Villanueva) was going to be doing. It was kind of frustrating early because he was doing exactly what we expected. We finally made the adjustment and got him out of there, but by then there was too much of a margin.”
Rookie left-hander Zach Britton was charged with five earned runs (seven total) in five innings, and his ERA is up to 3.33. The big blow was J.P. Arencibia’s grand slam.
“He went into the fifth inning giving up one earned run. I like our chances there,” Showalter said. “If you look at it, his last two outings have been defined by two pitches. Obviously, there are a lot of pitches that lead up to the people that are out there, but those are some of the growing pains young pitchers go through. He’s a guy who spent half a season in Triple-A and he’s going to have some nights. Hopefully, he learns from it and doesn’t repeat them as often. But it’s a very good club against left-handed pitching. A lot of people that can hurt you, but he was close to giving us a chance to win on a night when he didn’t have the command that he normally has.”
Asked about the pitch to Arencibia, Showalter said, “It’s probably a ball if he takes it, but without giving away some things, just because it may not look like a bad pitch doesn’t mean it’s not to his strength. Let’s put it that way.”
Showalter didn’t feel the need to pull Britton aside and give him a pep talk.
“I don’t think you ever assume anything with a young player, a young pitcher, but I have conversations with him every day in some form or fashion,” Showalter said. “You pick your spots on things like that. It’s not in the dugout five minutes after he’s out of the game. And sometimes it’s not right after the game. But there’s plenty of time between now and his next start. You can always do something like that if it’s needed.
“I don’t think it’s just that they’re making adjustments. His command his last couple starts hasn’t been what he’s capable of and he’ll make that adjustment. When he has that, there’s not a whole lot of adjustments you can make. Guys make a living out of hitting mistakes, and they did tonight. He’ll make those adjustments. The good ones do and I think he has a chance to be a good one.”
The Orioles are making a nasty habit of giving up two-out runs.
“Lately, we’ve been doing that,” Showalter said. “If we could put our finger on it exactly... It’s something they’re aware of and we’re aware of. It’s not that they’re backing off with two outs. It’s just that we can’t seem to make that putaway pitch, a lot of those with two strikes. We haven’t done a good job of using those counts to our favor.”