In his last three starts, Alfredo Simon has gone 4 2/3, 5 2/3 and 5 1/3 innings.
He's allowed four earned runs, four earned runs (six total) and five earned runs (six total).
He's also served up four home runs in those three games.
Simon will get another loss today unless the Orioles rally from a 6-4 deficit in the eighth inning. He didn't bring his best stuff, as evidenced by the two homers he surrendered to Kurt Suzuki, the eight hits, two walks, hit batter and pitch count that reached 96, but one look at the defense behind him should have forced him out of the game with the dry heaves.
Simon is trying to stay in a rotation that, at full strength, also includes Jeremy Guthrie, Brian Matusz, Tommy Hunter, Jo-Jo Reyes and - coming soon to a ballpark no where near you - rookie left-hander Zach Britton.
Nick Markakis hit his 13th home run today, reducing Oakland's lead to 5-3 in the top of the sixth, but Suzuki connected again in the bottom half after Simon hung a curveball.
That's been the trend today. The Orioles score and the Athletics respond immediately.
Update: Nick Markakis singled with two outs in the ninth to score Robert Andino, but pinch-runner Blake Davis was thrown out at the plate to complete a 6-5 loss. Davis was trying to score from first after the ball got by right fielder David DeJesus.
A bigger concern might be shortstop J.J. Hardy, who didn't run well today and was removed for a pinch runner in the ninth. His left ankle must be bothering him.