Tommy Hunter gave the Orioles seven scoreless innings tonight in an 8-3 victory over the Angels.
His performance might get overlooked because the offense erupted for eight runs - including homers by Mark Reynolds and Nolan Reimold - and closer Kevin Gregg allowed three runs (two earned) in a 43-pitch ninth inning.
“Tommy has had some good games,” Showalter said. “I thought he carried his stuff a little deeper into games. I thought the seventh inning had a chance to kind of get away from him and he dialed it back in and made some good pitches.
“Tommy is 25. Tommy, he’s still learning things about himself and about what he’s got to do. His preparation to pitch seems to get better as he gets experience and I think he has a chance to help us.
“He gets it as far as what’s expected of a starting pitcher and what’s supposed to happen after you score some runs and what is best for a team when a starting pitcher gets solidly consistently through that sixth and seventh, and hopefully eighth and ninth innings. Tommy starts every game sincerely with the idea that he’s going to pitch nine innings and be the winning pitcher. He’s got that mentality. He’s not trying to give you X-number of innings and X-number of pitches. He’s trying to get all 27 outs.”
Gregg made it uncomfortable in the ninth.
“After five days off, trying to get (him) the ball with as many pitchers as we have and people we want to see and get work,” Showalter said. “Robert (Andino) made a very uncharacteristic error, but I understand the five days probably affected it some. He’ll be better next time out as a result of it, hopefully.”
The Orioles did a nice job manufacturing two runs off Angels starter Dan Haren in the third inning.
“On paper, and most of the time during the game, I thought we had a lot of good at-bats against him,” Showalter said. “We were patient, and other than the first inning, had a pretty good approach to him. This time of year, and the career and the length that he’s had, we’re sitting here a lot of nights and say we knew he was going to do it and he still did it. And there’s not many secrets of what guys are doing, the cutter. What opportunities we got from him, we made good use of them, and some we created ourselves by being ahead in the game and (it) allowed us to do some things and push the envelope a little bit.”