More random notes before first pitch

The Orioles’ PR staff has provided the following information in today’s game notes:

With two more wins in the first half, the Orioles will be assured of posting a winning record at the All-Star break for only the second time since 1998. They were 47-40 at the break in 2005.

Brian Matusz, who’s starting tonight against the Angels, has allowed 20 of his 49 runs in the sixth inning. According to Elias, that’s the most runs allowed in one inning in the majors.

Left-hander Troy Patton has a 1.35 ERA over his last 11 appearances and 13 1/3 innings since May 23, with two walks and 16 strikeouts. His 5.33 strikeout-per-walk is the eighth-best ratio among American League relievers, and his .180 average against left-handers is the 12th-best among AL relievers.

The Orioles are 11-22 when scoring fewer than four runs. Last year, they were 10-54 under those circumstances.

Although they’ve logged the third-most innings in the American League at 235, no member of the Orioles’ bullpen ranks in the top 19 in the league in appearances or top 13 in innings pitched. Jim Johnson is tied for 20th with 32 appearances.

Among all pitchers with at least 50 batters faced, Johnson ranks third (.109) and Pedro Strop is sixth (.131) in lowest average against right-handed hitters.

Adam Jones hit his 19th home run of the season on Saturday. He didn’t collect his 19th homer last year until Aug. 5. He finished the 2009 and 2010 seasons with 19.

Manager Buck Showalter said the Orioles are in “good shape” in the bullpen after yesterday’s off day. And Tommy Hunter is available in relief again tonight.

“We really wanted to keep Tommy active with a left-handed starter (Matusz), be able to have some length right-handed behind him,” Showalter said. “Hopefully, not needed.”

Hunter threw a bullpen session on Sunday and could start on Saturday.

Showalter must decide whether to remove a pitcher or position player when Matt Lindstrom comes off the disabled list tomorrow and Dana Eveland rejoins the team. Hunter is a candidate to be optioned. Infielder Steve Tolleson also could be optioned if Showalter goes with a three-man bench.

“I’ve learned through the years that you kind of let those things play out and see where we are after tonight’s game, if we have an extra-inning game or get a lot of use out of the bullpen,” Showalter said. “I hope not. But you’ve got the two ways. You can do it for a pitcher or you could do it for a position player if you want to take the extra pitcher.

“We’ve got 13 games in a row now before the break. One of those issues is, say you need a player on the West Coast, you usually lose a day in the transfer, so you’d like to keep from having to make moves on the West Coast if you can.”

Showalter mentioned how Nolan Reimold’s injury most likely was caused by diving into the stands in Chicago.

“A dive he made for this team, this organization, his teammates,” Showalter said. “It’s like blocking the plate. Sometimes you’d like to live to fight another day. I think we’re real lucky, all things considered, so far.”

Reimold underwent surgery yesterday to remove fragments of a herniated disc in his cervical spine that were pressing on a nerve.

“My first thought was from a human being standpoint and a father and a husband,” Showalter said, “and now to be thinking again about possibly playing, that’s exciting.”

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