Since giving up six earned runs in one-third of an inning on July 27 against the Athletics, Orioles closer Jim Johnson has recorded eight saves in nine appearances and allowed only three runners into scoring position.
In those nine games, Johnson has permitted only three hits, walked one and struck out six over nine innings. Opponents are batting .100 against him, going 3-for-30, and he’s retired the side in order seven times.
The Orioles have announced their rotation for the Blue Jays series that begins Friday at Camden Yards. It begins with Zach Britton on Friday and concludes with Chris Tillman on Sunday. However, Saturday’s starter is listed as TBA.
Wei-Yin Chen is supposed to pitch that night, with everyone pushed back because of Thursday’s open date on the schedule. Manager Buck Showalter could hold him back until the White Sox series that begins Monday.
Miguel Gonzalez would be working on normal rest on Saturday, but he also could be pushed back to provide extra rest in his rookie season.
Maybe Steve Johnson factors into all of this, assuming he’s still on the 25-man roster this weekend.
For the first time since 1997, the Orioles are sending out playoff ticket invoices to their season-ticket holders on Thursday. Single-game playoff tickets for non-season ticket holders will go on sale next month.
UPDATE: Fans with full season-ticket plans may purchase tickets for all 10 potential playoff games at Camden Yards. Fans with 29-game plans may purchase tickets for five playoff games - the wild card, one divisional, two ALCS and one World Series. Fans with 13-game plans may purchase tickets for three playoff games - one divisional, one ALCS and one World Series.
“This is very exciting, and it’s just one of dozens of steps we’ve already taken to prepare for the post-season,” said Greg Bader, the Orioles’ director of communications.
The Orioles already have met with Major League Baseball officials on a few occasions, as well as representatives for the networks that would be broadcasting games at Camden Yards.
“We have to proceed as if we’re going to be in the playoffs,” Bader said. “Anything short of that could create potential problems if we’re not ready.”
Additional seats won’t be added to the ballpark.
“We think the 45,000-plus capacity is sufficient,” Bader said.
The Orioles have had 12 three-game series come down to the final game and are 8-4, including a 5-1 record on the road. Their last loss in a rubber match on the road was June 3 at Tampa Bay.
Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is 5-for-11 with a home run against Tommy Hunter, who starts tonight for the Orioles.
In Hunter’s last 17 starts, the Orioles have scored 41 runs while he’s been in the game, including 11 in his June 14 start against the Pirates. The Orioles have scored two runs or fewer while Hunter was in the game in 10 of his last 17 starts and in five of the last seven.
In his last 11 starts, Hunter has walked seven and struck out 33 over 64 2/3 innings.
Robert Andino, J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Mark Reynolds and Matt Wieters are a combined 3-for-35 against Rangers left-hander Derek Holland.
Hardy will sign autographs at the AT&T Store in Hanover across from the Arundel Mills Mall on Saturday from 11 a.m. until noon.
Due to a scoring change from Friday’s game at Comerica Park, Jones is no longer charged with an error. Credit Tigers catcher Alex Avila with a triple in the fourth inning.