The Orioles needed to sleep fast last night, as manager Buck Showalter says, with a 1:07 p.m. game today against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Freddy Garcia will make his fifth start for the Orioles, which may be four more than some folks anticipated when the Orioles first selected his contract from Triple-A Norfolk.
Garcia has gone at least six innings in three of his outings, but he’s still searching for his first win as an Oriole. He took a perfect game into the seventh inning in his debut in Anaheim and held the Yankees to two runs and three hits over six innings Monday night at Camden Yards.
Garcia is 8-8 with a 5.85 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in 20 games (19 starts) against the Blue Jays. He’s 4-5 with a 6.46 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) at Rogers Centre, with 66 hits and 24 walks in 54 1/3 innings.
Jose Bautista is 5-for-11 with two homers against Garcia. Adam Lind is 4-for-8 with two homers.
The Orioles get their second look at knuckleballer R.A. Dickey this season. He allowed four runs and six hits over six innings on April 23, walking five and striking out four in the Orioles’ 4-3 victory.
Later this morning, we’ll find out whether the Orioles decided to recall Steve Johnson from Triple-A Norfolk as an extra bullpen arm. And if so, how in the world they’re going to make room for him on the 25-man roster.
They could decide to go with a short bench for a few days, since there isn’t much flexibility in their bullpen. Would they option Danny Valencia after he homered, doubled and drove in three runs last night, leaving his average at .308?
That would be kind of rough.
If you check the box score from last night’s game, you’ll notice that Nick Markakis is batting .300, Manny Machado .335, Adam Jones .317, Chris Davis .337, Chris Dickerson .326 and Yamaico Navarro .375.
The Orioles currently rank second in the majors in batting with a .271 average, trailing only the Tigers (.286), and their 242 runs are topped only by Detroit’s 251. They lead the majors with 66 home runs, three more than the Braves, and their 37 stolen bases ranked third.
The Orioles are 27th out of 30 teams in strikeouts with 306. They were sixth last year with 1,315.
Shameless plug alert: I’m appearing on “Wall to Wall Baseball” today from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on MASN.
Update: Johnson is joining the Orioles in Toronto today. A roster move is pending.
Johnson made one start with the Orioles this season, allowing six runs and seven hits in four innings on May 11 in Minnesota. He’s 1-2 with a 5.49 ERA in four starts with Norfolk, with eight walks and 24 strikeouts 19 2/3 innings.
Johnson hasn’t pitched since May 17. He was scratched from last night’s start in Lehigh Valley in case the Orioles needed him in the bullpen today.