Notes on Jones, Davis, Gausman, Castillo and more

The Orioles recorded their eighth shutout of the season last night and are on pace for 13, which would be their most since 1992 (16).

Since 2000, the Orioles have registered nine or more shutouts in five seasons - nine each in 2005, 2006 and 2007, and 10 each in 2004 and 2012.

davis-jones-handshake-white-sidebar.pngAdam Jones (three) and Chris Davis (one) have combined for four home runs in the last six games, pushing their total to 186 since the start of 2012.

According to STATS, their 186 combined homers are the most by a pair of teammates in the majors since the start of 2012. The Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion (104) and Jose Bautista (73) are second with 177.

In Kevin Gausman's first three starts, facing Justin Verlander, Sonny Gray and Mark Buehrle, the Orioles scored 15 runs and tagged those starters for 14 in 16 2/3 innings for a 7.56 ERA. In his last five starts against Alex Cobb, Alex Colome, Jake Peavy, Chase Whitley and Gray, the Orioles have scored 16 runs and tagged the starters for six runs over 29 innings for a 1.86 ERA.

Once again, the Orioles PR staff is doing some serious research.

The Orioles lead the American League and are tied with the Reds for the major league lead with a .988 fielding percentage. Their 48 errors are tied for the second-fewest in the majors behind Cincinnati's 46.

Nick Markakis has now played a club-record 275 consecutive games in the outfield without committing an error. He last committed an error on Aug. 10, 2012.

A reminder that Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo's showcase takes place today in Miami, and the Orioles will be counted among just about every team in baseball that intends to watch him.

Castillo, 27, has plus-plus speed and keeps generating comparisons to the Yankees' Brett Gardner, except with a little more power. He defected to the Dominican Republic in December and the Orioles scouted him two months later.

Though he's primarily a center fielder, Castillo reportedly will also work out at shortstop.

Castillo played in Serie Nacional, Cuba's top professional league, for the past five seasons and batted .319/.383/.516 with 51 home runs and 226 RBIs in 360 games. He registered a .342/.408/.574 slash line with 27 stolen bases in 2011-12.

The Cuban national team and Serie Nacional later suspended Castillo for a violation of the code of ethics of revolutionary baseball, presumably for attempting to defect.

Any team that signs Castillo as a free agent can do so without it counting against their international signing bonus money.

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