Don’t be alarmed by the bright lights and the noise emanating tonight from Camden Yards. There’s a baseball game scheduled between the Orioles and Angels. Continue to breathe normally.
It’s been a while - July 13, to be exact.
The Orioles are 26-23 in Baltimore this season, compared to 32-23 on the road. Time to reclaim the home-field advantage, especially with the Blue Jays climbing within 2 1/2 games of first place in the American League East.
The Angels provide the opposition again, as they did last week in Anaheim, where the Orioles took two of three. Jered Weaver, tonight’s starter, held them to two runs over eight innings on Wednesday to prevent a sweep.
Chris Tillman allowed one run over six innings, but was denied a win after the Angels scored twice off Tommy Hunter in the eighth.
Manager Buck Showalter started David Lough in left field that night and was rewarded with two hits, a stolen base and a run. Keep in mind, again, that Weaver is holding right-handed batters to a .160 average this season, which could influence Showalter’s lineup.
Adam Jones is 6-for-20 (.300) with a double, triple, home run and five RBIs against Weaver.
Nelson Cruz is 7-for-52 (.135) with one home run in his last 15 games.
The Orioles are batting .259 this season, fifth in the American League and second in the division behind the Blue Jays, who were hitting .262 before last night’s dismantling of the Red Sox. The Orioles batted .260 last season and .247 in 2012.
Want more comparisons? Well, they have a .313 OBP that ranks 13th in the league. It also was .313 last season and .311 in 2012.
The Orioles’ .413 slugging percentage ranks fourth in the league. It was .431 last season and .417 in 2012.
The 3.77 staff ERA ranks sixth in the league. It was 4.20 last season and 3.90 in 2012.
The starters’ 3.97 ERA ranks eighth. It was 4.57 last season and 4.42 in 2012. The bullpen’s 3.42 ERA ranks seventh. It was 3.52 last season and 3.00 in 2012.
Ubaldo Jimenez is starting tonight at short-season Single-A Aberdeen for his first game since going on the disabled list with an ankle injury. He’s expected to move up to a higher affiliate for another start before the Orioles consider activating him.
Also down on the farm, Steve Johnson allowed three runs and five hits in 1 2/3 innings yesterday for Triple-A Norfolk, with two walks, two strikeouts and a hit batter. He threw 51 pitches, 31 for strikes.
Christian Walker hit his second home run for Norfolk. Dariel Alvarez was 3-for-4 with two doubles.
Former Orioles farmhand Nicky Delmonico was suspended 50 games after testing positive for an amphetamine in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Delmonico was batting .262 with eight doubles, four homers and 15 RBIs in 37 games with Single-A Brevard County. He hasn’t played since July 7.
The Orioles traded Delmonico to the Brewers last summer for reliever Francisco Rodriguez. A few fans on Twitter stated how the Orioles got the better end of the deal, but Rodriguez wasn’t exactly a difference-maker in Baltimore and he’s no longer in the organization.
FOX Sports reported yesterday that the Orioles contacted the Red Sox regarding left-hander Jon Lester, as their search continues for a starting pitcher. I’d be surprised if the sides worked out a deal, considering the Orioles’ reluctance to part with their top young arms and Lester’s status as a pending free agent.
The only way it works is if the Red Sox are willing to lower their sights to the second level of prospects in the Orioles’ system due to Lester’s expiring contract.
How low will they go?
The Rays designated left-hander Erik Bedard for assignment yesterday. Don’t even think about it.
Shameless plug alert: I’m appearing on “The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report” around 5:55 p.m. on MASN HD.
Earlier in the day, I’ll do a couple of live hits between 2-4 p.m. for MLB Network’s “The Rundown,” which means heavy rains or temperatures reaching triple digits.