Orioles go for another sweep of Phillies

PHILADELPHIA - The Orioles are playing their last game today with a six-man bench, as they finish an interleague series against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Long bench, short series.

Adam Jones still may be counted among the reserves due to a sore right shoulder, the most painful of his ailments. He’s 4-for-7 lifetime against Phillies starter Sean O’Sullivan, but manager Buck Showalter wants to take advantage of the schedule and sit Jones until the Orioles begin a weekend series in Toronto.

Let’s be honest, it’s not like the offense is sputtering without him. And David Lough is more than capable of patrolling center field.

The Orioles have won three straight games, nine of 10 and 11 of 13. Is Matt Wieters’ return making this much of a difference?

lough-swing-gray-sidebar.jpg“Not one person is going to directly change everything in baseball, basketball,” Jones said. “First off, it’s getting healthy. Two, you’re getting one of your leaders back in Wieters. You’ve had (Jonathan) Schoop back here the last couple of days. Flash (Ryan Flaherty) is back. Small things like that can get a team going.

“When you get your team healthy, when you get all your guys back, we haven’t been full strength in a long time. You get your guys back, it’s something that resonates in the clubhouse that everybody just wants to do something. You get Schoop back, and look at (Manny) Machado last week. It’s just small things like that that can get one guy going, gets the next guy going, gets the next guy going.

“The bunt that C.D. (Chris Davis) laid down the other night. You’ve been killing him, lay down a bunt. In Miami, people were cursing him out down the first base line about dropping a bunt down. He dropped one down, they changed the shift, he gets a hit. That would normally be an out in the shift, and then we have beautiful days where we’re swinging the bat good and coming here to Philly. It’s small things in the game that can get someone going.”

Schoop is working out with the Orioles and he begins an injury rehab assignment Friday at Double-A Bowie. Executive vice president Dan Duquette will have to figure out a way to create a spot for him.

“Exactly,” Jones said. “It’s going to be another meeting of the minds to handle this 40-man roster. I don’t know how they do it. I’m just glad I’m out of options. I’m not in that boat.

“I marvel at it because I don’t understand it. I haven’t been sent down or in that consideration, so I don’t understand it. Whatever (Duquette) is doing, he’s rewriting the book.”

O’Sullivan is 1-5 with a 5.08 ERA and 1.461 WHIP in nine starts this season. Does he have what it takes to be a stopper?

Left-handers are hitting .359 against O’Sullivan,and right-handers are hitting .254. Keep that in mind while creating your own lineup.

In O’Sullivan’s six major league seasons, right-handers are batting .298 and left-handers are batting .295. Oh, my goodness.

O’Sullivan has registered an 8.64 ERA in four games (three starts) against the Orioles, allowing 16 runs and 23 hits in 16 2/3 innings. The current group of players is 10-for-29 against him.

Delmon Young is 3-for-7 with two doubles and Chris Parmelee is 2-for-3 with a home run.

Can we all agree that Parmelee stays in the lineup?

“I’m enjoying the high right now, but you’ve got to keep it as level as possible,” he said. “Yeah, I know I’m capable of it. And you know you’ve just got to keep it going as long as you can. You don’t always feel good every single day you come to the park. Just keep it as consistent as possible.”

Bud Norris is 1-3 with a 4.21 ERA in five starts against the Phillies and 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts at Citizens Bank Park, with six runs and 11 hits in 10 innings.

The current Phillies are 8-for-42 against Norris. Ryan Howard is 4-for-13 with two doubles and a home run. Carlos Ruiz is 1-for-11 with a double.

I wrote yesterday that Miguel Gonzalez threw from 120 feet without any discomfort in his groin. He’s scheduled to throw off a bullpen mound today, start Saturday at Double-A Bowie and start for the Orioles on June 25 in Boston.

“I recovered faster that what I really thought, so that’s a big step,” he said. “For something like this, a groin or anything like that, you just need time to rest and do the treatment every day and come in here and work on whatever you need to work on to get better.”

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