A rainout and scheduled off-day have messed again with David Hess’ usual routine, though he’s beginning to settle into the abnormal.
The rookie was working on seven days’ rest when he followed up his major league debut with a start against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. He hasn’t pitched since May 30 against the Nationals, when he recorded his third quality start in four outings.
Manager Buck Showalter pushed back his starters this week with the team idle on Sunday and Monday. Never hurts to provide extra rest when circumstances and the schedule allow it.
Dylan Bundy hadn’t pitched since May 29 before taking the mound yesterday, but he owned a 2.85 ERA in eight career starts with six-plus days of rest and a 1.30 ERA and 0.894 WHIP in five day starts this season. True to his forms, he shut out the Mets on three hits over seven innings.
Meanwhile, Hess served up three home runs and allowed five runs and eight hits over 4 2/3 innings in Boston after the Orioles sent him down but made certain that he remained available to them.
It could have been the wait. It was more likely the opponent and venue.
Hess has allowed one run and eight hits in his last two starts over 12 2/3 innings. He took the loss against the Nationals despite holding them to one run on Bryce Harper’s opposite-field homer in six innings.
Right-handers are batting .204 against Hess, but left-handers have gone 12-for-40 for a .300 average.
The Orioles will face left-handers in the first two games of the series, beginning tonight with Jaime García, who’s sporting a 6.08 ERA and 1.606 WHIP this year in 10 starts. He’s averaging four walks per nine innings.
García, who signed as a free agent in February for $10 million guaranteed, has failed to complete the fifth inning in three of his last five starts. He lasted only 1 2/3 innings on June 1 in Detroit, where he allowed four runs and seven hits.
Right-handers are hitting .305 against García this season, and left-handers are hitting .250.
In his only start against the Orioles, García allowed five runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings on June 30, 2011 while pitching for the Cardinals. Nolan Reimold and Mark Reynolds homered off him, but Brian Matusz surrendered eight runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 innings and the Orioles lost 9-6 at Camden Yards.
The Orioles chose García in the 30th round of the 2004 draft, but didn’t sign him.
The Orioles won the series in Toronto last summer for only the second time in 12 years. They’ve never swept a four-game series at Rogers Centre and haven’t swept three games since April 2005.
The Blue Jays last swept the Orioles in a four-game series at home in June 1978 at Exhibition Stadium in the franchise’s second year of existence.
* Brad Brach has recorded saves in back-to-back games and might not be available tonight. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 11 appearances over 12 innings since taking the loss in Anaheim on May 1, though he’s surrendered nine hits and walked five batters.
There’s a tightrope beneath his feet at times, but he’s only wobbling.
Brach is 7-for-7 in save chances during this stretch, and a 6.55 ERA shrank to 3.13.
“I think, honestly, it’s just been confidence,” he said. “I gave up a couple of hits and runs there early and just had my confidence shaken for whatever reason. Just got back to throwing all my pitches for strikes. I think that’s been a huge key.
“I just know anytime I get into a jam, it really doesn’t matter. But, actually that one situation in Yankee Stadium earlier this year with nobody out really helps.”
Bases-loaded situation in the Bronx and Brach beat it.
“If you get into a jam, you just need one pitch to get out of it,” he said. “I was just basically attacking the zone and just using all my pitches, throwing them all for strikes.”
The Mets tried to ruin Brach’s saves streak yesterday with Todd Frazier’s leadoff single, but Jay Bruce flied to the warning track in left-center field. A fly ball and grounder completed the Orioles’ first sweep of the season, albeit in a two-game series.
Did Brach think Bruce’s ball was going to land in Joey Rickard’s glove? Lots of Mets fans assumed it was gone.
“I was hoping,” he said. “I saw it up and I saw where Joey was on the outfield grass. I figure it was probably going to stay in.
“I know in Camden that’s probably gone, but sometimes it’s nice to pitch in these bigger ballparks.”
Jones pointed at him and Machado basked in the moment. But what else would you expect from the owner of two Gold Gloves and a Platinum Glove?
It didn’t come from years of practice.
“Never. First time,” he said.
“That was pure instinct. I was kind of scared for a second. I’m not going to lie.”
* Yesterday’s 1-0 win improved the Orioles’ record to 6-31 when scoring three runs or fewer and 3-24 when scoring two runs or fewer. They’re 5-8 in one-run games and 3-20 when they don’t hit a home run.
* Catcher Chance Sisco was hit by a pitch for the seventh time this season. Four players are tied for second on the team with two.
* The First-Year Player Draft concluded with the Orioles selecting 22 pitchers and 18 position players. The group included 28 college athletes, 16 right-handed pitchers, six left-handers, seven infielders, seven outfielders and four catchers.