Taking time to enjoy success

He now has the best ERA among all O's starters.

And in the last week, David Hernandez pitched back-to-back games at New York and Boston, giving up just two runs and eight hits over 13 innings.

"It's a real positive to go into Boston and New York and get two quality starts. It will help me in future starts. You know you can compete," Hernandez said.

What's been the key to his recent outings?

"For me it was my fastball command. I was able to command it yesterday and in New York. I didn't have my best slider, but it was good enough to keep the hitters off my fastball."

Perhaps just as important to the 24-year-old right-handler was he kept his poise and composure in two parks where that is not easy to do.

"Since I was a little kid I've been even keel, not showing too much emotion. If you show you're defeated that gives the batters more of a chance to succeed, knowing you are already beat."

Now the three rookie pitchers in the rotation could soon be joined by a fourth - Chris Tillman. Dave Trembley today would not confirm the worst kept secret at Camden Yards. That Tillman will start here Wednesday night.

"When I left Norfolk, he was just starting to get going," Hernandez said. "He won't need to change a thing up here. He's a guy that, if he's getting hit around, you can look at him and wouldn't notice. He's the same when it's going good.

"But the jump from Triple-A to the Majors is the biggest jump. Everyone is here because they performed in the minors. You face good hitter after good hitter. It's a big jump."

Hernandez is 2-0, 2.45 over his last four starts, all on the road. He is now 3-2, 3.20 on the season.

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