Is this three-game losing skid a bump in the road or a sign of bigger trouble?

Let's see, the Orioles have lost one of their best starting pitchers to injury, their starting shortstop to injury and now they've lost three games in a row.

A record of 6-4 after 10 games sounds pretty good - and is pretty good. The Birds still own a share of first place after losing Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

But during a three-game slide in which they've gotten two very poor starting pitching efforts, maybe the O's are currently facing the first mini-crisis of the season.

With the team not hitting much and now suddenly getting a couple of early exits from starters, it feels like the O's are heading into a potentially extended losing stretch.

The last few days just kind of give you that feel. And that shows how fast this game can turn. If it seems only a few days ago they were riding high at 6-1 and had just handed Texas its first loss. Well, it was only a few days ago.

I am certainly not going to hit any panic button right now.

The Orioles could easily be feeling a lot better about things two or three games from now. Maybe the offense will break out tonight against struggling Yankee starter Phil Hughes and maybe Zach Britton will follow that up with another strong outing Friday and/or Jeremy Guthrie will pitch the Birds to a win Saturday at Cleveland.

It could turn around just that quickly.

But here is a troubling stat right now. While the combined ERA of Britton and Guthrie is 0.65, the ERA when anyone else starts is up to 7.46 after last night.

Over the past three games, O's starters have pitched 11 innings while the bullpen has had to cover 15 innings. That just won't work. The O's starters were so great through four games, but now the rotation is springing a few leaks.

So is this three-game losing run just a mild bump in the road or sign of bigger trouble ahead?

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