Brad Bergesen came into this start today with an ERA of 7.45 in his past two starts, just one quality start all year and with a career record of 0-5 and 9.13 ERA in five lifetime starts against Tampa Bay.
But he got a huge double-play grounder against Evan Longoria to keep Tampa Bay off the board in the first inning on his way to a four-hit shutout as the Orioles beat Tampa Bay, 6-0 at the Trop. It’s the Orioles third shutout this year.
Bergy seemed to be able to keep the ball down today. His ground to air-out ratio on the season coming into this start was 0.79, meaning he has been getting more outs this year in the air. When he was so good in 2009, that ratio was 1.57.
Today he got five outs on the ground in the first two innings and had nine that way by the fourth frame. He needed just 56 pitches to get the first 15 outs. He finished with 13 outs on the ground, nine in the air and five strikeouts.
To say the least, it was a most encouraging effort by Bergesen coming at a time when Brian Matusz is getting closer to a return to this rotation. The Orioles had lost Bergesen’s last eight starts dating to last September until today.
He improves to 1-4 on the year in eight starts with an ERA of 4.35.
A few more notes on the win:
* Orioles starters have now pitched to an ERA of 1.42 over the last five games with six earned runs over 38 innings. The O’s starters have pitched 26 innings over the last three games allowing just three runs.
* The Orioles had hit just two homers in their previous six games, but got two today. Mark Reynolds hit his first since May 1 and ended a 10-game RBI drought. Jake Fox hit his second with his first coming on April 16.
* Vlad Guerrero had an RBI double to plate the O’s first run in the first, ending his own 10-game RBI slump.
* The Orioles improved to 6-9 in games versus the American League East, ending a five-game losing streak in division games. The Orioles are 8-5 in their last 13 games against Tampa Bay.
* Adam Jones knocked in a run and now has 17 RBIs his last 24 games. Jones is 12-for-26 on the season for a batting average of .462 batting with runners in scoring position.