Showalter talks about the recent improved starting pitching

When the Orioles finished 34-23 under Buck Showalter last year, the starting pitching led the way with an ERA of 3.16 over the 57 games.

Now, the Orioles have won six of their last eight games, sweeping the Twins and splitting with New York and, again, the starters have been pretty good.

Over the eight games, O's starters have pitched to an ERA of 2.92 with five quality starts. The team ERA is 2.50 in that stretch and the Orioles have out-scored their opponents 43-20 in the eight games.

Manager Buck Showalter today talked about the recent turnaround for his starting pitchers.

"I think they are a little more aggressive, attacking," he said. "We've had shutdown innings after we score. Two-strike approach a little bit. I know Rick (Adair) has been meeting after every game, talking about things and it's been a one-sided conversation from them. They go over their outing.

"They've really seemed to hit a good stride here. Hope it's an indicator....they've been in a lot more aggressive, attack mode. You can tell a little different confidence level and they've really put some hitters on their heels a little bit more.

"But every game and every series is another challenge. Whether it was the Yankees or Twins, Simon competed and was aggressive (last night) and that's what you want."

Jeremy Guthrie (6-16, 4.42) will try to continue the solid pitching tonight here against Toronto. He is 1-2 with an ERA of 5.74 in four August starts. He gave up just one run in seven innings in last Wednesday's win at Minnesota after a three-start stretch where he pitched to an ERA of 7.32.

He is 2-7 with an ERA of 3.62 in 17 career games against Toronto.

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