Orioles starting pitchers hit a bump in the road

Even after their second loss on this road trip by seven runs, the Orioles woke up today for the series finale in Chicago still in first place. At 7-5, they lead the American League East by a half-game over Toronto.

Tommy Hunter gave up eight runs and nine hits over 5 2/3 innings last night. Three runs scored after he left the game, but it was the poorest outing by an O’s starter this year.

Since allowing two unearned runs in his first start, Hunter has given up 13 runs (12 earned) on 15 hits in 11 2/3 innings over his past two starts and he has allowed six homers in those games.

Since the great mound work in the opening series against Minnesota, Orioles starting pitching has been a little shaky at times. The starters’ ERA is going up. It was 0.41 after that Twins series, 1.99 after five games, 3.10 after eight and 4.21 after last night.

Orioles pitchers have just one quality start over their last nine games and six times in those games the starter has pitched fewer than six innings. Let’s see if Jason Hammel can reverse the trend this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Orioles hitters were held to season lows of one run and five hits last night. It was just the second game this year without an Orioles home run.

Since scoring 10 runs in that comeback win Monday, the Orioles have scored just four runs on 11 hits in the last two games of this series with the White Sox.

Here are how Orioles hitters have fared on this road trip:

Robert Andino: 6-for-21 with a home run
Wilson Betemit: 3-for-15, one home run and three RBIs
Endy Chavez: 1-for-10
Chris Davis: 9-for-22, one home run and three RBIs
Ryan Flaherty: 0-for-4
J.J. Hardy: 4-for-21, one home run and one RBI
Adam Jones: 8-for-25, three homers and four RBIs
Nick Johnson: 0-for-7
Nick Markakis: 4-for-25
Ronny Paulino: 1-for-6
Nolan Reimold: 9-for-20, four homers and seven RBIs
Mark Reynolds: 3-for-19
Matt Wieters: 4-for-17, two homers and six RBIs

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