Jurrjens up next, Gonzalez may return soon as O’s continue search for solid rotation

There is no question about the struggles for much of this season, especially recently, regarding the Orioles’ starting rotation.

The starters have just one quality start over the last seven games, with an ERA of 7.34 in that stretch. In five of the last six games, the O’s starter pitched five or fewer innings.

The rotation ERA for the season is now 4.86. That has to get better, but this may surprise you. Last year on August 3, the O’s rotation ERA was 4.80, and the Orioles were 55-51 and 7 1/2 games out of first place.

The Orioles truly didn’t solve their rotation issues last season until late in the year and had a final rotation ERA of 4.42, yet they won 93 games.

Before some fans go into a total panic, it might be worth waiting at least a few more days to see if Jair Jurrjens can offer any help starting today and how Miguel Gonzalez does once he returns to the active roster, probably on Tuesday.

Jurrjens will become the 10th different starter used by the club this year, and the Orioles used a total of 12 all of last year. There is no limit on how many you can use, and I’ll bet the O’s top 12 this year.

After watching their starting pitchers give up 11 runs in 8 1/3 the last two days, after watching Jason Hammel’s ERA balloon to 5.72 for the season and after the team has gone through several fifth starter candidates, the search for the solid rotation continues today at Camden Yards.

Some other O’s notes:

* The O’s have allowed 17 hits or more in two straight games for just the fourth time in team history, as they allowed 17 Wednesday and last night. The most recent time this had happened was April 30-May 1, 1996 against New York. The Orioles have never given up that many hits three games in a row.

* The Orioles scored six runs in the eighth last night, which is their biggest inning of the year.

* J.J. Hardy is batting .355 (16-for-45) during a 12-game hitting streak, with five homers and nine RBIs during the streak, which is the longest by an Oriole in 2013.

* The Orioles fell to 9-9 at home with Friday’s loss, and Tampa Bay is now 7-12 on the road. The Orioles are now 9-7, and Tampa Bay is 8-12, in games against the AL East.

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