Plenty of experience on the mound today at the Yard (updated)

Here is the good news: Today's O's starter Freddy Garcia is 4-2 with a 2.51 career ERA in nine starts with seven career quality starts against the San Diego Padres.

But the other side of that news is that he has not faced San Diego since June 12, 2005.

Garcia makes his third Orioles start today and makes another bid to hang onto to and/or cement his rotation spot. He is 0-1 with an ERA of 4.26 in his first two outings.

There certainly is some experience on the mound today at Camden Yards between Garcia and San Diego's Jason Marquis. Garcia will make his 347th career start today, the 10th-most among active pitchers and Marquis will make his 297th career start, the 20th-most among active pitchers.

Last night was just the third time this season an O's starter has pitched seven innings or more. Wei-Yin Chen went eight against Oakland on April 26 and Tillman went eight May 2 versus Anaheim.

O's starters have allowed just one earned run over 12 innings in the last two games after giving up 16 earned runs over 14 innings in the three previous games.

How about another Manny note. Machado has 12 career home runs. According to STATS, if Machado homers again before July 6, he will pass Boog Powell for the most homers before age 21 by an Oriole. Powell homered 12 times in 1961-62 before turning 21. Dave Nicholson (five homers in 1960) and Brooks Robinson (five homers from 1955-58) were third and fourth on the list.

Machado singled in the first inning today, giving him 11 hits over his last 21 at-bats starting with the Minnesota series that began last Friday.

Update: Now there is less experience on the mound as Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland replaced Garcia with two outs in the top of the fourth. Garcia struggled today and allowed seven hits and four runs in 3 2/3 innings, throwing 75 pitches, 44 for strikes.

Since his first start when he took a no-hitter into the seventh at Anaheim and gave up two runs over 6 2/3 innings, Garcia has allowed 12 hits and eight runs in 9 2/3 innings over his last two O's starts.

The starting pitching, which began today 10th in the AL in starters' ERA, has become an issue with Miguel Gonzalez and Wei-Yin Chen currently on the DL.


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