Garcia looks for another strong start tonight at Houston (Garcia doesn’t get it)

Freddy Garcia will try to get the job done again tonight for the Orioles when they play Game 2 of their series at Houston.

Over his first three O’s starts, the right-hander pitched to an ERA of 5.51. Over his last three starts - against the Yankees, Blue Jays and Nats - he is 2-0 with an ERA of 1.89.

Overall, Garcia is 2-2 with an ERA of 3.57 over six starts.

He has certainly been a strike-thrower. He has not walked a batter over his last two starts and has walked just six over 35 1/3 since his callup from Triple-A.

Last Thursday night at Camden Yards, Garcia pitched eight shutout innings of three-hit ball against the Nationals. His split-finger fastball was moving like crazy in that game.

After that outing, here is what catcher Matt Wieters said about Garcia.

“He had all his offspeed stuff that he could throw for strikes and especially his split that he could go to anytime he needed it,” he said. “He was able to throw enough fastballs to where they had to honor it, and the splitty was diving and darting sort of both ways.

“It is always great when as a catcher you can throw down any finger and feel it will get thrown for a strike. All the guys like playing behind him and he really had it going.”

Garcia tonight tries to give the Orioles a third straight quality start after Kevin Gausman and Chris Tillman combined to allow just two runs in 13 innings over the past two games.

The Orioles tonight try to go nine games over the .500 mark for the first time all year. They have been eight games over three times at 21-13, 22-14 and 23-15.

Not so far: Well, that was a rough first inning. Garcia got some pitches up the zone and allowed two-run homers to Jason Castro and Carlos Pena as he and the Orioles fell behind 4-1 after one inning. Garcia needed 28 pitches to get his first three outs.

Over his previous three starts, Garcia gave up four earned runs over 19 innings. Tonight he gives up four earned runs in just one inning. The Orioles are going to have to play catchup tonight at Houston.

Garcia now out: After he gave up his fourth homer of the game, a leadoff shot to Matt Dominguez in the last of the fourth, Steve Johnson replaced Garcia, who went from an awesome outing vs. the Nats to a terrible one tonight. Garcia allowed six runs and four homers in three innings plus one batter. He gave up three homers combined in his past three starts and four tonight.

I would expect the O’s to keep him in the rotation since he had pitched well those previous three starts. Do you think they should stick with him now?

Homer notes (not good ones): The Astros homer total is up to six tonight as they took a 9-1 lead after four innings. It is the second time in the last four games the Orioles have allowed five or more homers and the fourth time in the last eight games they have allowed four or more. Pretty sure that is not good at all.

So the O’s have now allowed 13 homers over the last four games and 23 over the last eight. They have allowed in order 4, 4, 0, 2, 5, 1, 1 and 6 homers in those games and this game is not over. Well at least there are more innings to play. You know what I mean.

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