Taylor Teagarden makes his seventh start behind the plate today for the Orioles. The club is 3-3 in his first six starts, but Teagarden is 0-for-20 at bat and trying to get into the hit column here today.
"I've been taking tons of swings," he said. "I'm just trying to get my bat speed going and shorten the curve or whatever to get back to what I'm capable of hitting. I have high expectations for myself and hopefully we get it going soon."
Today he is catching Freddy Garcia, who has allowed two earned runs or less in four of his last five starts, going 3-1 with an ERA of 3.86 in that stretch.
"Most important is getting Freddy into that seventh inning with a lead," Teagarden said. "He's got to keep the ball down, put his offspeed stuff into play. He'll do a good job of keeping hitters off balance. Just has to execute some pitches."
He will also try to keep the league's leading base stealer, Jacoby Ellsbury, from running amok on the bases. Ellsbury has stolen 30-of-33 on the year, although his streak of 18 straight ended here Thursday night.
"It's a challenge because the best baserunners are not scared of any catchers," Teagarden said. "They don't care about the pitcher, the catcher, they'll try to steal the base. You know they are running. It's kind of a cool one-on-one game if you will. The top guys, if you can throw those guys out, it feels good."
Here are a few quick notes from the minors:
* Here are the combined stats for the last two starts for Single-A Delmarva pitcher Josh Hader: 13 innings, five hits, one earned run, 12 strikeouts. He is 3-2 with an ERA of 1.94 over 11 starts to rank fourth in the South Atlantic League in ERA.
* Double-A Bowie's Henry Urrutia is batting .423 (11-for-26) during a six-game batting streak. He is leading the Eastern League, batting .355 and is fourth in slugging at .544. In 10 games in June, Urrutia is batting .429 with a 1.132 OPS.
* Bowie's Caleb Joseph continues to have a strong year, batting .292 with 13 homers and 49 RBIs. He leads all O's minor leaguers in homers and RBIs. He is hitting .443 against left-handed pitching.
* L.J. Hoes is 11-for-20 during a six-game batting streak for Triple-A Norfolk. In 12 games this month, he is batting .357 with four doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and a 1.095 OPS for the Tides.