On a day and night where the Orioles played two games, and 19 innings, and their starting pitchers covered just 10 of those innings, the O’s bullpen was called on often during the doubleheader with Pittsburgh.
The Orioles used six pitchers in Game 1 and seven in Game 2. Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz, Darren O’Day and Ryan Webb pitched in both games.
O’Day said he felt fine after pitching in both games and was glad to get the work after three days without a game.
“You know it’s funny, tonight (in Game 2) I felt way better than today,” O’Day said. “We are creatures of habit. Three days off and all that rain, I think, is harder for us than throwing three days in a row. We were rusty, but guys fought through it and we put in a decent performance out there.”
Hunter got a save in Game 1 and the win in Game 2. He pitched a total of one inning, throwing 14 pitches in the two games.
The O’s ‘pen came up with some big outs and combined to pitch nine innings yesterday allowing seven hits and two runs. They were a factor in Pittsburgh leaving 28 runners on base and going 6-for-30 with runners in scoring position.
We all know the O’s need more innings from their starters, but on a night they didn’t get that, their bullpen helped the team post two wins to go two games over .500 for the first time this year.
Some other O’s notes:
* Nick Markakis, who homered in both games, now has a nine-game hitting streak. He’s batting .361 (13-for-31) during the streak, which is the longest of the year by an Oriole. During the nine games he has a double, two homers, six walks, eight runs and six RBIs. Markakis has homered in back-to-back games for the first time since May 22-23, 2013.
* According to Elias, Markakis is the first Baltimore player to hit home runs in each game of a doubleheader - traditional or split - since Ramon Hernandez did so in a day/night affair against the Phillies on June 28, 2006.
* The Orioles began the doubleheader having scored three runs or less in 10 of 11 home games in 2014. They had scored just nine runs total over their previous four home games. But they scored five runs and six runs in the wins.
* The Orioles have won five of their last seven, and nine of their last 14 games. They are 7-6 at home, 6-3 in one-run games and 14-12 for the season.
* A interesting note from the O’s PR staff: The last out of Sunday’s game was recorded at 4:43 p.m. The first pitch of the twin bill was at 4:08 p.m. There were 95 hours and 25 minutes between games for the O’s.
* The Orioles are now 3-0 in extra-innings games on the season and 27-9 since the start of the 2012 season.
* O’s pitchers struck out 14 batters in Game 2, a new season best. The last time the Orioles fanned 14 or more batters was when they struck out 15 Tampa Bay batters on Sept. 20, 2013.
Meanwhile, O’s vice president Dan Duquette was a guest on the Norris and Davis show this morning on 105.7 FM the Fan in Baltimore.
Duquette was asked about Ubaldo Jimenez and his struggles this season. Jimenez is 0-4 with a 6.59 ERA heading into his start tonight at Minnesota.
“Ubaldo is going to have to pitch effectively for us and show some leadership and pitch late into the game,” Duquette said. “Tonight we are going to need him to pitch late after the doubleheader. I expect he’s going to pitch a good ballgame. I think you’ll see him come around, we certainly need him to come around and to pitch some quality innings to lead our pitching staff.”
Duquette provided an update on pitcher Kevin Gausman who is expected to miss his scheduled start tonight for Triple-A Norfolk due to an intercostal strain.
“Evidently he had some congestion issues and he’s been diagnosed with a strain from the coughing that he had,” Duquette said. “He saw a general doctor yesterday and he’s going to see an orthopedic guy today. We will probably put him on the disabled list there at Triple-A.
“We’ll find out exactly what is ailing him. I don’t know if it’s an allergy issue or what. He did strain his core through this issue and we just have to find out a little more about it.”