The problems in navigating a lineup the third time through the order resurfaced for Orioles right-hander Andrew Cashner in Chicago on Monday night. Cashner will look for improvement this afternoon when he faces the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg. Cashner threw four scoreless innings to begin his night Monday, but was knocked from the game during the sixth.
As the lineup turned over, Cashner issued a walk and five straight hits over the fifth and sixth innings. For the season, Cashner allows a .221 average and a .793 OPS when he faces hitters the first time in a game. The numbers are .214/.683 for the second time through a lineup. But when facing batters a third time, Cashner allows a .426 average and a 1.219 OPS.
So should manager Buck Showalter be ready to handle Cashner starts differently moving forward?
“Would you walk out and tell him after that fifth inning, ‘You’re done’? Sometimes you know there is a strong potential of an issue but you don’t have the situation to make the change. Bring in (Pedro) Araujo or Tanner Scott there, it’s the fifth inning,” Showalter said.
Showalter is never one to manage from a stat sheet, especially one telling him to yank his starter before he faces hitters a third time. And he doesn’t want a veteran pitcher to think he doesn’t have the confidence in him to get outs in the middle and later innings.
“They know when someone reminds them of it,” he said. “We all do. That is the challenge. It is very easy to sit in an ivory tower and say, ‘This should be done, that should be done.’ What is the cause and effect of it? Now I’ve used three good bullpen pieces two days in a row, and there’s a game we can win and we don’t have anyone to bring in. It is a long haul and a short haul, too. If you had seven optionable pieces in Norfolk that are on the roster (maybe the club could bring up multiple pitchers from the minors). There are a lot of variables that come into play there.”
Hess gets second win: Right-hander David Hess had another solid start versus the Rays as he took the mound for third time in the majors last night. This one was even better than in his debut at Camden Yards. Hess allowed four hits and no runs over 6 2/3 as the Orioles beat the Rays 2-0. Hess is 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA.
Again he was two-pitch-heavy, throwing 59 fastballs and 26 sliders among his 91 pitches. His fastball averaged 92.8 mph, topping at 95 mph. His slider got six swings-and-misses.
This was the Orioles’ seventh scoreless start of 2018:
* March 29, Dylan Bundy seven innings versus the Twins.
* April 10, Andrew Cashner, seven innings versus the Blue Jays.
* April 27, Chris Tillman, seven innings versus the Tigers.
* May 5, Kevin Gausman, nine innings at the Athletics.
* May 13, Dylan Bundy, seven innings versus the Rays.
* May 22, Kevin Gausman, 6 1/3 innings at the White Sox.
* May 26, David Hess, 6 2/3 at the Rays.
For just the second time this season, the Orioles have two straight road wins. They won back-to-back April 5-6 at Yankee Stadium. The Orioles are 4-5 on a road trip that has two games to go.
Jonathan Schoop blasted a 442-foot homer off left-hander Ryan Yarbrough in the sixth to make the score 2-0. Schoop’s blast had an exit velocity of 107.9 mph. According to Statcast stats, it was the longest homer hit by an Oriole this year.
On the farm: Right-hander Matthias Dietz had another strong outing last night for Single-A Delmarva. He threw seven scoreless on three hits as the Shorebirds blanked Lakewood 3-0. Dietz didn’t issue a walk and fanned seven. The Orioles’ second-round pick in the 2016 draft, Dietz didn’t go to a three-ball count one time, and the seven innings are his career high.
Dietz improved to 5-1 with a 2.74 ERA. Over his last three starts he has allowed one run on 10 hits over 18 innings, with five walks and 17 strikeouts.
Tim Naughton pitched the last two innings for his first save as Delmarva notched its seventh shutout of the season, the Shorebirds’ second in their past three games and fourth in their last 10. The Shorebirds are 29-17.