Showalter speaks after 4-0 loss (So does Andino)

Before manager Buck Showalter can dissect a game, he has to provide an injury update. It’s become a tradition here.

Here’s the Showalter told reporters concerning second baseman Robert Andino:

“Dove, landed on his shoulder. He’s going to stay back and take an MRI hopefully tomorrow morning and get some information. The trainers are telling me what docs said and what initially they think, but it’s just pure speculation until they get the pictures back. I think we’ll be able to make a decision on it by Tuesday and where it could affect some roster things we’ve got to do.

“Robert’s as tough as they come. For him to come out of a game, it gives you some concern. But he’s actually feeling a little better right now. I don’t know how much of that is adrenaline or whatever. He was in some discomfort.”

As I wrote in my last entry, X-rays were negative and Andino said the pain is gone. He expects to play in the next few days.

Justin Verlander shook off his horrible showing in the All-Star Game and held the Orioles to three hits in eight scoreless innings.

“It’s a luxury you have when you’ve got a horse like him to empty your bullpen last night,” Showalter said. “You guys notice the Tigers didn’t make any moves for pitchers today. When he had some struggles in the All-Star Game, I wasn’t too excited about it. I kind of had an idea he was going to be on top of his game today. We shouldn’t feel like he’s picking on us. He’s been doing that to a lot of hitters. We’ve had some decent experience with him at times, but it’s hard to sustain much, especially after he gets his feet on the ground the first couple innings.

“He knows where the finish line is. He’s not going to show all his bullets. He doesn’t really break out the curveball until the third or fourth inning, the second or third time around the order. He’s going to establish some things. It’s no secret. The really good pitchers are the ones you know what they’re going to do and they do it anyway. On top of that, he’s got good stuff. He’s got a three- or four-pitch mix - four-seam, two-seam, curveball, changeup. And if he gets bored, he throws a slider.”

Miguel Gonzalez took the loss after allowing three runs and six hits, walking five and striking out three in 5 2/3 innings. The first batter he faced, Austin Jackson, homered to give Detroit a quick 1-0 lead.

“Jackson’s improved so much,” Showalter said. “He’s cut his strikeouts down. He might be one of the most improved hitters in the league. The pitch that he used to pass up, that high fastball, he’s taking it now, and if you get the ball down he can hurt you.

“I thought Miguel was real good, all things considered. Ran out of gas may not be the right word, but I thought he built on the last good outing. Sometimes you see walks, but some of it is kind of unintentional intentional. I like what I see. Composure, athletic, strike-thrower. He gave us a chance if we held them to two and maybe even three. But there’s not margin for error there with Verlander. He’s the type of guy that makes you play the infield in in the first or second innings because you know there aren’t going (to be) many runs given up.”

The Orioles optioned Steve Johnson following the game. Johnson made his major league debut and allowed one run - Miguel Cabrera’s homer - and one hit. He walked two, struck out two and received two really nice ovations from the Camden Yards crowd.

“I thought he threw the ball pretty well as soon as he got his feet on the ground there,” Showalter said. “This is a guy who, if you threw out Norfolk last year, had as good numbers as you want to see in Bowie and Norfolk this year, if you look at the hits-to-innings and the strikeouts. He’s got a good feel for pitching, just like his dad.

“He’s a great young man. I had to step back and take it in. He’s still one of our younger guys. He’s got a feel for pitching. He knows who he is and what he has to do to be successful, so I’m glad we brought him up. It puts us in a better position to win as we go forward. I was disappointed last time I couldn’t get him in there. Fortunately, the situation presented itself today.

“I do step back and take it in. They do have to start somewhere. I love the fact that Stevie is ours in more ways than one. You can imagine the emotion that he and his family had seeing him come to fruition out there and have some success doing it.”

Update: Here’s Andino talking about his injury:

“The cut of the grass, I got caught, shoulder stuck. I’m fine. X-rays are negative. So tomorrow I get an MRI.

“It’s sore like a little cramp. When you catch a cramp, it’s a sore feeling.”

As for whether he can play, Andino said, “It’s on them. For me, I don’t think I’ll go on the DL, though. It should be like a few days, hopefully. For me to come out of the game, it’s got to be something. X-rays are negative. I got nothing torn, nothing separated. Just waiting for the MRI tomorrow and just go from there.

“I’ve got no pain. A little soreness. It’s sore. I’ll get an MRI tomorrow. My arm got stuck, but I kept sliding. X-rays were negative, so it should be fine. Miss a few days, I guess. I’m hoping.”

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