Looking back and ahead

Orioles manager Buck Showalter needed one more day before he could pronounce his bullpen rested and recovered from Thursday’s doubleheader. Chris Tillman just needed to give him some length in yesterday’s start.

Tillman lasted only 4 2/3 innings and Showalter used three relievers in a 9-5 loss to the Rays. He also had Brad Brach warm up without coming into the game.

Oliver Drake threw 34 pitches in two innings and he has options left, which always makes him a candidate if the Orioles decide to summon a bullpen arm. Jorge Rondon (15 pitches) and Cesar Cabral (eight) both pitched yesterday for Triple-A Norfolk.

Is it too soon for Mychal Givens? The shortstop-turned-reliever is 2-1 with a 1.21 ERA in 18 appearances at Double-A Bowie, with 42 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings, and the Orioles are willing to recall him without first bumping him up to Norfolk. I’d be shocked if he isn’t in the majors at some point this summer.

Matt Wieters caught Givens at Bowie and was impressed. The former second-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft is throwing in the upper 90s with a sidearm delivery, and his stuff has been described as “nasty” by multiple people in the organization.

Anyway, we’ll see whether the Orioles make a roster move before tonight’s series opener in Houston.

Chaz Roe is out of options and he doesn’t figure to go anywhere after tossing 7 1/3 scoreless innings and striking out eight over five appearances since the Orioles selected his contract on May 24.

Adam Jones could return to the lineup tonight after sitting out the last two games with a sprained left ankle. There’s no better cure than running up the hill in center field at Minute Maid Park.

Jimmy Paredes white homer.pngJimmy Paredes went 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts yesterday, lowering his average to .314. He’s in a 1-for-20 slump in his last five games that includes 11 strikeouts.

I’m not suggesting that the Orioles should tie Paredes to the bench, but it may be time to unclogged the designated hitter spot and start rotating players into it until he heats up again. If he heats up again.

The Orioles continue to spin their wheels, unable to gain enough traction to race past the teams ahead of them in the division. They haven’t won more than three games in a row, and that mini-streak was interrupted by the two postponements caused by rioting in the city. They went 10-10 in April and 13-16 in May.

Check the standings. They’re one game behind the Yankees and Rays in the all-important loss column.

When did the American League East become the NFC South?

The Orioles took two of three from the Astros on May 25-27 at Camden Yards, with Brach earning both wins in relief. The teams split four games at Minute Maid Park last season. Manny Machado hit his first career grand slam off Scott Feldman in the finale.

Ubaldo Jimenez is 3-3 with a 3.14 ERA in nine starts this season, with 14 walks and 47 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings. He’s issued two walks in his last three starts and has four walks and 24 strikeouts in his last four outings.

Jimenez faced the Astros on May 27 and allowed four runs and 10 hits in seven innings. He’s 4-0 with a 2.56 ERA in 10 career starts against them and 2-0 with a 2.23 ERA in six starts in Houston.

Colby Rasmus is 13-for-31 (.419) with six doubles, a triple, a home run and eight strikeouts against Jimenez. Jose Altuve is 5-for-15 with a double and triple, and Evan Gattis is 3-for-4 with a double and home run.

Left-hander Brett Oberholtzer is making his second start this season for the Astros. He’s 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA in two career starts against the Orioles, with one run, no walks and seven strikeouts in 14 innings.

The current Orioles are 5-for-29 against Oberholtzer. Chris Davis is 2-for-6, Jones is 1-for-6 with a double and J.J. Hardy is 1-for-5 with an RBI.

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