O’s game blog: McFarland is 26th man and a look at Game 1 pitchers

Orioles left-hander T. J. McFarland is quite familiar with the Norfolk-Baltimore shuttle. He took a ride heading north again yesterday, arriving Friday in the O’s clubhouse and being activated today.

With a day-night split doubleheader here today, the Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays can add a 26th man for both games. It has to be the same player for both games and McFarland is the O’s 26th player today.

“We got two games, so I’m probably going to get some innings,” McFarland said this morning of his latest return to the team. “I’m just happy to be up here as the 26th man. We have two games, so an extra arm could help out. With two games, there is a high percentage that we need some guys today. Going to try and get two wins today.”

mcfarland-pitches-white-sidebar.jpgMcFarland is 1-2 with a 5.14 ERA over 21 innings, allowing 25 hits for the Orioles. In five games, four starts for Triple-A Norfolk, he is 1-1 with an ERA of 3.00. He pitched five innings on Monday for the Tides against Lehigh Valley, allowing eight hits and four runs.

Getting to pitch five innings allowed him to work on a few things in that game.

“Yeah it does, definitely.” he said. “And it kind of puts me in a starter routine in terms of just being able to do different things before I start. But I was able to get stretched out, use all my pitches and attack hitters in different ways.”

The 27-year-old McFarland has made two career starts in the major leagues. But he said right now he doesn’t expect to get a shot to start for the Orioles.

“There has been no talk of that,” McFarland said. “Obviously, every time I go down to Triple-A, I start, so that is in the back of my mind. But right now, I’m just trying to help the team and go out there and log some innings.”

On the mound today in Game 1, right-hander Kevin Gausman (0-5, 4.37 ERA) pitches against right-hander Matt Andriese (6-0, 2.88 ERA).

Over his last two starts against Boston and Texas, Gausman has pitched eight innings, allowing 16 hits and 10 runs. He pitched to an ERA of 2.70 over his first six 2016 starts, but he is 0-4 with an ERA of 6.32 his past six starts. In that span, he has allowed four runs or more four times and permitted nine homers.

In five home starts, Gausman is 0-1 with a 3.48 ERA. He has six quality starts in 12 outings and the Orioles are 4-8 in his starts this season.

Andriese’s last three appearances have come out of the bullpen and he has pitched 5 1/3 total innings in those games. He is pitching on two days’ rest after throwing 36 pitches and allowing two runs in 1 2/3 innings Wednesday against Cleveland.

He has made seven starts this year and in those games is only 5-0 with an ERA of 2.82 and a .242 average against. In 15 career starts, he is 7-2 with a 3.15 ERA.

The Orioles are tied for the major league lead with 41 home games played this season (the Red Sox have also played 41). The Orioles lead the majors with 28 wins at home. At 28-13 (.683), the Orioles own the fourth-best record at home in the majors and rank third-best in the AL. The Orioles have hit 61 home runs at home this season to lead the majors.

At 14-8 (.636), the Orioles’ record in June ranks fifth-best in the majors and ranks fourth-best in the American League. The Orioles have a major league-best 44 home runs in the month of June. The major league record for most home runs in June is 55 (Oakland in 1996) and the most for any single month is 58 (Baltimore in 1987 and Seattle in 1999).

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