TORONTO - It didn’t seem it took that long for the Orioles to go from the feel-good postgame clubhouse after Thursday’s win to a mini crisis with their pitchers after allowing 11 runs in Saturday’s loss at Rogers Centre.
The Orioles now have now lost three times when scoring six or more runs and Toronto has won twice when allowing six or more after yesterday’s 11-6 win by Toronto. They have taken two of three in the series which concludes this afternoon.
The Orioles went 3-6 at Rogers Centre last year and have lost 11 of 18 in the ballpark that has been, at times, a house of horrors for O’s pitchers.
Mike Wright may not be a fan of the stadium. In three career starts at Rogers Centre, he is 0-2 with an ERA of 9.58. Wright walked a career-high five yesterday and has an ERA of 9.45 against AL East teams this year.
Chris Davis and Edwin Encarnacion have put on quite a show this weekend. Davis has three homers in the series, going 5-for-9 with seven RBIs. He has now homered in four consecutive games for the fourth time in his career. The last time was July 11-13, 2013. He now has 16 homers in 152 career at-bats at Rogers Centre.
Encarnacion hit a walk-off homer in the 10th inning Friday night and then came up with his 23rd career multi-homer game yesterday when he drove in five runs. Of his last 34 hits, 21 have gone for extra bases.
In his last six plate appearances - since the 10th inning on Friday - he is 4-for-4 with a double, two walks, three homers and six RBIs. Over his last 10 games, Encarnacion has five homers and 13 RBIs.
The Orioles bullpen may need reinforcements today. Showalter said he planned to not use three relievers yesterday which were presumably Dylan Bundy, Mychal Givens and Vance Worley, who was held out to be the long man today behind Ubaldo Jimenez.
After Thursday’s uplifting win, now the Orioles need to win today to split this four-game series before this road trip heads to Boston.
Third rehab start for Gallardo: O’s right-hander Yovani Gallardo made one rehab outing for Single-A Frederick and one for Triple-A Norfolk. Tomorrow night he is back in the International League to pitch one more time for the Tides before likely re-joining the Orioles rotation next Saturday.
Gallardo has been out since April 23 with right shoulder tendinitis. The rehab starts have shown him that physically he is healthy. From a mental standpoint it has been good to cut it loose on the mound and see that the injury is now in his rear-view mirror.
“Physically, just being able to prove to myself I can go out there and repeat 85-90 pitches in back-to-back starts,” Gallardo said. “For a starting pitcher that is very important. The mental side, just knowing that it feels good. My shoulder, there are no issues there. No issues throwing that amount of pitches at a high intensity. This will make me feel that much better going into my next start here.
“I’m excited. Excited by the way everything has felt. You know, the guys in that training room did a tremendous job with everything I had to do and am still doing now. Going into this start and treating this as an important start. Get that focus in, prepare and be one step closer.”
Praise for Flash: The player known as “Flash” in the Orioles clubhouse has always been appreciated by his manager. And again this weekend, Ryan Flaherty quickly got praise from Buck Showalter. He was asked about Flaherty and how his versatility is so valued on this team.
“You know what you get from him,” Showalter said “I’m looking for people that we can trust. That doesn’t mean they are All-Stars. They are not newsworthy, but they’re trustworthy. I’d rather have trustworthy. They might not always statistically light up your fantasy league but Ryan is a winning player.”
Showalter said having a versatile defender on his bench is a necessity and not a luxury.
“Just like a long reliever. You can’t survive without them. And they have to be able to bring something...it might just be bring a certain energy to that game. You have to bring something that we can’t get off any street corner around Baltimore.”
The draft: The Orioles completed the final day of the First-Year Player Draft on Saturday. The Orioles selected 41 players overall over three days with 27 pitchers and 14 position players, with 31 of the selections being college athletes. The Orioles selected 15 right-handed pitchers, 12 left-handed pitchers, nine infielders, and five outfielders.
There were a total of 1,216 players chosen in the 40 rounds and two Competitive Balance Lottery rounds. Pitchers were the most frequently chosen players, with 635 being selected (476 RHP, 159 LHP). The rest of the 2016 pool was comprised of 252 infielders (including 107 shortstops, 53 third basemen, 49 second basemen, 42 first basemen and one utility infielder), 214 outfielders and 115 catchers.
Texas A&M University had 13 players selected, the most in the draft, while the University of Southern California had 12 players selected. Mississippi State University and Oklahoma State University each produced 11 players.
Check out Roch Kubatko’s blog to see all the Orioles picks over the last three days.