O’s notes on bouncing back, Jonathan Schoop, the bullpen and more

The Orioles have been resilient this year and they have to be that again now. The last two days, they’ve gone to Texas and back. They lost games to the Rangers and Padres by 4-3 and 10-7 scores. They held a three-run lead in each game, but could not win either.

Over the last three games, the Orioles have scored 21 runs on 44 hits, but they have won just one of those three games. But last night, every team in the American League East lost, so the Orioles remain in first place by one game over Boston and by 2 1/2 over Toronto.

Pedro Alvarez, who hit two homers last night, talked about the Orioles ability to bounce back from tough losses, something they have to do again tonight.

“There is a big trust in our ability and we know what we can do,” Alvarez said. “You know, we’re never out of a ballgame. If you have that mentality, you never waste at-bats and you always have a chance. That is key for us and something we never lose sight of.”

Jonathan Schoop smile high fives gray.jpgThe scoop on Schoop: Young and talented second baseman Jonathan Schoop is having a solid season. He’s batting .280 with 12 homers and 41 RBIs in 70 games. At this pace, Schoop would finish with 28 home runs and 95 RBIs. Yep, pretty good.

Over his last four games, Schoop is 9-for-17. Schoop has improved his offensive stats each month. In April, he hit .218 with an OPS of .679. Those numbers were .298/.789 in May and are .320/.926 this month.

O’s manager Buck Showalter yesterday talked about Schoop’s offense trending up.

“I think Jon (has been) taking some hits the other way and just trusting himself,” Showalter said. “Such a fine line. All the credit goes to Jon. Jon works hard and has a routine now, things he does in batting practice. He can correct himself some.

“I think because he’s not a guy that’s looking for attention or credit ... Scott Coolbaugh is really good. He’s one of the best hitting coaches I’ve ever had. He is tunnel-visioned and the guys trust him. Everybody is different. I think Jonathan and Scott have got a real process, plan and routine going. He corrects himself as much as Scott. It has been fun to stay out of their way and watch them work.”

Schoop has been consistent the past two years:
2015: .279 batting average, .306 OBP, .482 slugging percentage, .788 OPS
2016: .280 batting average, .310 OBP, .486 slugging percentage, .796 OPS

The stars were out: Seven players from the Orioles organization played in All-Star Games last night in two minor leagues.

The Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds were represented by four players in the South Atlantic League All-Star game in Lexington, Kent. They played on the winning team as the North beat the South 2-1.

Delmarva’s Yermin Mercedes was the starting catcher and went 0-for-2. Alex Murphy started at DH and was 1-for-4 with a single. Delmarva reliever Ryan Meisinger pitched 2/3 of an inning, allowing one hit and one run on a homer. Garrett Cleavinger pitched a scoreless 1/3 of an inning.

Three players from Single-A Frederick played for the winning team as the Carolina League beat the California League 6-4 at Lake Elsinore, Calif.

Frederick’s Jonah Heim started behind the plate and went 1-for-3 with a single, and Aderlin Rodriguez started at DH, going 1-for-4 with a single. Keys right-hander Matthew Grimes pitched a scoreless, 1-2-3 second inning with one strikeout.

Can the ‘pen be mighty again?: The Orioles bullpen allowed seven runs in three innings last night in the loss to San Diego. The O’s bullpen has allowed five runs or more four times in the last 10 games after doing that just two times in the first 60 games. Over those last 10 games, the O’s ‘pen has an ERA of 5.92.

The bullpen ERA was 2.74 on June 3 when right-hander Darren O’Day went on the disabled list. The bullpen ERA since that time is 4.37. Mychal Givens has allowed eight runs over his last four games and 3 1/3 innings. He failed to get an out last night, facing five batters. He allowed three hits and two walks and took the loss.

Is the O’s bullpen starting to struggle without O’Day and can it return to being a strength?

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