Brach try­ing to fit into role he’s given

Re­liever seeks to re­gain the form he had in first half of sea­son

Baltimore Sun - - ORIOLES - By Ed­uardo A. Encina eencina@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Ed­dieInTheYard

BOS­TON — Ori­oles right-han­der Brad Brach has served as the team’s setup man in Dar­ren O’Day’s ab­sence, but in the team’s 3-1 vic­tory over the Detroit Tigers onSun­day, Brach wa­sused in the sev­enth in­ning and rookie right-han­der My­chal Givens pitched in a setup role.

Brach has strug­gled to keep his first-half All-Star form in the sec­ond half of the sea­son, post­ing a 3.80 ERA in 211⁄ in­nings af­ter the break. He owned a 0.80 ERA head­ing into the break.

Sun­day’s out­ing was Brach’s first since he al­lowed a game-win­ning home run to Victor Martinez in the eighth in­ning of a tied game in the Ori­oles’ 4-3 loss Fri­day in Detroit. It was the third homer Brach has al­lowed since the break; he also al­lowed three home runs be­fore the break, but in more than twice as many in­nings pitched.

“I know you can look at the en­tire sec­ond half, but re­ally the last two runs I’ve given up have been one pitch,” Brach said. “Theonepitch the other night was ob­vi­ously not the way you want to do it, but it is what it is, and I just need to be ready and just try­ing not to think about too muc­hand just ex­e­cute pitch­ing as get the job done.”

Brach said he tried not to think took much about pitch­ing in a dif­fer­ent role Sun­day.

“I think I’ve just got to get back to when­the­p­honer­ings be­ing ready to pitch,” Brach said. “I didn’t put too muchthought­into it. I thought maybe it might be mul­ti­ple [in­nings] or what­ever. I just know some­times with matchups, [Ori­oles man­ager Buck Showal­ter] wants My­chal to face someguys. At­this­pointinthe­sea­son, as­lon­gasI’mpitchingingame­sand help­ing us win, I re­ally don’t care when I pitch.”

With O’Day’s re­turn seem­ingly on the hori­zon — he could re­turn later this week af­ter throw­ing a sim­u­lated game to­day — Showal­ter will have an­other late-in­ning weapon and Brach would likely re­turn to the sev­enth in­ning, any­way. Still, Brach’s re­vers­ing his sec­ond-half for­tunes, as well as the healthy re­turn of O’Day, would be help­ful to the Ori­oles’ play­off push.

“I feel good,” Brach said. “It’s just that time of the month when you re­ally need to ex­e­cute pitches. I knowI’ve been harp­ing on that over and over again, but if you make even a lit­tle bit of a mis­take, you’re go­ing to get hurt, es­pe­cially against the guy you’ve faced a bunch. I en­joy the cat-and-mouse game, but it gets tough when you’ve faced these guys five, six, seven, eight, nine times a year as a re­liever, they’ve seen ev­ery­thing you’ve got. You know what they’re try­ing to do.” Brad Brach Till­man feel­ing good day af­ter re­turn: Showal­ter said that right-han­der Chris Till­man, who made his first start af­ter com­ing off the dis­abled list Sun­day, felt sore­ness in the right spots Mon­day.

“Chris felt sore like most play­ers are,” Showal­ter said of Till­man, who was on the dis­abled list with right shoul­der bur­si­tis. “I don’t think peo­ple re­al­ize the tran­si­tion from the day you pitch un­til the next day you pitch you feel sore­ness. Shoul­der feels good. So he’ll take a day and see how to­mor­row feels. That’s good to hear.”

Till­man bat­tled through some early con­trol is­sues Sun­day, go­ing six in­nings and al­low­ing just one run on four hits. The Ori­oles will con­tinue to mon­i­tor Till­man, who re­turned from the dis­abled list with­out any sim­u­lated game ac­tiv­ity. Gal­lardo sched­uled for Thurs­day: Right-han­der Yo­vani Gal­lardo is sched­uled to start Thurs­day’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Gal­lardo was es­sen­tially skipped this time through the ro­ta­tion. He hasn’t started since Sept. 6, when he al­lowed two runs — one earned — on five hits over five in­nings in an11-2 win at Tampa Bay. He has al­lowed three earned runs or fewer in six of his past seven starts.

Gal­lardo has seen much more ca­reer suc­cess against Tampa Bay (2-2, 3.55 ERAin nine games) than against the Red Sox (1-2, 6.41, in four starts), and has a 7.20 ERA in two starts against Bos­ton this sea­son. Around the horn: Showal­ter said it will be de­cided af­ter O’Day’s sim­u­lated game to­day whether he might need an­other sim­u­lated ses­sion. … OF Joey Rickard (thumb) is el­i­gi­ble to re­turn from the 60-day dis­abled list next week, but Showal­ter said he wasn’t sure Rickard will be ready in time.

Starters: Rays’ Chris Archer (8-18, 4.05) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (7-11, 5.98)

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