Top starters lined up for Bos­ton se­ries

Pearce to have surgery Wed­nes­day; Mi­ley says he’s feel­ing bet­ter

Baltimore Sun - - ORIOLES - By Jon Meoli and Ed­uardo A. Encina jme­oli@balt­sun.com eencina@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/JonMe­oli twit­ter.com/Ed­dieintheYard

If you go by the old adage that good pitch­ing beats good hit­ting, this week’s four-game se­ries fea­tur­ing two of the most pro­lific of­fenses in the Amer­i­can League should pro­duce quite a bat­tle at Cam­den Yards.

Bos­ton, with its high-priced ro­ta­tion, is sup­posed to be set up this way. But man­ager Buck Showal­ter said the way the Ori­oles ro­ta­tion is lined up, with its top four starters — Dy­lan Bundy, Kevin Gaus­man, a resurgent Ubaldo Jimenez, and a healthy Chris Till­man — all pitch­ing well and sched­uled to face Bos­ton, is a happy co­in­ci­dence.

“I’m sure Bos­ton will have some­thing to say about the re­li­a­bil­ity,” Showal­ter said. “They’ve been pitch­ing com­pet­i­tively for us, and giv­ing us a chance to win. Pitch­ing in the Amer­i­can League, the Amer­i­can League East, is re­ally, re­ally hard. It’s hard, pitch­ing. I think be­cause of the age and some of our guys, the ex­pe­ri­ence level with [Gaus­man] and Bundy, we’re hop­ing Chris is all right. Ubaldo has been pitch­ing bet­ter — we’ll see.”

Those four are matched up with Rick Por­cello, Ed­uardo Ro­driguez, Clay Buch­holz and David Price. Both ro­ta­tions have sta­bi­lized in the sec­ond half of the sea­son af­ter rocky starts.

Ori­oles first base­man Chris Davis said the emer­gence of so many re­li­able starters be­side Till­man has been a boost for the Ori­oles.

“I think that we al­ways knew that the po­ten­tial was there, es­pe­cially with Ubaldo, be­cause he’s got a good track record,” Davis said. “I think we ex­pected Kevin and Dy­lan to learn and make the ad­just­ments, but the fact that they did that so quickly has been huge for us. It’s re­ally given us a shot in the arm. I’m ex­cited to see it.”

In Septem­ber, the Ori­oles ro­ta­tion has a 4.19 ERA, fourth in the AL, and be­hind Bos­ton’s 4.05 Septem­ber ERA. Bos­ton’s ERA since the All-Star break (3.75) is the best in the AL. The Ori­oles’ sec­ond-half ERA is 4.44, ninth best in the AL. Showal­ter Pearce to have surgery Wed­nes­day: With Steve Pearce set to un­dergo sea­son-end­ing flexor tendon re­pair surgery on his right arm Wed­nes­day, Ori­oles ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent Dan Du­quette said the club was well aware of the phys­i­cal lim­i­ta­tions Pearce had when he re­turned to Bal­ti­more in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Pearce is sched­uled to take a train to New York on Wed­nes­day, where he will have the surgery. He will need four to six months to re­cover, Showal­ter said.

Pearce played in just 25 games with the Ori­oles af­ter they ac­quired him Aug. 1, with two sep­a­rate ag­gra­va­tions of the flexor mass in­jury rob­bing him of play­ing time, the most re­cent a week ago in Bos­ton.

He hit .217 with a .729 OPS and three home runs in 70 plate ap­pear­ances with the Ori­oles.

Du­quette said the team knew Pearce’s med­i­cal his­tory well. He en­joyed his best ca­reer years with the Ori­oles from 2012 through 2015.

“We re­viewed the med­i­cal and we know Steve Pearce, we had him,” Du­quette said. “Un­for­tu­nately, he had an in­jury with us that made things con­sid­er­ably worse than when he came. We had a good idea [of his health], but hav­ing said that, we ex­pected that he would fin­ish the sea­son and help us in the play­offs.” Mi­ley much bet­ter: Showal­ter seemed sur­prised when re­lay­ing in­for­ma­tion that left-han­der Wade Mi­ley, who was ini­tially di­ag­nosed with up­per back cramps and later as­sessed to have a mild mus­cle strain af­ter leav­ing Sun­day’s game af­ter four shutout in­nings, was much bet­ter Mon­day.

“He went out and threw and feels pretty good, so we’re hop­ing it’s more the orig­i­nal di­ag­no­sis [of cramps] than the lat­ter [mus­cle strain],” Showal­ter said. “We’ll see.” Around the horn: The Ori­oles an­nounced a two-year con­tract ex­ten­sion with the Aberdeen IronBirds to keep their Short-A New York-Penn League af­fil­i­ate lo­cal through 2018. Aberdeen was the only Ori­oles af­fil­i­ate up for re­newal this sea­son.

Starters: D-backs’ Miller (2-12, 7.10) or TBA vs. Mi­ley (8-13, 5.65) or TBA

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