Wild Starts Beget Tired Bullpen

The Washington Post Sunday - - Sports - By Adam Kil­gore

CLEVE­LAND, April 28 — The Bal­ti­more Ori­oles’ twin pitch­ing woes dur­ing their five-game los­ing streak have been walks and an im­plod­ing bullpen, one prob­lem that begets the other.

Bal­ti­more’s bullpen has worn out be­cause its starters haven’t been able to get deep in games and haven’t fin­ished off in­nings, a re­sult of throw­ing too many pitches. The Ori­oles’ five-man ro­ta­tion has lasted 51⁄ in-

2 nings per start, tied with Seat­tle for sec­ond fewest in the Amer­i­can League go­ing into Satur­day’s games. Bal­ti­more’s starters have walked 68 bat­ters, most in the ma­jors.

Adam Loewen, for ex­am­ple, leads the ma­jors with 24 walks, five more than sec­ond-place Li­van Her­nan­dez of the Ari­zona Di­a­mond­backs. De­spite a 3.20 ERA, Loewen has yet to pitch past the sixth in­ning.

“We’ve got to get deeper in the ball­game,” Man­ager Sam Per­lozzo said. “If you’re go­ing to use [re­liev­ers] too of­ten, their stuff is go­ing to down a lit­tle bit.”

Gib­bons: ‘Ouch’

Jay Gib­bons was out of the lineup Satur­day night, rid­ing the worst slump of his ca­reer. Gib­bons has no hits in his last 21 at­bats.

“Ouch,” Gib­bons said. “I wish I had an an­swer.”

Gib­bons has strug­gled to ad­just to his pla­toon role with Kevin Mil­lar, not play­ing ev­ery day for the first time in his ca­reer.

“What’s af­fect­ing me at the plate is my swing,” Gib­bons said. “When I’m up at the plate, I’m not think­ing, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to get a hit or I’m not play­ing to­mor­row.’ Maybe I’m think­ing too much. I’m just try­ing to get my me­chan­ics right.” . . .

Miguel Te­jada played in his 1,104th con­sec­u­tive game Satur­day night, mov­ing into sixth place on the all-time list. . . .

Scott Wil­liamson, on the dis­abled list with tri­ceps ten­don tight­ness, threw a bullpen ses­sion Satur­day at Class AA Bowie.

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