Talking Behind Their Back: White Sox
The Orioles claimed another series and even won their first finale to pull it off. Unlike the team's previous series victories, Baltimore was able to take two of three from the Chicago White Sox thanks in large part to strong starting pitching performances.
Brad Bergesen made his major league debut in Tuesday's series opener and may have begun a new era for the Orioles. Bergesen, the first of many highly touted pitching prospects (and perhaps the fifth-most talented of the bunch) to pitch for the Orioles, impressed the Camden Yards crowd. Bergesen went 5 2/3 innings and gave up just one earned run to end the team's five game slide and left the game to a standing ovation.
The Baltimore crowd offered another standing ovation Thursday night following Adam Eaton's unexpectedly impressive start. Eaton pitched into the eighth inning to pick up his first win as an Oriole and held the White Sox to jus two runs on six hits.
The only truly bad start came from ace Jeremy Guthrie, who struggled through six innings and gave up five runs. Of course, the way Chicago's John Danks pitched (one run, four hits, seven innings), the outcome of the series' second game may have been the same regardless of how well Guthrie pitched.
The Orioles' pitching staff is second worst in the majors for home runs allowed (27) but managed to hold a Chicago team that ranks in the top 10 for home runs hit to just two. That's a nice little stand to take.
Simply put: If the Orioles can get decent starting pitching they've got a shot at winning a game. Baltimore got that in two of three games and won those games.
Unfortunately for the O's, their rotation is by no means fixed just because of what happened over three days in April. They can, however, take solace in the fact that they are slowly earning respect around the league as MASN's Roch Kubatko relayed an exchange Manager Dave Trembley had with White Sox slugger Jim Thome:
"I was in the tunnel today walking through and [Jim] Thome stopped me and said, 'You have some pretty good arms at the end of the game,' and I said, 'Yeah.' We've got some options, we've got some guys who won't try to trick you."
Of course things don't get any easier for Baltimore. After taming Chicago's bats, the Orioles will now host a Texas Rangers squad that leads the league in homers (29) but has lost four of its last six games. Obviously these two teams are already familiar with each other as Baltimore went into Texas and took two of three there. In an odd twist of fate, the same pitching matchup to open this series opened the team's prior series against each other as Koji Uehara will go opposite against Vicente Padilla.
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