O’s fall to former ace

The Baltimore Orioles traded pitcher Jeremy Guthrie to Colorado last year in exchange for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom. Thus far the trade has definitely worked out more in the Orioles’ favor, especially given the fact that Guthrie now pitches for Kansas City. However last night at the yard Guthrie took to a mound that he probably knew better than Orioles’ starter Freddy Garcia and  a park that he knew perhaps better than numerous Orioles’ players. In his first ever start against the Birds, Guthrie did them in and prevented the Orioles from sweeping Kansas City. Guthrie was a solid starter that never got the credit nor the run support he deserved in Baltimore, however I’m sure that given Hammel’s results the Birds still don’t regret the move.

Freddy Garcia probably pitched better than his stats indicate, although he was done in by the long ball. Garcia’s line: 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 3 K. Alex “Commissioner” Gordon and Eric Hosmer each hit two-run homers in the fourth, which pretty much did in the Orioles. (I’m not sure that many fans were understanding what I meant on twitter by referring to Alex Gordon as “Commissioner Gordon”…it’s a reference to the character from Batman!) Gordon homered in each of the three games of this just-completed series; I suppose it’s safe to say he enjoys hitting at Camden Yards. Mike Moustakas, who’s turned into a bit of an Oriole-killer in his own right, added a solo shot in the seventh inning off of T.J. McFarland as well.

Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Jones reached base on an error in the last of the second inning, and was singled over to second base by Matt Wieters. Jones would later score on J.J. Hardy‘s RBI-single to give the Birds an early lead. Some really good news for the Orioles is that J.J. Hardy is starting to heat up. He’s still only hitting .216 on the year, but to this point in the season he was struggling to stay above the Mendoza Line. With his solo homer later in the game, Hardy now has three homers and five RBI in the last five games. .216 won’t win you any batting titles, but needless to say Hardy started the season in a slump and it’ll take awhile for his average to be corrected. However the good news is that if you keep grinding, eventually you’ll break out of a slump if you’re a good hitter – which Hardy is.

The loss closes out a very brief three-game homestand as the O’s now head to Minnesota for a brief three-game road swing. Many Orioles fans are in fact questioning why the team was on the road (on the west coast no doubt) for eleven games only to get one token day off and three home games. The good news is that the team came out of that 14-game stretch at 9-5. But hey everyone else needs their home games also, right?! Buck Showalter announced after the game last night that the Orioles would make a roster move before tomorrow night’s game in Minneapolis and call up Steve Johnson to make the start. The Orioles of course needed a starter because Miguel Gonzalez was sent to the DL with a blister on his throwing hand.

Minnesota is riding high after sweeping the BoSox at Fenway this week, however it’s also worth mentioning that Kansas City came into Baltimore playing good baseball and dropped two-of-three to the Orioles. Jason Hammel will take the ball at Target Field tonight for the Orioles, coming off of a tough start last Sunday in Anaheim in which he held on long enough for the victory. Last year at this point Minnesota was 8-23; tonight they come in at 16-15, so this is a team that’s much improved. Hammel will be opposed by Minnesota’s Mike Pelfrey.

Topics: Baltimore Orioles, J.J. Hardy

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