Orioles' bottom three snap offensive ills


Jonathan Schoop lines an RBI double in the second inning against the New York Yankees Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. Photo: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

When Buck Showalter left a fairly strong hint after today’s romp over the Yankees that the Baltimore Orioles would be bringing someone up from Norfolk, recent events suggested Jonathan Schoop, down, Jemile Weeks, up. Schoop had suffered the embarrassment of  being picked off second base in Monday’s loss, and had had a sub-par first week offensively – until today’s 14-5 win.

Then came the announcement that a player is going on the DL, leading to speculation that it’s David Lough, who didn’t play today. If so, Weeks may just replace Lough on the active roster, and Schoop would keep his job. Maybe Showalter is giving Schoop a little more rope, and he may be overmatched judging by his first week’s output, but Buck is confident he can do his learning by staying in the big leagues. We’ll find out Wednesday, when whatever move is made is officially announced.

The dam finally burst with today’s trouncing of the Yankees, as the bottom three in the lineup went nuts. Ryan FlahertyDelmon Young (who hit second) and Steve Lombardozzi had three hits apiece, chasing Ivan Nova after just 3 2/3 innings.

All nine Orioles starters had hits — eight had at least two hits — as part of the 20-hit attack. Eight of the nine starters had at least one RBI. The last time the Orioles had 20 or more hits was May 20, 2011, according to The Sun.

So Baltimore’s great civic angst over a dormant lineup has been relieved for a day. One of the nice surprises of the opening week of play has been Adam Jones, who, in addition to today’s home run, his first of the season, has worked the count, walked, and sacrificed runs home. Can we conjecture that fatherhood agrees with him?

Now, the bad news. This team will not go far if Chris Tillman is the only pitcher who can craft anything approaching a creditable start. He did it on Opening Day, and he did it in Sunday’s gem, a 2-1 win in which he outdueled Justin Verlander for 8 1/3 innings. The rest of the rotation has  labored and not engendered any kind of confidence.

Even today, when the Orioles gave Wei-Yin Chen a 7-1 lead,  the Yankees put it back in doubt by closing it to 7-4, before he was lifted and the offense put it back out of reach.

Help.

Miguel Gonzalez, whose last outing was as ugly as you please – 9 hits and 7 earned runs in 3 1/3 – closes out the series Wednesday against Masahiro Tanaka, whose Yankee debut was a strong, 7-inning performance in a win.

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