Posted July 20, 2012 on AP on Fox
The Baltimore Orioles have had their problems establishing a consistent starting rotation, and they're hoping rookie Miguel Gonzalez can help out as they open a four-game series against the Cleveland Indians on Friday night. Gonzalez (1-1, 2.59 ERA) started the season as a relief pitcher, and after three solid appearances was called upon to fill a spot in the injury-ridden rotation. Baltimore (48-44) has had nine pitchers start games this season. "You can't panic," slugger Jim Thome told the team's official website. "You root for each other, you're there. That's really about it. You prepare every day. You have a positive attitude and believe in the fact that they are doing everything they can from an organizational end to put the best out there." Gonzalez has pitched well in his two starts, posting a 2.84 ERA. He beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 on July 6 with seven innings of one-run ball before allowing three runs over 5 2-3 innings of a 4-0 loss to Detroit on Sunday. Baltimore will be looking for the right-hander to repeat his performance from his only appearance against the Indians, when he allowed one run and struck out five over 4 1-3 innings July 1. He will be facing an Indians club that collected two hits in a 6-0 road loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday. Cleveland (47-45) split the four-game series against the Rays and will hand the ball to Derek Lowe on Friday. Lowe (8-7, 4.43) has been dominant at home, going 5-1 with a 2.86 ERA in eight starts compared to 3-6 with a 5.81 ERA in 10 outings away from Progressive Field. His last start was in Toronto on Sunday, when he went six innings and allowed three runs in a 3-0 loss. Lowe is 8-8 with a 4.49 ERA in 35 appearances - 17 starts - against the Orioles. The right-hander didn't receive a decision after allowing seven runs - four earned - over 5 1-3 innings of a 9-8 loss in Baltimore on June 29. The Indians won the other three games in that series and have taken nine of the last 12 meetings, winning four in a row at home. A Cleveland bullpen that has been fairly consistent all season will most likely have a big impact in this series, especially in the first game. Lowe has not completed seven innings in 10 starts since pitching a six-hitter in a 5-0 win at Minnesota on May 15th. "We need at least five guys back there, like we've done the last couple of years, that we can trust and that can keep us close when we're tied or trailing, in order for our bullpen to be successful longterm," manager Manny Acta told the team's official website. The Orioles are coming off consecutive wins over the Twins following a 1-6 stretch. Mark Reynolds' two-run single in the eighth inning Thursday gave Baltimore a 4-3 win and a split of the four-game set. Reynolds is 6 for 18 with six RBIs over his last five games after going 10 for 66 (.152) and driving in seven runs in his previous 22 contests. He is 8 for 24 with a homer, two doubles and a triple against Lowe. The Indians called up Cody Allen before the game, and the highly touted right-hander could make his major league debut. The 23rd-round draft pick from 2011 has posted a 1.74 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 98 innings in two years as a pro.

Hardy finally healthy with Baltimore

MINNEAPOLIS Shortstop J.J. Hardy was a member of the Minnesota Twins team that opened Target Field by winning the American League Central in the ballpark's inaugural season. Two years later, he has a chance to again be a key contributor on a playoff team, this time with the surprising Baltimore Orioles. Through Tuesday's game against his former Minnesota squad, Hardy and...

Thome belts 610th career homer

The Orioles have added veteran sluggers before. Eddie Murray returned and hit No. 500 as an Oriole in 1996. Sammy Sosa already had 500 when he hit 14 homers for Baltimore in 2005. Jim Thome was acquired June 30 from Philadelphia sitting in a tie with Sosa for seventh all-time with 609 homers. No. 610 came Friday -- his first homer with the Orioles coming in the city where...

OPS Fantasy Leagues: It’s A Hardy Knock Life

J.J. Hardy won’t run this town any longer. After hitting seven home runs and posting a tremendous .922 OPS in May, Hardy’s followed with an abysmal .498 OPS in June, and an awful .329 OPS in July. Yes, some of this variance is due to fluctuations in his BABIP and home run to fly ball rate, but when you have an OPS that low it is hard to simply dismiss it as bad luck. J.J., can...

Hunter Shines on the Mound, Jones Homers; Orioles Snap Losing Skid

Yesterday, the Orioles got a well-needed victory as Tommy Hunter’s arm and Adam Jones’ propelled them over the Minnesota Twins, 2-1. Baltimore snapped a painful three-game losing streak and finally got a stellar performance from a starting pitcher. Hunter, who was demoted back to the minors again this season for the second time, was brought back up to the majors to stop the...

Thome Passes Sosa on Home Run List

Baltimore Orioles DH Jim Thome blasted a home run in the fourth inning of off Cleveland Indians pitcher Derek Lowe and passed Sammy Sosa on the all-time home run list with his 610th career homer. The homer was Thome sixth of the season and his first since joining the Baltimore Orioles earlier in the month in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies. It seems fitting that Thome hit...

Thome passes Sosa with 610th home run

Check out the video. Baltimore’s Jim Thome hit his 610th home run to pass Sammy Sosa and move into seventh place on the Major League Baseball all-time list. The 41-year-old Thome led off the fourth inning for the Orioles Friday night and connected off Cleveland's Derek Lowe.

Thome hits homer No. 610, Orioles top Tribe

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Jim Thome hit his 610th career homer to move into seventh place on the career list and the Baltimore Orioles pounded out a 10-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night. Thome passed Sammy Sosa on the career list with a towering 418-foot shot off Derek Lowe (8-8) to open the fourth inning. Ryan Flaherty had a three-run homer and Mark Reynolds doubled...

Orioles 10, Indians 2

Jim Thome hit his 610th career homer to move into seventh place on the career list and the Baltimore Orioles pounded out a 10-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night. Thome passed Sammy Sosa on the career list with a towering 418-foot shot off Derek Lowe (8-8) to open the fourth inning. Ryan Flaherty had a three-run homer and Mark Reynolds doubled home two runs in...

Baltimore Orioles Salvage Series Split with Come from Behind 4-3 Win Over the Minnesota Twins

After the Baltimore Orioles dropped the first two games of a four game series with the Minnesota Twins this week, many fans were wondering how much long this team was going to miraculously stay above the .500 mark. With back to back wins to earn a series split, the answer looks like its going to be at least the through the weekend. The Orioles used late inning...

Orioles 2, Twins 1

Adam Jones hit a two-run homer in the first inning against Francisco Liriano and the Baltimore Orioles hung on to beat the Minnesota Twins 2-1 on Wednesday night. Josh Willingham's home run in the fourth was all Minnesota could manage against Tommy Hunter (4-4), who returned to Baltimore's stumbling rotation with a solid performance that lasted one out into the eighth inning...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.