SEATTLE - The Baltimore Orioles are feeling a lot better about their starting rotation after the recent road trip.
Six of Baltimore's past seven starts have seen an Orioles pitcher give up two earned runs or fewer, and the starters had a 1.96 ERA in that span.
Manager Buck Showalter is hoping that success can carry over to the upcoming homestand, and a weekend visit from the struggling Seattle Mariners could help the Orioles' cause. Showalter was so impressed with left-hander Wei-Yin Chen's domination of the Mariners that he moved the Taiwan product's next start back a few days to Friday so that he can face Seattle again.
Chen threw eight shutout innings against the Mariners on Thursday night. Rookie Kevin Gausman followed that up with a solid 6 2/3-inning performance that saw him give up just one earned run, while Sunday starter Miguel Gonzalez only allowed one earned run despite eight hits over six innings of work.
The only subpar start of the past week came on Saturday, when right-hander Bud Norris gave up four earned runs in five innings of work of a game the Orioles lost 4-3. But Norris really only had one bad inning, and he might have avoided significant damage in that frame had it not been for a controversial hit-by-pitch awarded to Seattle DH Kendrys Morales, who appeared to swing at the third strike but got hit in the knee.
Chen, Gonzalez, Gausman and Chris Tillman are all coming off starts in which they gave up one run or fewer.
"I'm happy about what we've been doing," Gonzalez said after Sunday's 3-2 win over Seattle. "Everybody has been doing their job. We've been going deep in ball games, and that's been key for us."