By Nicholas Fouriezos
The Baltimore Sun
6:01 PM EDT, September 24, 2013
Orioles right-hander Josh Stinson -- who spent most of the season as a starter with Triple-A Norfolk -- has pitched well out of the bullpen while emerging as a reliable reliever.
In Stinson's first appearance with the Orioles, he allowed five runs, including four home runs, on five hits over 5 2/3 innings in a start against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 24.
But in eight relief appearances since -- covering three separate stints with the Orioles -- Stinson has thrown 9 1/3 shutout innings, holding hitters to a .069 batting average.
In seven relief innings this month, Stinson hasn't allowed a hit, including 2 1/3 perfect innings in the Orioles' 17-inning loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.
“I think I've attacked hitters a lot better out of the bullpen," Stinson said Tuesday. "Just going after guys and trying not to walk them. Let them make contact. If they make contact, if they find a way to hit, you tip your hat to them."
Stinson hasn't had to give batters any credit lately; he hasn’t allowed a hit in his past six appearances. The shift from starter to reliever has allowed him to vary his approach.
"You can throw your off-speed pitch right away," Stinson said. "[As a starter], I try not to show them what my out-pitch is, so later in the game I have it."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter has used Stinson for at least an inning in each of the last three games, a move that shows the manager's growing trust in him.
“It's definitely a thought that I think about," Stinson said. "I feel like it's kind of an audition. I want to go up there and show them I can pitch at this level, and hopefully they see that and I get the opportunity."
After being on the waiver wire three times over eight seasons, Stinson hopes he can find a home in Baltimore.
“It's not fun," Stinson said. "When I was put on waivers the first time, [I realized] that there are always 29 other teams out there watching ... you just go out there and show your best."
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