Orioles reliever Pedro Strop had allowed just one earned run in his last 13 appearances for a 0.79 ERA in his last 11 1/3 innings heading into Monday night. That’s a dramatic improvement over his early season struggles when he allowed seven earned runs in his first seven appearances.
“When you are struggling it’s hard to have confidence in your pitches,” Strop said. “I’ve been able to get my confidence back. That’s come through all the work I’ve been doing, fixing whatever I was doing wrong.”
On Monday night, his strong run came to an end when he gave up consecutive doubles in the 10th to Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells. He was charged with two earned runs in 2/3 innings and picked up his second loss of the season.
“(Suzuki) just ambushed a fastball - cheating on it. I think it was a breaking ball (Strop) got out over the plate to Vernon Wells,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “You're talking about two guys there who are pretty good hitters.”
Showalter has been putting Strop into closer games and tighter situations recently, and Strop said before Monday’s game that he wanted those opportunities.
“When you lose your confidence on the mound, it is tough to get it back in one outing. You may think you’re good, but when you get on the mound, and things go wrong, you start to worry,” Strop said before Monday’s game. “And if you think like that, it is going to be a tough outing. So now I feel good. I feel like I have all my stuff and I’m just thinking about getting outs.”