With 22 games remaining after Friday night's, Orioles manager Buck Showalter is still thinking optimistically.
He still believes the Orioles are capable of putting together a lengthy winning streak — something they really haven't done this season. To date, the Orioles' longest streak of the season is five games, which began on the last day of the first half, July 14, and continued with the first four games coming out of the All-Star break. They've had two other four-game winning streaks this year. And that's it.
To be fair, the Orioles haven't had extended periods of losing in 2013, either. They lost six straight from May 14 to May 20 and lost four consecutive on two other occasions.
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"It's kind of, 'Half full or half empty?'" Showalter said. "If you said before the season started, which one you'd rather have, shorten the losing streaks or strengthen [the winning streaks], I think good teams have a little of one and some of the other. And the way I choose to look at it is it's still ahead of us."
Since their streak to begin the second half, the Orioles have won three games in a row just once; they have lost three or more in a row twice.
"I think it usually revolves around your starting pitching and your pitching in general," Showalter said, "There are certain things I don't think we've really fluctuated on much. One is effort and two is defense. …I'm proud of the lack of extended [losses] to cut to the chase, but I don't know. I love the word consistent because it requires a certain relentlessness to have that. And I think our players are very much in that mode."
Orioles left fielder Nate McLouth said he was aware of the club's inability to put together an extended run — but he has no real explanation for why it hasn't occurred. And, really, he doesn't want to think about it.
"I don't know why and I don't know if it is real constructive for us to look at it," McLouth said. "When you get to the end of the season, you don't make the playoffs based on your longest winning streak. And you are not kept out based on your longest losing streak. At the end of the year, you hope after all those games — no matter how many you've won in a row or lost in a row — that you are in the spot you want to be in."
Last year, the Orioles — who won 93 games and made the playoffs — had one six-game winning streak. But they also had five five-game winning streaks, compared to the one this year.
And time is running out to add to that total.
"Obviously, clubs would love to have that consistency, but you would think that's one of those offseason considerations that I hope has the ability to be a moot point here," Showalter said. "I'm as curious as you are."
No timetable on an Adair's return
Showalter said Friday thet he had lunch with Rick Adair, who began a leave of absence as the club's pitching coach Aug. 15 due to personal reasons. Adair was in Baltimore briefly and was headed to Alabama to be with his terminally ill father, Showalter said.
"He's in as good a spirits as you can imagine, comparably speaking," Showalter said. "A tough time for him and his family."
Showalter would not speculate if or when Adair would rejoin the organization. He is signed through the 2014 season.
"I think everything else becomes academic until that situation is taken care of in his mind and his family's mind," Showalter said. "I think it's something that takes such precedence over anything we're doing; those are discussions for another day, another time in my mind. We live in a kind of cold world sometimes. It's a reminder of what's really important in my mind."
Dickerson rejoins team
The Orioles purchased the contract of 31-year-old outfielder Chris Dickerson from Triple-A Norfolk, where he hit .243 with two homers and eight RBIs in 37 games. Dickerson batted .245 with four homers and 13 RBIs in 46 games with the Orioles this season. He becomes the 34th player on the active roster.
To make room for Dickerson on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated infielder Alex Liddi for assignment.
Liddi, 25, hit .222 with a .269 on-base percentage and .378 slugging percentage in 49 games with Norfolk. Acquired from the Seattle Mariners on July 6 for an international signing bonus slot increase, Liddi hit four homers and had 22 RBIs for the Tides.
Around the horn
Outfielder Steve Pearce, on the 15-day disabled list with left wrist tendinitis, is getting a cortisone injection this week, Showalter said. The manager is still hopeful Pearce will rejoin the Orioles this month, but it now likely won't be when he is first eligible Sept. 12. … Left-hander Zach Britton was "a little sore" on Thursday, so Showalter said he's not sure exactly when Britton will pitch in the playoffs for short-season Single-A Aberdeen. It likely will be a start either Sunday or Tuesday, if the IronBirds advance. … Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada is currently in Sarasota, Fla., working at the organization's facility. Showalter was non-committal on whether Wada would join the Orioles at all this season. Wada signed a two-year, $8.15 million contract before the 2012 season but had Tommy John surgery in May 2012 and has not pitched in the big leagues. … Friday marked the 18th anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr.'s 2,131st consecutive game played, breaking Lou Gehrig's streak. Ripken went on to play in 2,632 straight games, the current major league record. Center fielder Adam Jones is the club's current active leader, playing in his 305th consecutive game Friday.