After Sunday's 7-4 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Orioles manager Buck Showalter spoke of the importance of keeping emotions in check in reference to his struggling starter, Jake Arrieta.
A minute later, he was trying to keep his own emotions in check when asked about a somber pre-game ceremony at Camden Yards in which the Orioles honored fallen Maryland soldiers.
During the ceremony, which included a moment of silence, Showalter presented the families of Army Cpt. Sara M. Knutson of Eldersburg, Navy LTJG Valerie Cappelaere Delaney of Ellicott City, and Marine Lance Corporal William Taylor Wild IV of Severna Park with honorary Orioles jerseys. He also embraced some of the family members.
"Very hard. But for me compared to them? It's not even close," said Showalter, his voice lowering even lower than usual. "It's an honor to be asked to go out there. It's an honor to be in their presence. But I can't imagine how families feel when a sacrifice like that has been made."
The family members were recognized as part of the Orioles Military Appreciation Program.
Maryland suffered a record-breaking number of military losses during the month of March.
Showalter got choked up when he said that one of the families pointed out to him where their son used to sit in the stands at Camden Yards. That seemed to hit home to Showalter.
"Reminds you in the whole scheme of things what we're doing out there for three hours or whatever is not really that important," Showalter said.
He dipped his head as his words trailed off, his eyes shielded by the orange bill of his Orioles cap.
Bundy moving toward mound
Top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy, who has only thrown soft toss since being shelved since March because of tightness in his right forearm/elbow, will throw Monday from 75 to 90 feet in Sarasota, Fla., according to Showalter. He has yet to pitch in a pro game this season, but is expected to get on a mound toward the end of next week.
Bundy apparently suffered forearm spasms because of the way he was placing the ball in and out of his glove. The Orioles have worked with him to change that routine.
"He has been pain-free and symptom-free for a while," Showalter said. "They've just been doing some stuff to make sure it doesn't occur again, hopefully."
O's face Fife, not Billingsley
The Orioles were supposed to face right-hander Chad Billingsley in Sunday's series finale, but Billingsley landed on the disabled list Sunday morning with right elbow pain. So the Dodgers called up 26-year-old right-hander Stephen Fife from Triple-A Albuquerque.
The Orioles found out about the switch around 10 a.m. Sunday.
"It's kind of like the whole interleague thing. Scrambling, calling contacts, people that you know who have seen him and watching video," Showalter said. "Kind of like what we were doing with Billingsley. It's one of those curves you get thrown, you try to make the adjustments."
Hunter's first MLB save 'cool'
Right-hander Tommy Hunter pitched three scoreless innings Saturday night to pick up his first career save in the team's 6-1 win in the second half of the double-header against the Dodgers.
Hunter allowed three hits, struck out two batters and walked one. In the process, Hunter, whose six appearances this season have all come in relief, lowered his ERA to 2.89.
On Sunday morning, Hunter, who said he knew he had a chance to go the final three innings and get the save when he entered Saturday's game, brushed off questions about the milestone.
"It's cool. But we won. That's basically what it is," said Hunter, who kept a ball from the save as a souvenir. "I want to win. I want to win. Even as a starter or in the bullpen doing whatever you can to win. That's what it's all about. Holding it up at the end of the year, and that's our goal."
Gausman takes loss for Bowie
Orioles pitching prospect Kevin Gausman, the team's 2012 first-round draft pick, allowed three runs, one of them earned, in five innings for Double-A Bowie in a 7-2 loss to Akron on Sunday.
The 22-year-old right-hander allowed six hits and walked one batter while striking out three.
In four starts for Bowie this season, his first as a professional, Gausman is 1-2 with a 4.71 ERA. He has allowed 26 hits in 21 innings, but walked just one batter. He has racked up 21 strikeouts.
Around the horn
Right-hander Steve Johnson (lat) threw a side session in Sarasota on Saturday and will pitch in a minor league rehab game Wednesday for Triple-A Norfolk. … Right-hander Oliver Drake (Navy), who was shut down with a shoulder injury last year, will throw live batting practice on Tuesday. … Triple-A first baseman Travis Ishikawa broke his nose while breaking up a double play Saturday. Tampa Bay Rays shortstop prospect Hak-Ju Lee tore ligaments in his left knee in the collision and could miss the rest of the season. … Former Oriole Mike Bordick, who works with the organization's infielders when he is not broadcasting games for MASN, may go down to Sarasota next week if Brian Roberts (hamstring) is ready to resume baseball activities. … The Orioles hosted their first Little League Day of the year Sunday. More than 8,000 local youths took part in a pre-game parade around the warning track. … Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. was at the game to broadcast for TBS.
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