A few things from last night

For the Orioles, the most concerning thing in Wednesday's ninth-inning loss to the Texas Rangers was Koji Uehara again struggling with the heat and humid conditions.

Orioles manager Dave Trembley said that Koji looked gassed during his 30-pitch outing and admitted that he may have to give him a couple of days off so he can recuperate, a decision that would further cripple the much-maligned bullpen.

The game-time temperature at the Ballpark in Arlington on Wednesday night was 85 degrees and the heat and humidity undoubtedly contributed to Jeremy Guthrie leaving the game after six innings as well.


The Orioles were hoping that moving Koji to a relief role would answer some of the questions about his stamina, but Wednesday night wasn't a great sign with plenty of humid days and nights in Baltimore ahead.

Triple-A Norfolk right-hander Chris Tillman picked a pretty good time to throw seven scoreless innings against Pawtucket on Wednesday. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail was at Harbor Park, as part of his annual swing to watch all of the Orioles' affiliates play in person. In his last six starts, Tillman is 4-1 with a 2.14 ERA, and he continues to put pressure on David Hernandez, who may be pitching for his rotation spot Friday night.


Statistic that concerns me, part I: The Orioles' top three starters (Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Matusz) have ERAs of 3.65, 3.86 and 4.18, and are a combined 4-11.

Statistic that concerns me, part II: Matt Wieters is 8-for-37 (.216) with 12 strikeouts and one extra-base hit with runners in scoring position. How much pop Wieters has is becoming an increasingly popular topic around the Orioles, and I think it will remain one until he goes on a homer or extra-base hit binge. I didn't think I'd ever say this, but I feel much better about Wieters' defense than his offense. The improvements he has made behind the plate have been striking.

Garrett Atkins takes an 0-for-15 slump into tonight's series finale in Texas. He's 6-for-28 (.214) with runners in scoring position with five double plays and four strikeouts. Michael Aubrey is expected to have his contract selected from Triple-A Norfolk on Friday, so tonight could be the last we see of Atkins for a little while.

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