After the Orioles lost 3-1 to a depleted Minnesota Twins team Thursday night, starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie placed the blame on himself.
Guthrie allowed two runs on seven hits – including a solo homer by Jim Thome – in seven innings, walking none and striking out four. Pretty solid outing.
But Minnesota's Scott Baker was better, allowing just four hits and fanning nine in seven scoreless innings.
"I was outpitched tonight. I didn't make the big pitches where I needed to," said Guthrie, who dropped to 1-3 despite a 3.12 ERA in his first four starts of 2011. "It is a reoccurring thing and it's not good enough, not good enough tonight, not good enough last time, not good enough the time before. So we'll work on it. Try to get better, make better pitches."
The good news for Guthrie is that he is feeling better after being weakened the past two weeks due to pneumonia.
"I felt much stronger today than I felt the previous two outings. I think that's a good thing for me, to feel better," Guthrie said. "I felt good going into the last start, but you get a few pitches into it and you realize the body maybe isn't all the way back. So tonight I felt as good as I felt in that first game, so hopefully that continues and the body is all the way back."
The Orioles split the series with the Twins, despite Minnesota coming into the four games with a depleted lineup. The Orioles had a chance to win the series, but couldn't solve Baker.
"They are missing big, big parts of their lineup. So to not be able to get that win tonight is huge," Guthrie said. "I have all the respect in the world, though, for Baker. … He did what a (No.) 1 does tonight. He held the team to zero runs and pitched great and pitched out of jams when he needed to. So you tip the cap to him and hopefully I can be better. It is expected of me."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he thought tonight that Guthrie is back to full strength after the energy-sapping pneumonia.
"His health, he's turned the corner. He's in good shape. He gave us a real chance to win. Deserves a better fate. Just ran up against a guy who was as good as he was tonight, and maybe a little better."
Here's what Showalter said about the lack of run support for Guthrie: "We just didn't put much together offensively. We didn't square up many balls at all. We knew Baker was going to present a challenge coming in, locating the fastball, especially on the inner half. A two-seamer running in there. We got some balls we put in play, but you could just tell they weren't squared up."
The Twins tacked on a key run in the eighth when Michael Cuddyer hit a solo homer against Michael Gonzalez, who has allowed runs in five of his six outings.
"Changeup. We gave up two home runs on changeups tonight. Mike's had four days off," Showalter said. "Obviously, that wasn't the story of why we lost, but we know Mike's capable of pitching better. It's going to be hard doing it just sitting down there. But he's better than that. He showed that the last month or so of the season. But we'll see. He's got to get better and he knows that."