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Orioles

Orioles notes: Buck Showalter on pitching woes and possible changes to rotation

St. Petersburg, Fla. — Manager Buck Showalter on Saturday claimed ignorance of the Orioles' streak of 20 straight games allowing five or more runs, which tied a major league record.

"I haven't paid any attention to that," Showalter said. "I'm OK if we win 6-5 tonight. It's an indication that we haven't pitched well, starting-wise, OK? Is that a revelation? It is what it is. I'm not identifying problems. I'm into trying to solve it. It's pretty easy to identify problems, isn't it?"

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Showalter said there has been some talk of possibly shuffling the rotation, but it's unclear to what extent. There has been discussion of spreading out right-hander Dylan Bundy's starts to get him some more rest with the All-Star break coming up, and Showalter said it could extend beyond that.

"There's some adjustments that we're going to make," Showalter said. "We kind of look at our options. There's some things that come along with them. We've had to call up some people that really weren't statistically worthy of it. But that's where we are. We're in the business of trying to make the guys that we have that have a better track record than they've shown get back to that level. You pay a price for bringing guys up too quick, too. We've got some guys who are pitching better down there. We've got some guys here who need to pitch better."

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Tejada showing form: Rubén Tejada was left out of the lineup for the second time in six games since the Orioles lost shortstop J.J. Hardy to a fractured right wrist. Showalter indicated there has been a mixed bag in terms of what the veteran shortstop has brought in Hardy's stead.

"Some good, some he needs to get better at," Showalter said. "He's trying to clean up a couple things, but that's big shoes to fill with J.J. being out. Some good. I can see why people like him. There's some things he's going to have to get better at."

Tejada, acquired on June 4 from the New York Yankees in a minor league trade and added to the Orioles roster quickly thereafter, has spelled both Hardy this week and third baseman Manny Machado earlier this month. The longtime New York Mets infielder entered Saturday batting .182 on the season, with just one hit coming in his 15 at-bats since Hardy was hit by a pitch and left with a fractured wrist on June 18.

His first error in 82 defensive innings with the Orioles came Friday when he short-armed a double-play throw to second baseman Jonathan Schoop in the Rays' five-run fifth inning.

Around the horn: The Orioles optioned right-hander Miguel Castro back to Double-A Bowie to work as a starter, and added right-hander Stefan Crichton to the bullpen. ... Closer Zach Britton makes his second rehabilitation outing at Low-A Delmarva and third overall Saturday, with his next outing at Double-A Bowie on Monday. … Infielder Ryan Flaherty (shoulder) took ground balls at shortstop during batting practice, but didn't throw. … Showalter said center fielder Adam Jones was batting cleanup because he had the most experience there. Jones entered Saturday batting .421 in his past 10 games.

jmeoli@baltsun.com

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