ANAHEIM, CALIF. — After the Orioles bullpen was forced to account for seven innings in Thursday's 12-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, the Orioles arrived in Oakland with a beleaguered relief corps.
Four different relievers – Miguel Castro, Michael Givens, Richard Bleier and Darren O'Day shared the load after starter Chris Tillman lasted just one inning. Three of the four relievers threw more than one inning, and both Castro and Givens threw 2 1/3 innings. .
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said right-handers Mike Wright and Pedro Araujo would be available to pitch multiple innings on Friday. Both pitchers threw multiple innings on Wednesday after Dylan Bundy's short start.
Showalter didn't mention right-hander Brad Brach, suggesting he would likely only be available in a save opportunity. Tillman could be available out of the pen on Saturday in a pinch, Showalter said.
Summoning a fresh relief arm while the team is on the West Coast is a challenge in itself, but the Orioles knew the bullpen could be taxed before it reached midnight out east.
But by that time, Hunter Harvey has already thrown four innings at Double-A Bowie and David Hess has tossed five innings for Norfolk, taking them out of the mix. Jimmy Yacabonis threw 4 1/3 innings Wednesday as he continues to be stretched out as a starter.
And the club's other 40-man options are limited. Conceivably, right-hander Yefry Ramirez could be able to give the Orioles innings after pitching six innings four days ago. After using Bleier in a blowout, Showalter said the need for a lefty reliever in Oakland wasn't as great because they have a right-handed heavy lineup, which would take Donnie Hart and Tanner Scott out of the mix. And Scott still hasn't fulfilled the mandatory 10 days in the minors after being optioned last week. Gabriel Ynoa and Chris Lee are still hurt.
The best-case scenario for the Orioles' series opener in Oakland is that they receive a deep start from right-hander Andrew Cashner, who is averaging 5 2/3 innings per start, but is coming off his shortest outing of the season, a four-inning start Saturday against Detroit.