ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. — Right-hander Darren O'Day has always been a reliever who has been able to keep the ball in the yard, allowing less than a homer per nine innings over his 10-year big league career.
So the fact that O'Day allowed his third homer in his past five outings in the seventh inning of the Orioles' 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday is troubling.
O'Day allowed a solo homer to Steven Souza Jr., his first batter of the day, for a critical run that extended the deficit to 3-1 after he relieved right-hander Ubaldo Jiménez.
"That one mistake he makes, and he doesn't make many of them, they're on it," manager Buck Showalter said of O'Day. "He was on it today. That's not very typical. I was looking the other day, his peripheral numbers other than the ERA are really good. He's just got that one pitch that's gotten away from him. That's the life of a one-inning reliever."
On Saturday, O'Day allowed a three-run homer to pinch hitter Marwin González in the sixth inning, giving the Houston Astros the lead in an eventual 8-4 loss.
O'Day has only been scored upon in four of his 14 outings since returning from the disabled list last month, but he has allowed multiple runs in three of those four outings. That has ballooned his season ERA to 4.79, which would be his highest ERA in six seasons with the Orioles.