Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com says the issue of playing time for Robert Andino will resolve itself after the Orioles finish their current run of games against National League teams:
“(Brian) Roberts was activated from the 60-day disabled list last Tuesday after missing nearly 13 months with the effects of concussions. He retook the second-base job, pushing Robert Andino – who had started 56 games at the position – to a utility role.
“Once the DH resumes for Baltimore, Andino will probably start five days a week, with significant time at third base, where he is the best fielder on the roster, as well as through spelling shortstop J.J. Hardy and Roberts.”
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USA Today's Team Report credits the resurgence in pitching, particularly quality starts, for the success the Orioles are enjoying lately:
“Series win by series win, the Orioles are shedding doubters.
“For every loss in the midst of a three-game set, the Orioles seem to come away with two wins – as unimpressive as they may be at times.
“Sunday the Orioles wrapped a series win in Atlanta with a second consecutive shutout. The last time Baltimore had two straight shutouts: Aug. 28 and 29, 2010 – tossed by veteran right-handers Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Guthrie.
“Following Saturday’s one-hitter from newly minted ace Jason Hammel, the Orioles rode a seven-inning gem from Wei-Yin Chen for a 2-0 win. Three relievers combined on a quiet eighth, while Jim Johnson came on in the ninth for the win.
“. . .The offense may have been stale for the series, but the quality pitching that sparked the Orioles’ hot start this spring seems to have resurfaced.”
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Joe Lemire of SI.com says Hammel attributes much of his recent success to a return to an old favorite in his pitching repertoire:
“There were no new additions to 2012’s growing list of perfect games and no-hitters this weekend, but there were two close calls Saturday. The Orioles’ Jason Hammel and the Angels’ Ervin Santana each took a no-hitter into the seventh inning; both finished with a complete game no-hitter.
“. . . Hammel, meanwhile, credits a rediscovered sinker with his breakthrough season. He had a 4.99 career ERA before his trade to Baltimore this off-season, but he has gone 7-2 with a 2.87 ERA with career highs in K/9 (8.5) and groundball-to-flyball ratio (1.12), both of which are 20 per cent increases over his previous single-season bests.”