The Baltimore Orioles continue to play well, even though their fragile starting rotation may have taken another hit.
Baltimore (23-15) has won six of eight and looks forward to an eight-game homestand - the first two coming versus the Padres - after playing 14 of 17 on the road. The Orioles capped that stretch with a 6-0 win at Minnesota on Sunday, though it was bittersweet.
A strained right oblique forced Wei-Yin Chen to exit after five innings. Chen, who's allowed two runs in 11 1-3 innings over his past two starts, is expected to go on the 15-day disabled list.
With Chen likely sidelined for a couple weeks, the rotation remains Baltimore's primary weakness. The Orioles rank in the top 10 in most offensive categories and their bullpen ERA of 2.64 is also among the best, while their 11 errors are the second fewest.
The starting staff, however, has a 4.70 ERA that's among the highest in baseball. Along with Chen, Tillman (3-1, 3.76) has been one of the few bright spots, winning three straight starts and posting a 2.03 ERA in his past four outings.
The right-hander's ERA in his first three starts was 7.07, but he's pitched at least six innings in his last four games.
"You get your team deep in the ballgame, you feel good about it, whether or not you featured your best stuff," Tillman told the team's official website.
The Padres (16-21) were swept in three games at Tampa over the weekend, the same number of defeats they suffered in the previous 14 games.
San Diego squandered a lead in each loss as it was swept for the fourth time, one shy of last season's total. Closer Huston Street allowed Evan Longoria 's winning home run with two outs in the ninth Saturday, and the Rays went ahead Sunday on Yunel Escobar 's RBI double in the sixth."They were three well-played close games that didn't go our way," manager Bud Black said. "They got the big hit last night in the ninth. Escobar got a big hit today. So, a couple of pitches back, we win two out of three."
The Padres struck out 38 times in the series - their most in a three-game set since they had 40 against the New York Yankees from June 17-19, 2008.
Baltimore was much better offensively over the weekend, collecting 20 runs and 41 hits in taking two of three from the Twins."We've been swinging the bats well the last few days, and it feels good to win a game by a pretty good margin," said first baseman Chris Davis , who hit his 11th homer Sunday.
Andrew Cashner (2-2, 3.23 ERA) will be tasked with slowing down the Orioles' lineup. Beginning the season as a reliever after a thumb injury hindered him in spring training, he has a 2.95 ERA in four starts.
The right-hander is coming off the longest outing of his career, allowing four hits in 7 1-3 innings of a 5-0 victory over Miami last Monday.
Nick Markakis has gone 11 for 25 in six games against the Padres and is a career .351 hitter in interleague play.
The Orioles own a 5-4 advantage in the all-time series with San Diego.
|San Diego Padres|
|May 05, 2013||Clayton Richard||15-Day DL||Intestinal virus|
|May 03, 2013||Carlos Quentin||Day-to-Day||Sore right knee|
|April 21, 2013||Kyle Blanks||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left shoulder injury|
|April 20, 2013||Clayton Richard||Day-to-Day||Flu|
|April 18, 2013||Tyson Ross||15-Day DL||Left shoulder subluxation|
|April 18, 2013||Tyson Ross||15-Day DL||Left shoulder subluxation|
|May 12, 2013||Wei-Yin Chen||Day-to-Day||Right oblique strain|
|May 04, 2013||Miguel Gonzalez||15-Day DL||Right thumb blister|
|May 03, 2013||Chris Davis||Day-to-Day||Left game - right knee soreness|
|April 28, 2013||Taylor Teagarden||15-Day DL||Dislocated left thumb|
|April 07, 2013||Nolan Reimold||Day-to-Day||Right hamstring tightness|
|April 05, 2013||Brian Roberts||15-Day DL||Ruptured tendon, right knee|
BALTIMORE (AP) -- Instead of blowing a lead, the San Diego Padres erased a deficit.
What's more, the comeback came against a guy who hadn't blown a save opportunity since last July.
Chris Denorfia and Everth Cabrera hit two-out RBI singles off Jim Johnson in the ninth inning, and the Padres got a home run from Carlos Quentin in a 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.
After the Orioles took a 2-1 lead in the eighth, Johnson (1-3) entered with a franchise-record streak of 35 straight converted saves. He immediately gave up two consecutive singles before getting Jedd Gyorko to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. But Denorfia followed with a single up the middle and, after Johnson hit Nick Hundley with a pitch, Cabrera singled to center for a 3-2 lead.
The win came after San Diego lost three straight in Tampa Bay, despite holding the lead in the fifth inning or later in each game.
"To get to (Johnson) is a great accomplishment for us," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Those are great on the road, they really are, to snatch one back when they took the lead."
Johnson hadn't blown a save opportunity since July 27, 2012, against Oakland. His streak of 35 broke the Orioles mark of 34, set in 1997 by Randy Myers .
"I really didn't put a whole lot of stock into it," the right-hander said. "It was just something you guys like to talk about."
He blamed his reversal of fortune on poor location.
"As soon as I got off the field I looked, and pitches were in different spots than they're normally at," Johnson said. "It's about execution. At this level the talent is too good. You have to execute and tonight I didn't and wasted a good effort from a lot of guys on this team."
Cabrera's hit was the 60,000th in Padres history.
Luke Gregerson (2-2) got the last out in the eighth and Huston Street earned his ninth save. The Padres were 0-18 when trailing after eight innings.
Street gave up a game-ending homer in the ninth against Tampa Bay on Saturday, so he was determined to make things right.
"The one in Tampa frustrated me more than any save in my life," Street said. "I took a lot of responsibility for not making those pitches. It bugged me, so tonight was one I really wanted."
He then said something that Johnson can take to heart.
"You can come back and get it done," Street said. "That's what this game is all about. It's bouncing back. It's just moving on to the next day and making the next pitch. You make the next pitch and good things will happen."
Ryan Flaherty homered for the Orioles, who fell to 18-2 when leading after eight.
With the score tied at 1 in the eighth, Flaherty drew a one-out walk from Andrew Cashner and was replaced by pinch-runner Alexi Casilla . After Cashner threw to first base several times to check the runner, Casilla took off for second. The throw from Hundley came up short and bounced into the outfield, allowing Casilla to reach third on the error.
Steve Pearce followed with a line-drive single to left to chase Cashner, who matched a career high by working 7 1-3 innings.
Orioles starter Chris Tillman allowed one run, four hits and two walks in seven innings. Although the right-hander wasn't involved in the decision, he lowered his ERA to 3.40 and remained unbeaten since April 17.
It was the first meeting between the teams since 2010 and first in Baltimore since 2002. The series is tied at 5.
Quentin led off the second inning with a drive to left to put the Padres up 1-0. San Diego then loaded the bases with two outs before Tillman struck out Cabrera.
Flaherty tied it in the third with an opposite-field fly that dropped into the front row of the left-field seats. It was only the second home run off Cashner in his five starts this season.
In the sixth, Quentin's bid for another home run was denied by center fielder Adam Jones , who made a leaping catch at the top of the 7-foot wall.
NOTES: The Orioles placed LHP Wei-Yin Chen (strained right oblique) on the 15-day disabled list and recalled RHP Alex Burnett and INF Yamaico Navarro from Triple-A Norfolk. ... The Padres have hit 20 homers in their last 15 games. ... Orioles LHP Tsuyoshi Wada , recovering from elbow ligament replacement surgery, will make his first rehabilitation start Thursday for Norfolk. ... Jason Marquis (4-2) starts for the Padres against Freddy Garcia (0-1) in the series finale Wednesday afternoon. ... Gyorko snapped an 0-for-12 slide with a second-inning single. ... Of the 47 home runs Tillman has allowed in his career, 32 have been solo shots. ... Baltimore's J.J. Hardy singled in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.