Buck Showalter, however, isn't about to make any wholesale changes and plans to stick with his beleaguered closer.
The Orioles try to put a disappointing stretch behind them Friday night when they open a three-game set against the Colorado Rockies .
Baltimore (65-55) got off to a promising start on an eight-game trip by winning four of five, but things took an ugly turn in Arizona. The Orioles lost all three to the Diamondbacks on the final at-bat, and Johnson blew the save in the last two.
"It was a tough series," starter Chris Tillman said after Wednesday's 5-4, 14-inning loss. "You've got to look forward to the next one at home. I think we'll be all right. With a few adjustments here and there, I think we'll be all right."
Those adjustments won't include a changing of the closer.
Showalter was asked if Johnson, the major league leader with 39 saves, would be removed after blowing his third consecutive save opportunity, but he refused to blame him. Prior to that bad run, Johnson had thrown 10 1-3 straight scoreless innings.
"Am I going to sit Adam Jones because he had a rough day?" Showalter said. "We've got a lot of pieces in the chain that have to work and every club does. And I'll be the first guy to make adjustments if they need to be made, but there's a lot of things that we've got to shore up besides that."
Driving in more men on base would certainly help.
The Orioles went 5 for 21 - including four singles - with runners in scoring position in Arizona after batting .327 in such situations in their previous five.
Jones was in the middle of Baltimore's offensive woes, going 0 for 14 against the Diamondbacks.
Chris Davis had four homers on the road trip and has three in his last six games in Baltimore. He'll be getting his first look at scheduled starter Juan Nicasio (6-6, 5.04 ERA), who has surrendered five homers over his last 14 starts.
Colorado (57-65) is coming off Wednesday's 4-2 win over San Diego to complete a 5-1 homestand on the heels of a 1-9 road trip.
"Coming off that road trip, we need to turn things around quickly, and real proud of the way the guys have played on this homestand and have turned it around," manager Walt Weiss told the Rockies' official website.
Leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler has played a big role in the turnaround, batting .391 with six RBIs and eight runs in the last six, and Corey Dickerson has started to look more comfortable. The rookie has six hits - four doubles and two triples - in 10 at-bats over his last three games after batting .279 with six extra-base hits through his first 30.
Now the Rockies want to stay locked in on the road, where they've dropped five straight and nine of 10.
Fowler is batting .216 away from home - 1 for 17 this month - compared to .313 at Coors Field. Troy Tulowitzki has hit .241 on the road, including 3 for 39 since July 10, and .358 in Denver.
They'll be going up against Wei-Yin Chen (6-5, 3.06), who has received three total runs of support in losing his two August outings. The left-hander had a sixth straight quality start Saturday, when he threw five scoreless innings before a three-run sixth led to his removal in a 3-2 defeat at San Francisco.
Nicasio is 0-2 with a 9.64 ERA in his last three starts after going 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA in his previous three.
Neither starter has faced his opponent.
|August 08, 2013||Christian Friedrich||60-Day DL||Lower back inflammation|
|August 05, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||15-Day DL||Sprained right middle finger|
|August 01, 2013||Tyler Chatwood||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|August 01, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Sprained right middle finger|
|July 31, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Sprained right middle finger|
|July 23, 2013||Drew Pomeranz||15-Day DL||Left bicep tendinitis|
|July 29, 2013||Jason Hammel||15-Day DL||Right forearm tenderness|
|July 14, 2013||Nolan Reimold||60-Day DL||Nerve inflammation in cervical spine|
|June 20, 2013||Steve Pearce||15-Day DL||Left wrist tendinitis|
|June 20, 2013||Steve Pearce||15-Day DL||Left wrist tendinitis|
|June 17, 2013||Jason Hammel||Day-to-Day||Illness|
|June 06, 2013||Steve Johnson||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Colorado Rockies used the Orioles' favorite weapon to hand Baltimore another painful defeat.
Colorado hit four home runs, including a tiebreaking, two-run shot by Wilin Rosario in the seventh inning, and stretched Baltimore's losing streak to four with a 6-3 victory Friday night.
Charlie Culberson , Charlie Blackmon and Todd Helton also homered for the Rockies, who have won six of seven. It was Culberson's first major league home run in 55 at-bats.
The Orioles got homers from Nate McLouth and Matt Wieters in extending their big league lead to 163. But Baltimore also has given up 156, most in the majors.
After ending a 14-year run of losing seasons last year, the Orioles are seeking a return trip to the playoffs. Their current skid is not helping.
"I think this is honestly something that we needed, kind of a kick in the pants to wake us up," center fielder Adam Jones said. "We're in a unique position, in back-to-back years trying to do something special. Last year, everybody said we couldn't. This year, we created the expectation. This is something you've got to go through to get to it."
Blackmon's drive was the 73rd in the history of Camden Yards to land on Eutaw Street beyond the right-field wall. Since Colorado hasn't played in Baltimore since 2007, the significance of the homer was lost on Blackmon.
"I don't really know anything about it. They were telling me after the game that it's cool if you can do it," he said. "They'll give you a plaque out there with your name on it, and there's not a whole lot of plaques with my name on it going up anywhere."
Juan Nicasio (7-6) allowed two runs, four hits and four walks over six innings to earn his first win in five starts since July 20. The right-hander yielded 15 runs over 14 innings in his previous three outings and was 0-3 with a 7.79 ERA in four interleague starts this season.
Wei-Yin Chen (6-6) retired 12 of his first 13 batters but couldn't get out of the seventh inning. He gave up four runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings in losing his third straight start. It was only the second time in 15 starts this season that Chen allowed more than three runs.
"Early innings I felt really good, but had some trouble in the late innings," Chen said through a translator. "I feel bad because it's my fault. I couldn't keep the guys in the ballgame. But tomorrow is another day and we still have 41 games to go."
The Orioles were coming off three straight one-run defeats in Arizona and hoping to get back on track at home against a sub-.500 team. But the Rockies bounced back from a 2-0 deficit by scoring in the fifth through ninth innings.
"It's a cozy park, but you've still got to hit it," manager Walt Weiss said. "We put some good swings on it."
With the score tied at 2 in the seventh, Chen walked leadoff hitter Michael Cuddyer and Rosario hit the left-hander's next pitch over the 25-foot scoreboard in right field.
Blackmon made it 5-2 in the eighth with a pinch-hit homer off Francisco Rodriguez .
Helton connected in the ninth off struggling reliever Jim Johnson . The drive lifted him past Joe DiMaggio into sole possession of 76th place on the career home run list with 362.
Wieters homered in the bottom half against Rex Brothers .
The game started well for the Orioles. McLouth hit Nicasio's third pitch into the bleachers, his 12th career leadoff homer and second this year.
Baltimore went up 2-0 in the third when Jones singled in a run to break an 0-for-15 skid. Nicasio then retired Nick Markakis and Wieters with the bases loaded.
Chen was in complete control early. After Troy Tulowitzki hit a one-out double in the first, the left-hander retired 10 straight batters before Rosario doubled leading off the fifth. One batter later, Nolan Arenado delivered an RBI single.
Culberson connected in the sixth to tie it at 2.
NOTES: After the game, the Orioles optioned OF Henry Urrutia to Triple-A Norfolk. They are expected to recall a reliever on Saturday. ... Rodriguez left in the eighth inning with a strained right groin. ... Blackmon is 5 for 13 as a pinch hitter. ... Baltimore pitching coach Rick Adair went on a leave of absence to resolve some personal issues and was replaced by bullpen coach Bill Castro . ... Bud Norris takes the mound for the Orioles on Saturday night in the second game of the series. Chad Bettis makes his fourth big league start for the Rockies. ... J.J. Hardy's 11-game hitting streak ended, as did teammate Brian Roberts ' run of three straight multihit games for Baltimore.