Guthrie and all things starters

Lost in the shuffle of Wednesday’s loss was starter Jeremy Guthrie, who outpitched Red Sox starter Jon Lester despite the no-decision.

“I felt like I had pretty good command of my pitches, especially the change up,” said Guthrie, who battled through a 104-pitch outing to turn in his fourth straight quality outing.

To his credit the only hard hit ball was David Ortiz’s homer. The Sox had three infield hits and blooper otherwise and Guthrie continued his streak this season of not allowing a first-inning run.

The right-hander yielded three runs on six hits, and his ERA is 3.46. Still, Guthrie is searching for his first win of the season. He has posted quality starts in 9 of his last 13 outings, dating back to last year, but is just 3-7 over that stretch.

He deserved a win Wednesday night. Then again, given Baltimore’s offense -which lowered its runners in scoring position average to .150 this season – don’t all the Orioles starters deserve better?

So far, starting pitching has been a bright spot in a glum 2-15 start. And considering the Orioles just kicked off a 12-game stretch against the Yankees and the Red Sox, the next few weeks will be a true barometer of where the rotation is.

“Anytime you are facing the caliber of those lineups, those hitters, it’s obviously going to test you,” pitching coach Rick Kranitz said. “You are going to have to step up and get it done, that’s just the bottom line. They are no different than us, we make pitches we execute pitches, we get them out. That’s the bottom line.”

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