Durable Albers key to O's bullpen

Durable Albers key to O's bullpen

NEW YORK -- Orioles reliever Matt Albers had quietly put together an impressive second half before recording five big outs -- including retiring slugger Alex Rodriguez -- to silence a crowd of 46,432 at Yankee Stadium in Tuesday's 6-2 win.

"Albers was outstanding," raved O's manager Buck Showalter, who followed up on that sentiment prior to Wednesday's series finale.

"He's had some good outings lately," Showalter said of Albers, who hadn't allowed a run in his past four games entering Wednesday, a stretch of 5 1/3 innings. "It's good to see the things that everybody else has been telling me that he's capable of."

Albers entered Wednesday third in the American League with 66 relief innings, and he was 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA in his past 20 appearances. While the Orioles have jumped out to a 21-13 record under Showalter, fueling speculation that they are all playing for their collective jobs next spring, Albers said he tries not to think about what the future holds.

"You can't be worrying what the manager thinks about you," said Albers, who pitched to a 4.74 first-half ERA. "Obviously, I want to go out there and do my job and pitch well, and have a job. But if I pitch well, I probably will have a job. So I think I'm going to try to keep it simple and not worry too much about what other people think."

Instead, Albers credits both his ability to throw his offspeed pitches earlier in the count and simply getting more favorable bounces for his second-half surge.

"Being able to go out there and relax, and try to be aggressive and throw strikes and get ground balls, that's really all I can do," Albers said.