Struggling Hunter dealing with left side issue

Struggling Hunter dealing with left side issue

ANAHEIM -- Orioles starter Tommy Hunter is still dealing with lingering discomfort in his left side -- a carryover from a back strain he had this spring -- although he said Friday that he doesn't feel anything hurting when on the mound.

"I usually have quite a bit of adrenaline going," he said. "I'm a big adrenaline guy. I don't feel much of anything unless it's significant, like a tear or something."

Hunter, who is still getting regular treatment on the area, has struggled in his last two starts to locate his fastball, with everything being up in the zone, resulting in six home runs over 11 2/3 innings. Asked if his side/back issue could be the reason he's struggling to get over the top of the ball, Hunter said: "Really hope it doesn't. Definitely have some things lingering around, but that's just an excuse, that's really all it is. You still got to be able to throw the ball down in the zone; you still have to give your team a chance to win.

"Yeah, it doesn't feel good. But you got to throw. I don't know how else to say that. I mean, everybody's got aches and pains here, and that's life. That's baseball. You got to find a way to win."

Hunter said the issue is only on his left side and he admitted it was frustrating to deal with given the work he put into this offseason to get in better shape, as the right-hander lost about 25 pounds. He threw a bullpen session on Friday afternoon and said he didn't "feel it one time" in his left side, an encouraging sign given Hunter was throwing full-throttle. Hunter's next start is Tuesday and he's eager to put his last two outings behind him.

"I'm a little upset, I definitely want to do better than what I've been doing," said Hunter, who is 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA. "I know I'm better than that. Got to get better, got to win baseball games."