Playing time is hard to find for Pie

Playing time is hard to find for Pie

MIAMI -- Writing a lineup card isn't as easy as it looks.

Manager Dave Trembley declined to comment on Thursday as to whether he spoke to Felix Pie about twin gaffes he made in Wednesday night's game, but he did admit that it must be hard for the reserve outfielder to play consistently when he can't find a spot in the lineup.

And things won't be any easier for Pie over the next few days, thanks to a quirk in the schedule. Baltimore will face two left-handed starters against Washington and another in the series opener against Boston.

"As of right now, he's an extra outfielder," Trembley said of Pie. "I would agree that it's harder to get better if you're not playing on a more regular basis, but you also have to look at the fact that we've played so many games against teams that have left-handed pitching. It was very limited in the opportunities for him to go out there ... and there was no DH. He might have had an opportunity to play more if there were some more right-handed starters."

Pie has started just three games this month, ceding time to rookie Nolan Reimold and regular designated hitter Luke Scott. It's gotten to the point that Pie has been relegated to part-time duty as a pinch-runner and late-inning defensive replacement, and his job could be in jeopardy when Cesar Izturis returns from the disabled list.

The Orioles can hang their hat on one fact, though. Baltimore has been much more competitive against left-handed pitching this season, batting .265 and notching a 12-11 record against southpaw starters. Part of that is due to Reimold's success, and Scott has been particularly devastating against left-handers.

"It's gotten better," said Trembley. "We've done some things without some of our main guys playing to the level that I know we can play at. I'm sure we'll face a lot more as the year goes on and it will even out."

Baltimore will start its hottest pitcher -- Brad Bergesen -- in Friday's series opener against Washington. The Nationals will counter with southpaw Ross Detwiler, who held the Orioles to one hit and one earned run earlier this season. Baltimore took two of three from Washington in that series and is 9-6 against the National League.

Pitching matchup
BAL: RHP Brad Bergesen (4-2, 3.94 ERA)
Bergesen pitched six scoreless innings against the Phillies before tiring and giving up four runs in the seventh. The Orioles came back to win and get him off the hook, so he hasn't lost since May 19. He's 3-0 in his past five starts with a 2.35 ERA, allowing just 33 baserunners in 38 1/3 innings. He didn't walk a batter in his last start, and has not issued a walk in four of his last six.

WSH: LHP Ross Detwiler (0-3, 4.76 ERA)
In his seventh start, Detwiler came very close to earning his first career win, but the bullpen could not hold the two-run lead the Nationals had when Detwiler exited Saturday's game against the Blue Jays. But as Detwiler said afterward, "It's a win for the team, so you can't go wrong with that." Detwiler was integral in that win, tossing seven innings, allowing six hits and two runs.

Bird bites
The Orioles have allowed 10 runs on seven occasions this season. ... Nick Markakis tied his career high with four hits on Thursday night and has reached base safely in 60 of 71 starts this season. ... Brian Roberts saw his six-game hitting streak stopped cold on Thursday night. He batted .360 (9-for-25) during the streak. ... Baltimore is 4-31 when outhit by its opponents and 25-5 on the other side. ... The Orioles have thrown 24 quality starts this season, but their opponents have thrown 34 against them. ... Baltimore is 14-10 in series openers and 6-18 in series finales this season and has gone 5-23 when scoring fewer than four runs.

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Up next
• Saturday: Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie, 5-7, 5.09) vs. Nationals (Shairon Martis, 5-2, 5.13), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Orioles (Koji Uehara, 2-4, 4.05) vs. Nationals (John Lannan, 4-5, 3.44), 1:35 p.m. ET
• Monday: Orioles (Jason Berken, 1-4, 6.32) vs. Red Sox (Jon Lester, 6-6, 4.68), 7:05 p.m. ET

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.