Facing the team he spent spring training with, Freddy Garcia looked like he needed a few more exhibition games.
In the shortest of his three starts for the Orioles, Garcia gave up four runs and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings in an 8-4 loss to the San Diego Padres on Wednesday.
``I was behind in the count all day long,' Garcia said.
At spring training with a minor league contract, Garcia was released by the Padres on March 24 after going 1-4 with an 8.71 ERA in six starts. He allowed 25 runs and 26 hits in 20 2-3 innings.
He signed a minor league deal with the Orioles three days later and made his Baltimore debut on May 4, taking a no-hit bid into the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Angels before Erick Aybar's leadoff single. Garcia didn't get a decision in Baltimore's 5-4 win, but he lost his next start to Kansas City and lacked command against San Diego. He's 0-2 with a 5.51 ERA.
``Not quite as crisp,' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
And while the Orioles are 23-17 with the first quarter of the season, Showalter was looking ahead rather than behind.
``This is an impossible game to be perfect at,' he said. ``I'm not going to get too reflective at the - that's for the Preakness or whatever it is, where they go a quarter-mile.'
Alexi Amarista homered and doubled twice as the Padres matched their season-high with 17 hits and completed a two-game sweep.
Everth Cabrera had four hits and a walk, and Jedd Gyorko had three singles for the Padres, who are 13-6 after a 5-15 start.
John Baker hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the second against Freddy Garcia (0-2), and Kyle Blanks hit a two-run homer in the fourth for a 4-1 lead.
``We've been playing well the last three weeks,' said Padres manager Bud Black, whose club rallied after losing three straight at Tampa Bay. ``Things have turned in a good way. We had a tough series down in Tampa. I liked the way the guys responded today. It was outstanding. We got to their starter. We kept the pressure on, got a lot of base hits.'
Every starter had at least one hit for the Padres, including Amarista, who entered the game batting .233 in 73 at_bats. Slotted eighth in the lineup between Blanks and Baker, the lefty-swinging outfielder went the opposite way for a two-run homer off Tommy Hunter in the seventh.
J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters homered for the Orioles off Jason Marquis (5-2), who won his fourth straight start. Manny Machado had four hits.
Marquis allowed two runs, seven hits and four walks in five-plus innings. He has a 2.45 ERA in his last four starts.
Baltimore loaded the bases in the first before Wieters hit an inning-ending groundout. The sinkerball-throwing Marquis also escaped damage in the second and fifth by inducing double-play grounders.
``Some days you're not going to feel as good as others, but at the end of the day you have to make pitches in big situations,' Marquis said. ``I don't want to keep putting myself in those situations, but if you do, got to find a way.'
Dale Thayer relieved Marquis with two on in the sixth and retired three in a row.
Baker's second-inning single was one of three straight two-out hits. The fourth inning included Blanks' homer, Amarista's second double of the game and Will Venable's RBI double off T.J. McFarland.
NOTES: After throwing 35 pitches on Wednesday, Orioles RHP Miguel Gonzalez (blister) is expected to pitch Friday either in a simulated game or in the minors. Placed on the 15-day DL on May 4, Gonzalez is 2-2 in six starts. On Tuesday, LHP Wei-Yin Chen (right oblique strain) joined Gonzalez on the DL. ... Following an off day, the Orioles start a three-game series against Tampa Bay. Jason Hammel (5-1) is slated to start Friday's opener against Jeremy Hellickson (1-2). ... The Padres return home for four games against Washington. Edinson Volquez (3-3) starts for San Diego on Thursday against fellow right-hander Stephen Strasburg (1-5).
The Associated Press News Service
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