BALTIMORE (WJZ)– 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).
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)