Durable Albers key to O's bullpen
Strong second half part of club's surge under Showalter
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.
Innings piling up, Arrieta remains strong
NEW YORK -- Orioles right-hander Jake Arrieta put to rest any concern that he was running out of gas with Tuesday's impressive shutdown of the Yankees.
Still, Arrieta -- who tossed 6 1/3 innings of two-run baseball in a 6-2 O's win that clinched a series victory -- is 16 2/3 innings above his previous career high of 150 2/3, and he isn't expected to get more than two starts going forward.
"As far as shutting me down, I don't know if that's a big issue," Arrieta said following Tuesday's win, which was his second victory in as many attempts against the defending World Series champs.
"I feel great, and I've felt great from day one. I'm just looking forward to finishing out the season."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter has remained mum on exactly when Arrieta or any of the O's young arms will be done this season, because he wants them to focus on each outing and not be distracted.
For now, the O's rotation will remain on track through the weekend -- with Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Guthrie pitching the first two games in Detroit -- before the team looks into making any changes.
The Orioles currently have a six-man rotation with the addition of September callup Chris Tillman, and Showalter has said that the current order could change to allow certain pitchers to gain extra rest. The club could also opt to skip a starter altogether, a process that would lengthen the season for a pitcher like Arrieta.
Bell doesn't hide awe at Yankee Stadium
NEW YORK -- In his first career trip to the new Yankee Stadium, Orioles rookie Josh Bell didn't even try to play it cool.
"I'm still starstruck by a lot of these guys," said Bell, who exchanged brief words with Yankees All-Stars Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez while on the basepaths during Monday's 4-3 win.
"To be able to compete and be on the same field as these guys, it's an amazing feeling," Bell said. "To be able to win, it's good for the team, and it's something special for me."
Bell -- who started all three games of the series -- went 2-for-8 with a double and two runs scored in the first two tilts and has made some impressive stops at third base, with manager Buck Showalter commenting after Monday's win that the young rookie "put on a show."
"At this level, everything happens so fast," said the 23-year-old Bell, who is admittedly still learning how to play the hot corner at the Major League level. "I'm pretty much just trying to stay focused and make the plays."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.