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Strop put rough outing in rearview mirror

BALTIMORE -- Orioles reliever Pedro Strop was anxious to get back on the mound prior to Thursday's series opener against Boston. Strop took the loss in Wednesday's series finale against the Angels by allowing six runs to score, including two that belonged to starter Jason Hammel.

"It was rough, a tough one to swallow. You've got to be aware of that, it's not OK," Strop said. "But what is OK, and what is good, is that I'm going to do my best to get myself back on track. Today is a new day. I know yesterday wasn't a good one. But I'm expecting that today is going to be one of the best days of my life."

Strop, who celebrated his 28th birthday Thursday, has certainly had his struggles this season.

He's inherited 13 runners, and allowed seven of them to score. He spent time on the disabled list at the end of May with a lower back strain, but said he feels fine now.

In 19 innings this season, Strop has surrendered 17 runs (16 earned) and four home runs, with 19 strikeouts and 15 walks.

"I like the pressure of the game and all that stuff, but obviously, it's always better when the bases are empty. But I'm used to pitching under [pressure], and I like the pressure," Strop said.

Given his string of dominance last year and his spring success in the World Baseball Classic (zero earned runs, seven strikeouts and no walks in 6 2/3 innings for the champion Dominican Republic team), his poor season to date is somewhat perplexing.

"It's frustrating, because we know how good he can be," Chris Davis said. "It makes you think a little bit about what's going on in his head. Whether it's fatigue from throwing so much already, or if it's something else. But when he's on, he's one of the best guys in the game."

"I think it's one of those things where he's got to figure it out for himself. I think he's got to just trust himself. He's filthy, man."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. Derek Wetmore is an associate reporter for
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