Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario has a 4.91 ERA in nine games this season. (Hunter Martin / Getty Images )
BALTIMORE -- Ronald Belisario was hunched over at his locker, his elbows resting on his knees.
"Give me 10 minutes," he said.
Once Belisario collected himself, he tried to convince his assembled audience, and perhaps himself, that everything would be fine.
"I'm in a slump," Belisario said. "I'll be out of there soon."
Belisario was on the mound when the Dodgers gave up the go-ahead runs in a 7-5 defeat to the Baltimore Orioles in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday.
Belisario posted a 2.54 earned-run average in 68 appearances last season. The hard-throwing setup man has a 4.91 ERA in nine games this season.
But the ERA only tells part of the story. He has inherited six runners and all have scored.
"I feel good," Belisario said. "These things happen."
On Saturday, Belisario entered the game as an eighth-inning replacement for rookie left-hander Paco Rodriguez, who gave up a one-out double to Chris Davis. Belisario walked J.J. Hardy, then threw a wild pitch that allowed both runners to move up a base. With first base open, Belisario intentionally walked pinch-hitter Nate McLouth.
A 5-5 stalemate ended when Belisario served up a two-run double to Nolan Reimold.
This was Belisario's third rough outing in a row. On April 15, he was charged with two runs and failed to record an out in a loss to the San Diego Padres. Two days later, he allowed the runner he inherited to score in another loss to the Padres.
Manager Don Mattingly acknowledged Belisario's form was disconcerting, noting that his pitches are moving sideways rather than sinking.
"A little frustrating," Mattingly said. "We have to get it straightened out."
While saying Belisario would continue to pitch in key situations, Mattingly said other relievers could get chances to do so. So far, Mattingly has used Belisario and Kenley Jansen interchangeably in the seventh and eighth innings to get the ball to closer Brandon League in the ninth.
Standout on DL
Dodgers top outfield prospect Yasiel Puig bruised his left thumb and was put on the seven-day disabled list by double-A Chattanooga. Puig was injured diving for a ball in the outfield Thursday.
Mattingly maintains that there isn't a place for Puig in the Dodgers' crowded outfield. But if the Dodgers decide to call up to the 22-year-old Cuban defector, they could do so without concern about starting his clock. Even if Puig is in the majors for the remainder of the season, he won't be credited with a full year of service time because he has spent 20 days in the minors. That means the earliest he could become a free agent would be after the 2019 season, not the 2018 season.
Puig is batting .333 with three home runs and nine runs batted in in 13 games with Chattanooga.
Memories of Earl Weaver
Earl Weaver, the Orioles' late Hall of Fame manager, was honored in a ceremony before the second game of the doubleheader.
As a player on the New York Yankees, Mattingly said he saw Weaver ejected from both games of a doubleheader. Mattingly recalled laughing.
"Now, it's me they're laughing at," Mattingly said.