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Thatcher successful against righties and lefties

Thatcher successful against righties and lefties

BALTIMORE -- Relief pitcher Joe Thatcher fully understands and even embraces his role as a left-handed specialist, but there are times when he wouldn't mind a different title.

"I think I'm more than just a lefty specialist," Thatcher said.

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In a relatively small sample-size this season, Thatcher has actually pitched more like a right-handed specialist -- with right-handers hitting .250 (6-for-24) and lefties hitting .350 (7-for-22) off him.

"I take pride in getting righties out, too," said Thatcher, who has a 1.69 ERA in 17 appearances. "My job is still to get lefties out, and I feel like when I've been brought in to face one, I've been able to do that. But a few hits are just falling in or sneaking through the infield."

Going into Tuesday's game against the Orioles, Thatcher had not allowed a run in his last 9 2/3 innings, and he held opponents scoreless in 16 of his 17 appearances this season. The only runs he allowed came on April 7 against the Rockies at Coors Field.

For his career, Thatcher has held lefties to a .217 average in 339 at-bats. Thatcher has fared relatively well when facing righties (.268 average in 430 at-bats).

Why so many righties?

"A lot of times, they bring me in to face a lefty, and the other team will bring in a righty," Thatcher said.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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