BALTIMORE– The Baltimore Orioles took the field on Thursday night attempting to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies for the first time all season. Unfortunately, the Orioles couldn’t complete a rally from 5-0 down and ultimately fell 5-4 to the Phillies in the four-game series finale between the two clubs.
Kevin Gausman got the start for the Birds and struggled mightily after back-to-back scoreless innings to start the game. In the third frame, Phillies catcher Jorge Alfaro started off what would be a big night for himself with a single. Cesar Hernandez followed that with a single of his own to give the Phillies two runners on with nobody out.
After a Rhys Hoskins pop out, Odubel Herrera reached on an infield single to load the bases for Carlos Santana. Santana delivered a single, scoring Alfaro to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Nick Williams then provided a fielder’s choice, scoring Hernandez to extend the Phillies’ lead to 2-0.
The Phillies (52-40) got back to work in the fourth when Scott Kingery led off the inning with a single. Aaron Altherr was hit by a pitch to give the Phillies two on and nobody out once again. A wild pitch from Gausman moved the runners to second and third for Alfaro, who doubled to deep right, extending the Phillies lead to 4-0.
As the Orioles offense has done so often this season, it remained dormant through five innings. The Phillies struck again in the top of the sixth inning when Alfaro homered to center to make it 5-0 Philadelphia. After back-to-back singles, Gausman’s night was finished after giving up the aforementioned five runs, going only 5.0 innings and giving up a career-high 12 hits.
The Orioles offense picked up their first run of the night in the bottom half of the sixth inning when Manny Machado picked up his 64th RBI of the season with an infield single, scoring Tim Beckham who led off the inning with a double.
The Orioles cut the lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh when Trey Mancini connected for his 12th homer of the season. That chased Phillies starter Nick Pivetta, who was strong again for the Phillies. In 6.2 innings, he allowed three runs on five hits with three strikeouts.
The Phillies brought in former Orioles closer Tommy Hunter who was greeted by a solo shot from Jace Peterson on his first pitch to cut the Phillies lead to 5-4. Hunter induced a Beckham ground-out to end the inning.
The Orioles wouldn’t threaten again despite a one-out Machado single in the eighth as Adam Jones flew out and Chris Davis struck out looking to end the inning. The Orioles went quietly in the ninth and took the 5-4 loss.
Gausman (4-7, 4.33 ERA) took the loss for Orioles with Pivetta (6-7, 4.58 ERA) picking up the win for the Phillies. Seranthony Dominguez picked up the save for Phillies as well, his ninth of the season.
The Orioles (26-68) will welcome the Texas Rangers to town for a three-game series prior to the All-Star Break. On Friday, Alex Cobb (2-11, 6.67ERA) will get the start for the Orioles and oppose Cole Hamels (4-8, 4.28 ERA), who will take the ball for the Rangers.
Image Credit: Camden Chat