Series Recap: Orioles end road trip with another series loss

SEATTLE, WA — Coming into the final series of their west coast trip, the Orioles looked to make some progress in their wildcard pursuit. However, the competition would prove far from easy as the Mariners find themselves in the middle of the same fight as the O’s.

Overall inconsistencies would end up plaguing the Orioles once again, just like they have all season. It seems like the Orioles pitching and offense could not get in sync during the road trip. If the pitching staff turned in a gem, the offense would fall non-existent. If the offense was on fire, the pitchers would implode.

The Orioles offense put up 11 runs in Monday night’s series opener thanks to four home runs, including a grand slam from Manny Machado. Tim Beckham got the scoring started by launching a leadoff home run in the first inning. The Mariners answered in the bottom half of the inning with a run of their own, but the Orioles offense was ready to explode in the second.

The Orioles scored two runs at the beginning of the second thanks to a Chris Davis double and a fielder’s choice from Caleb Joseph. After loading the bases, Machado put the O’s up 7-1 with his second grand slam of the road trip. The scoring did not stop there. Davis added another RBI in the fifth while Seth Smith and Trey Mancini hit a pair of home runs to put the game out of reach.

Kevin Gausman took this large lead and maintained it over the course of seven innings, exiting with a 11-2 lead. This was a bit of a bounce-back performance for Gausman. After giving up just two runs over the span of four starts, the 26-year-old pitcher had a rough outing against the Angels. Monday’s performance brought Gausman’s ERA back down to 5.08, the lowest its been since April.

The Orioles offense was far less successful in Tuesday’s game, generating just one run. That run came on a solo homer by Jonathan Schoop in the first inning. The O’s could not put anything together from there. The Mariners were not on fire by any means, but they were able to produce some runs on their way to a 3-1 victory.

A solo home run by Nelson Cruz put Seattle on the board in the fourth, while Jean Segura and Robinson Cano brought in the go-ahead runs in the fifth. Andrew Albers got the start for the Mariners and managed to make it through five innings, giving up just one run on six hits. After his exit, four relievers entered the game for Seattle and not one of them surrendered a base runner.

This set up a rubber match for Wednesday afternoon. Ubaldo Jimenez got the start for the Orioles and tried to continue his streak of quality starts. Unfortunately, that did not happen. The veteran starter got chased after giving up six runs in 4.1 innings.

When it came to the offense, both teams went back-and-forth, trading runs and the lead. Beckham started the game with his second leadoff home run of the series. The Mariners found themselves up 3-1 at the end of the fourth.

The O’s bounced back in the top of the fifth thanks to a wild pitch, a triple by Craig Gentry, and a single by Beckham. The three-run inning put the Orioles back on top, but it did not last long. Seattle answered with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Robinson Cano, Yonder Alonso and Danny Valencia each had an RBI single in the inning.

The Mariners added an insurance run in the next inning to make it a 7-4 game. The Birds looked hopeless for the next few frames. Up until the ninth, the O’s only managed to get a couple of men on base, and none of them came close to scoring.

In the top of the ninth, the Orioles trailed 7-3 and needed a burst of offense to get back into the game. Joseph, Smith and Beckham started the inning off with three straight walks to load the bases. Machado followed that up with a sacrifice fly to make it a two-0run game.

Seattle closer Edwin Diaz struggled with his command from the start of the inning, but he lost complete control when he hit Mancini and Trumbo in back-to-back at-bats. The two free passes allowed another run to score, but that would end Diaz’s day as he was replaced by Marc Rzepczynski.

The game would come down to the bat of Davis, but in typical Davis fashion his bat did not move as strike three zipped right down the middle to end the game.

The Orioles ten-game road trip has finally come to an end. The results are not too glamorous. The O’s ended up going 4-6 in the stretch despite outscoring their opponents 53-44.

After a much-needed off day on Thursday, the Orioles return home this weekend. The good news is that the O’s will have a chance to move up the standings this coming week as they prepare to face the Angels and A’s for the second time this month.

Image Credit: USA Today Sports

Series Preview: Orioles look to finish road trip with a series win

SEATTLE — The Orioles annual west coast trip is about to come to a close. This is great news for fans since we can finally go back to watching games at a reasonable hour, but it is also good news for the team. So far the Orioles have not won a series on their west coast trip, and they are falling slightly behind in the wildcard race. It’s no secret that the Orioles play better at home. They need to get back to Camden Yards with a wildcard spot still in reach.

Seattle finds themselves in almost the exact same position as the Orioles. While the Mariners currently sit a little higher up in the standings, they are preparing to go on a lengthy road trip of their own in the coming days. After these three games against the O’s, the Mariners will not play another home game until the beginning of September. The time spent away from Safeco Field could end up detrimental to a team looking to make a playoff push.

Last Meeting: This marks the first series between the Mariners and Orioles in 2017. When these teams faced off at the beginning of July last year, the Mariners swept the Orioles in four games. It was a devastating stretch for the O’s, especially since they entered the series with a seven-game win streak.

Standings Update: The Orioles (58-60) enter the final series of their west coast trip two games below .500 and a half game behind their opponent, Seattle (59-60). Dropping two games against the Angels, and then splitting their series against Oakland is not exactly the end of the world, but the O’s certainly don’t want to lose any more ground.

Game Times and Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Monday, August 14, 10:10 pm – Kevin Gausman (8-8, 5.21 ERA) vs Yovani Gallardo (5-7, 5.38 ERA)

Game 2: Tuesday, August 15, 10:10 pm – Wade Miley (6-9, 5.19 ERA) vs Andrew Moore (1-3, 6.34 ERA)

Game 3: Wednesday, August 16, 3:40 pm – Ubaldo Jimenez (5-7, 6.25 ERA) vs Marco Gonzales (0-0, 8.49 ERA)

Notes on the Mariners:

  • Gallardo will face his former team for the first time since being traded this past off-season. This spring, the Orioles traded a struggling Gallardo to Seattle for outfielder Seth Smith. Gallardo is in the middle of his tenth career season, so he has made two starts against the O’s before. In those appearances, Gallardo is 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA.
  • Nelson Cruz represents another former Oriole that has seen success when playing against Baltimore. In 53 games against the O’s, Cruz holds a .356 average with ten home runs and 44 RBI’s.

Notes on the Orioles:

  • If you’ve been watching the Orioles the past few weeks, you’re aware that the offense has been playing very well. However, you might be surprised to know that the Orioles lead the American league in a handful of offensive categories since the All-Star break including home runs, batting average, doubles, and OPS.
  • Shortstop Tim Beckham still hasn’t lost a step since joining the Orioles. In 13 games with the O’s Beckham has a .491 batting average with seven doubles and nine RBI’s.

Up Next: The Orioles will have Thursday off as they return from their lengthy road trip. After the off-day, the O’s prepare to face off against the Angels and A’s for the second time this month. The Birds will definitely be looking to get some revenge against both teams as they failed to win either series this past week.

Image Credit: Associated Press

Orioles stand pat after disappointing split with Athletics

OAKLAND, CA — After losing a series to the Angels 2-1, the Orioles needed to make up some ground this weekend against the second-to-worst team in the American League. That did not happen, and Baltimore comes out of the weekend in the same situation they went into Oakland with: two games below .500 (58-60), and in the back seat of the AL Wild Card Race.

Game one: 7-2 Orioles

The entire series went up and down for both teams. Thursday began with Baltimore slamming four home runs off Oakland starter Chris Smith. Those home runs featured two back-to-back sequences that both involved Trey Mancini. In the fourth inning, Mancini followed Adam Jones, and in the sixth inning the 25-year-old infielder was shadowed by Mark Trumbo.

Mancini finished the game with three hits. Jones completed the game with three RBI; one on the solo homer and two on a seventh-inning double.

Wade Miley tossed seven innings, allowing one run on three hits, three walks, and seven strikeouts. The last time Miley lasted seven innings came on June 1 against the Red Sox. Zach Britton racked up his 10’th save of the season in the win.

Game two: 5-4 Athletics

After not allowing a run in his three prior appearances, Brad Brach struggled on Friday night. The Orioles held a 3-2 lead going into the eighth inning, but things would unravel quickly. Left-fielder Matt Joyce, batting leadoff, got the inning started with a double off Brach. Shortstop Marcus Semien singled to left, advancing Joyce to third. Joyce scored and tied the game when second baseman Jed Lowrie hit a ground-rule double. After Brach earned the first out on a strikeout, Chris Davis dropped a pop-up in foul territory. Oakland got the winning run in on a sacrifice fly by Chad Pinder.

The loss yielded Brach a record of .500 at 3-3. Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez gave up three runs over 5.1 innings. He tallied 11 strikeouts on Friday night, which beat his previous season-high of nine on July 26 against Tampa Bay.

Jones hit a solo home run and scored Manny Machado on a double-play RBI. Machado scored again on a double by Jonathan Schoop.

Game three: 12-5 Orioles 

The Birds scored seven runs in the first inning off A’s starter Sean Manaea, who recorded just one out before being pulled from the game. The O’s sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning. Saturday became the first time since May 20, 2008 that the Orioles scored seven or more runs in the first inning, according to Rich Dubroff of PressBoxOnline.com.

The Orioles pounced on the A’s on Saturday, finishing with 20 hits and eight doubles. Eight doubles goes down as a season-high for Baltimore. Amazingly, the Orioles accomplished all of the offensive production without a home run. Tim Beckham went 4-for-5 at the plate with three RBI on two doubles. Both Jones and Joey Rickard tallied three hits, with Jones notching three RBI on a double and a single. Machado and Davis contributed by both finishing with two RBI – Machado on a double and a single, and Davis on two singles.

Despite the offensive onslaught, the Orioles did not play a perfect game. Starter Dylan Bundy gave up three home runs in the first two innings on home runs by Khris Davis and Matt Olson. However, Oakland never truly threatened in the game. The Orioles kept the A’s at bay, and Oakland did not get on the board again until they eighth inning.

Saturday indicates the second time Baltimore scored 12 runs in August. The Orioles defeated the Detroit Tigers, 12-3, on Aug. 6 at Camden Yards.

Game four: 9-3 Athletics

The Orioles scored one run apiece in the first two innings on RBI singles by Schoop and Davis. Baltimore controlled early, but a five-run fourth inning put the game in Oakland’s favor. After making his way through three innings unscathed, Jeremy Hellickson imploded in the fourth.

The A’s played small ball to get their first two runs on the board, but infielder Matt Chapman‘s three-run home run awarded Oakland the lead. Semien and Joyce homered later in the game, and eventually Baltimore found themselves down by six. Machado added a solo home run in the eighth inning, that came when the O’s trailed by six.

Sunday represents Hellickosn’s worst outing since coming to Baltimore in late July. Chris Tillman made his first career relief appearance on Sunday, registering two strikeouts. He threw 20 pitches, 11 strikes.

Notes:

  • Beckham played all four of these games from the leadoff position in Baltimore’s lineup. That did not impact his play. Beckham did not record a hit on Sunday, but in this series he notched eight hits, four doubles, a triple, and three RBI.
  • Also at the plate in Oakland, Jones went 7-for-17 with two doubles, two home runs, and seven RBI.
  • J.J. Hardy, the Orioles’ starting shortstop prior to Beckham’s arrival, will not return from the 60-day disabled list on Friday, Aug. 18. Hardy suffered a fractured wrist against the Cardinals on June 18 when he got hit by a pitch. Even if Hardy returns with a decent amount of time left in the season, its hard to envision manager Buck Showalter putting him back in the lineup on a regular basis. Hardy turns 35 on Saturday, owns a .211 batting average in 2017, and his contract expires after the season.

Up Next: Baltimore wraps up their 10-game road trip with a three-game series in Seattle against the Mariners. Going into the weekend, Seattle held the second Wild Card spot in the AL. After getting swept by the Angels in four games at home, the Mariners (59-60) now find themselves on the outside looking in, with the Angels, Twins and Royals all overtaking them in the race.

Seattle sits two games back in the Wild Card standings, with Baltimore right behind them at 2.5 games.

Image Credit: Mercury News 

Series Preview: Orioles continue west coast trip in Oakland

OAKLAND — Going into a 10-game road trip out west featuring match-ups against two teams in the American League Wild Card Race, the Orioles knew they needed to come out strong against the Angels. Well, that did not happen. Baltimore started off the trip out west losing two of three to Los Angeles. The Angels held Baltimore to three runs in the final two games, ending an offensive onslaught that began with the signing of Tim Beckham.

The Oakland Athletics face a plethora of struggles too. They currently represent the second-to-worst record in the AL, and just got swept by division rival Seattle over two games.

Now, the Orioles and Athletics will lock arms in a four-game weekend series at the Oakland Coliseum.

Last Meeting: In 2016, the Orioles played 3-4 baseball against the A’s. Baltimore took two of three from Oakland at Camden Yards. One of those wins featured an 11-3 offensive explosion. Manny Machado finished that game with six RBI on a grand slam and another two-run homer. Jonathan Schoop, Mark Trumbo, and Joey Rickard also found the long ball in that game.

In Oakland, the Orioles struggled, going 1-3. All losses were by one run, 0-1, 1-2, and 2-3. Despite great performances by Kevin Gausman, Wade Miley, and Yovani Gallardo, Oakland limited the O’s to three runs in as many games. The O’s went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 14 runners on-base. The O’s did pick up a 9-6 win at the Coliseum, but the offensive struggles in the other three games overshadowed that win.

Standings Update: The Orioles (56-58) come into Oakland 2.5 games back in the AL Wild Card Race. The Red Sox (64-49) currently man the first place slot in the AL East. The A’s (50-64) sit in the cellar of the AL West, 22 games behind the Astros (71-41).

Game Times and Pitching Matchups:

Game 1Thursday, Aug. 10, 10:05 pm – Wade Miley (5-9, 5.51 ERA) vs. Chris Smith (0-1, 4.82 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2Friday, Aug. 11, 10:05 pm – Ubaldo Jimenez (5-7, 6.31 ERA) vs. Paul Blackburn (3-1, 2.60 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3Saturday, Aug. 12, 9:05 pm – Dylan Bundy (11-8, 4.15 ERA) vs. Sean Manaea (8-6, 4.15 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 4Sunday, Aug. 13, 4:05 pm – Jeremy Hellickson (7-6, 4.45 ERA) vs. Kendall Graveman (2-3, 4.97 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Key Orioles stats in Oakland:

  • Three of Baltimore’s starters sport ERA’s below 4 at the Oakland Coliseum: Miley (1.42, two starts), Jimenez (2.31, two starts), and Hellickson (3.44, three starts). Bundy will start his first game in Oakland on Saturday.
  • Chris Davis owns a career .307 average at the Coliseum. In 127 at-bats, the 31-year-old infielder looks to add on to his 39 hits, eight doubles, nine home runs, and 30 RBI.

A’s against the Orioles: 

  • Khris with a K Davis is a lifetime .290 hitter against Baltimore, with 19 hits, seven doubles, three home runs and six RBI in 31 at-bats against the O’s.
  • Oakland’s leading hitter, infielder Jed Lowrie, clocks in with a .270 average. Against Baltimore, however, Lowrie quietly hits just .213.

Up Next: The Orioles play the last of three series of the 10-game west coast trip in Seattle against the Mariners. Seattle (59-56) owns the second place mark in the AL West. If the season ended today, the second Wild Card slot in the AL belongs to the Mariners, with the first going to the Yankees (59-52).

Note: All standings and stats in this post are as of Aug. 9. 

Image Credit: SFBay

Series Recap: Orioles start west coast trip with series loss to Angels

ANAHEIM — With the Orioles working their way back into a heavily contested wild card race every game feels just as important as the last. However, the biggest challenge facing the O’s for the next week will be their annual west coast trip. Due to the major time difference, east coast teams have to play a lot of their cross-country games in the same week or two.

These matchups can make or break the O’s success for the month of August, especially with games against fellow wildcard contenders like the Angels and Mariners.

The Orioles enjoyed some great pitching and offense during Monday nights series opener. The game was closely contested up until the seventh inning when Manny Machado hit a grand slam to put the O’s up by four. Machado’s fifth career grand slam was another shining moment for the third baseman as he continues to heat up. The big hit also gave Machado his 12th RBI in the past week.

Dylan Bundy had a big game on the mound in the series opener as well. The 24-year-old pitcher tossed seven innings while surrendering just two runs. His 10 strike outs also marked a season high. After a rough month of July where he posted a 8.41 ERA, Bundy is back on the right track. So far in August Bundy holds a 1.20 ERA in two starts.

Monday also marked the 26th birthday of Mike Trout. The two-time MVP celebrated the day in style by picking up his 1,000 career hit. Trout was able to come around and score after his milestone hit and then launch a solo homer later in the game. Unfortunately for the Angels these two runs were the only offense they could produce as they went on to lose 6-2.

In game two the O’s did not fare as well. The pitching matchup made for a great story line with former Orioles pitcher, Parker Bridwell taking the hill for the Angels and newly acquired starter, Jeremy Hellickson pitching for the Birds. Bridwell had some trouble finding success with the Orioles but has certainly been a big part of the Angels rotation since being traded.

On Tuesday Bridwell did his best to make his former team regret that trade. Bridwell threw seven strong innings while giving up just one run. The start earned him his sixth win of the season and lowered his ERA to 3.00. Hellickson was not quite as effective but still solid in his second start with the O’s. The new Oriole starter gave up three runs and struck out nine in six innings of work.

The O’s trailed 3-1 when Hellickson exited the game but only managed to put one more run on the board in the next three innings. Caleb Joseph hit a solo homer in the ninth and the Orioles fell just short of the Angels 3-2.

Wednesday afternoons rubber match was another closely contested game. The Orioles struck first in the third inning with a solo homer by Welington Castillo but the Angels responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning. An RBI single in the fourth was followed by a two run homer in the sixth to give the Angels a 4-1 lead that they would not surrender.

The O’s had a chance to score in the top of the sixth but ultimately came up short. Joey Rickard led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch and Craig Gentry entered the game to run for him. With two outs recorded Jonathan Schoop came through with a base hit. Gentry attempted to score from first base but was cut down at the plate to end the inning.

The O’s offense struggled to get on base during the entire game so their scoring opportunities were extremely limited. The Angels pitching staff took advantage of this and closed out the final innings quickly to secure a 5-1 victory and a series win.

The west coast games continue this weekend as the Orioles prepare to play the Oakland A’s in a four game series. This will be the first meeting between the Orioles and Athletics in 2017.

Image Credit: Camden Chat

Series Preview: Orioles prepare to hit the road for west coast trip

It seems like the Orioles might actually turn their season around. After the somewhat disappointing trade deadline, many thought that the O's would continue to be average at best and struggle to finish above .500. However, since the July 31 deadline, the Orioles are 5-2 and look completely rejuvenated.

The Angels are in the middle of the same wildcard race as the O's. Despite dropping their last two games against Oakland, Los Angeles is on the upswing. The Angels have won six of their previous seven games.

Last Meeting: This will be the first of two matchups between the Orioles and Angels in 2017. Their last meeting came during the beginning of July last year. The O's dropped the first game of the weekend, but rebounded to take the next two games and win the series.

Standings Update: After splitting their series against Detroit, the Orioles are back to one game below .500 and currently sit just two games back in a competitive wildcard race. The Angels loom right behind the O's in the standings with a record of 55-57. Because of this, the upcoming series is even more important for both teams.

Game Times and Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Monday, August 7, 10:07 pm – Dylan Bundy (10-8, 4.24 ERA) vs J.C. Ramirez (10-9, 4.03 ERA)

Game 2: Tuesday, August 8, 10:07 pm – Jeremy Hellickson (7-5, 4.45 ERA) vs Parker Bridwell (5-1, 3.20 ERA)

Game 3: Wednesday, August 9, 3:37 pm – Kevin Gausman (8-7, 5.15 ERA) vs Troy Scribner (1-0, 4.50 ERA)

Notes on the Angels:

  • Parker Bridwell will be making his first career start against his former team after being traded back in April. The 25-year-old had some trouble finding his groove with the O's. He's quickly made himself a staple of the Angels rotation since the trade. Bridwell sports a 5-1 record and 3.20 ERA in nine starts this season.
  • Whenever you go up against the Angels, Mike Trout is always a player to look out for. The two-time MVP holds a .278 average with 11 home runs and 23 RBI's in 39 career games against the O's. Trout will also be celebrating his 26th birthday during the first game of the series.

Notes on the Orioles:

  • The last-minute trade for Tim Beckham was met with mixed feelings by O's fans, but he has been on fire since joining the Orioles. Beckham holds a .583 average with six RBI's since putting on his new uniform. The shortstop even made himself a part of Orioles history when he hit the franchise's 10,000th home run on Saturday.
  • After acquiring Jeremy Hellickson at the trade deadline, the Orioles had six starting pitchers and needed to move one to the bullpen. Prior to Sunday's game, Buck Showalter decided that Chris Tillman will begin a new role as a reliever. Tillman holds a 8.10 ERA in 15 starts this season and has not won a game since his first appearance back in May.

Up Next: After taking on the Angels, the Birds continue their west coast trip by heading to Oakland for a four game series against the struggling A's. The past few weeks have been full of matchups against other potential wildcard teams, but the A's are stuck in the basement of the American League.

Series Recap: Big performances by Beckham and Machado lead to split against Tigers

BALTIMORE — Tim Beckham‘s stint with the Orioles will not extend to a week until tomorrow, but he’s making a big impact.

In 24 at-bats with the Orioles, Beckham owns 14 hits, three doubles, a triple, three home runs, and six RBI. From Thursday to Saturday, Beckham homered in three straight games for the first time in his career.

On Saturday night, Beckham became entrenched in Orioles franchise history. In the eighth inning of Saturday’s 5-2 win over Detroit, Beckham smacked a home run to center field. This solo bomb marked two milestones in Orioles history. Beckham’s home run signalized the 10,000th home run in Orioles franchise history, and the 2,500th Oriole home run hit at Camden Yards.

Adam Jones and Welington Castillo also homered in Saturday’s win. Starting pitcher Wade Miley lasted just five innings on 113 pitches.

Sunday brought a 12-3 lopsided win for the Birds. Manny Machado and Joey Rickard both tallied four hits, but Machado collected five RBI. Machado hit an RBI double in the second inning, a two-run home run in the fourth inning, and a two-RBI single in the eighth inning. Had Machado reached third via triple, he would have become the first Orioles player to hit for the cycle since Felix Pie did it in 2009.

Rickard’s four hits resulted in just one RBI; a solo home run in the fourth inning. Jonathan Schoop, Chris Davis, and Trey Mancini also homered, giving the O’s five different players that hit the long ball on Sunday.

Ubaldo Jimenez looked sharp again on Sunday. In 5.2 innings, he permitted just one run on nine hits, three walks, and six strikeouts. In his last four starts, Jimenez allowed just four runs with 26 strikeouts. He should no longer own the “weakest link” title in Baltimore’s rotation.

Also on Sunday, Beckham chalked up another hit. Beckham successfully hit safely in his six Orioles appearances so far. Before the trade, Beckham did not record a hit in three straight games with the Rays.

Orioles fans witnessed many fine moments in the final two games of the series, but the first two games did not go well. Detroit entered Baltimore eight games below .500, and the O’s just got done sweeping a red-hot Royals team. The Orioles, one game below .500, tried to make their record a winning one. The series ended, and the Orioles’ situation remains the same.

Over the first two games, the Tigers defeated the Orioles, 7-5 and 5-2. On Thursday, Chris Tillman endured another horrible start. He authorized all seven of Detroit’s runs (five earned) on six hits, two walks, and a strikeout. Tillman encountered two innings on 64 pitches. Amazingly, this did not represent Tillman’s shortest outing of the season. In a 16-3 loss on June 7, Tillman lasted 1.1 innings against the Yankees.

Tillman’s 8.10 ERA earns him a spot in the Orioles’ bullpen. The move, made official on Saturday, shrinks Baltimore’s rotation back down to five. Jeremy Hellickson‘s arrival expanded the rotation to six, but Tillman’s ineffectiveness leaves no reason to continue using a six-man starting pitching staff.

Tillman’s bad start on Thursday left a sour taste in the mouths of Orioles fans, but Friday’s 5-2 loss arguably tasted worse. Kevin Gausman turned in another great start for the Orioles. In seven innings, Gausman limited the Tigers to one run on three hits and a walk. Gausman struck out eight Detroit batters. When he left the game, the Orioles led 2-1 off solo home runs by Machado and Beckham.

Gausman has been dominant recently. In his last four starts, he allowed just two runs and racked up 32 strikeouts. His shortest outing in that stretch spanned six innings. He went 8.2 innings on July 29 at Texas,.

Michael Givens relieved Gausman in the eighth inning. James McCann and Jose Iglesias started the inning off with singles off Givens. Following a fielder’s choice, Jim Adduci walked to load the bases. Justin Upton appointed himself the hero for Detroit with a grand slam that marked his 20th home run of the season.

After losing the lead, the Orioles went 1-2-3 in their two final offensive innings. The loss gave the Tigers a 2-0 edge halfway through the series, but luckily the O’s made up ground with wins on Saturday and Sunday. After sweeping Kansas City, a series loss to a sub-.500 team like the Tigers would sting. A split, although not extremely satisfying, minimizes the damage of a potentially-disasterous weekend.

Detroit wins the season series, 4-3.

Coming out of the weekend, the Orioles (55-56) still found themselves in fourth place in the American League East, two games back in the AL Wild Card Race. The team now faces a 10-game road trip to the West Coast. The Angels and the Orioles share the same record, the Athletics sport the second-worst record in the AL, and the Mariners sit just two games above .500.

Road trips, especially to the other side of the country, are never easy, but since the All-Star Break the O’s hold .500 record on the road. The Orioles don’t need to go 10-0 on this road trip. Coming out of it with a record above .500 would raise faith not only in the clubhouse, but in the fanbase too.

Image Credit: Camden Chat