Orioles extend losing streak to nine before salvaging a win over Marlins in series finale

Game 1 (2-0 MIA): The Orioles came into this weekend’s series with an eight game losing streak, their longest of the season. They were, and still are, extremely down on their luck, but with the struggling Marlins in town there might have been some room cautious optimism.

I know that sounds crazy but consider the fact that just last week the Orioles rallied for a pair of interleague wins over the Mets. Miami isn’t too far off from the Mets in terms of competition. In addition to that, the Orioles would be playing in their home stadium this time, meaning the much needed DH position could be used.

However, this brief moment of optimism was erased pretty quickly in Friday’s series opener. Kevin Gausman was decent enough in his 5.2 innings of work. The O’s starter gave up just two runs on five hits and struck out seven. Completing the sixth inning would have been nice but you can’t complain about that kind of start.

As you should expect at this point, that quality start was completely wasted as the Orioles offense mustered just three hits and never crossed home plate. Jose Urena got the start for the Marlins and ended up turning in his best performance of the season. The 26-year-old starter shut down the O’s with eight strong innings to earn just his second win of the season. The great start not only marks Urena’s deepest of the year, but also the first start this season where he kept the opposing lineup scoreless.

If there was a bright spot for the O’s, it was the bullpen. Four relievers entered the game after Gausman and they combined to give up just two hits in a little over three innings of work. Zach Britton made his second appearance of the season and looked much better than he did earlier this week. While Britton escaped that inning of relief on Tuesday without giving up any runs, he did allow three walks to put himself in a jam. On Friday Britton made quick work of the Marlins to retire the side in order with a pair of strikeouts.

Game 2 (5-4 MIA): The Orioles played another close game on Saturday but came up short once again. The Marlins looked like they might run away with it early after scoring four runs in the first three innings, but the Orioles would eventually make it a close contest. J.T. Realmuto led the scoring effort for Miami with an RBI single in the first and then a two run homer in the third.

In the bottom of the third, Manny Machado cut the Marlins lead in half with a two RBI single. The score remained 4-2 through the fifth but then Realmuto came around and got the best of Alex Cobb once again by launching a solo homer to make it three run game.

The Orioles offense was able to respond once again with a Jonathan Schoop solo home run in the bottom of the sixth. Danny Valencia followed that up with an RBI single in the seventh to cut the Marlins lead to one run, but the comeback would end there for the Orioles.

Brad Ziegler and Drew Steckenrider provided some much needed composure for the Marlins out of the pen. The duo combined to shut down the eighth and ninth innings while securing a win for Miami.

Game 3 (10-4 BAL): After playing from behind in the first two games, the Orioles didn’t waste any time taking the upper hand in Sunday’s series finale. Just like the Marlins did the day before, the O’s lineup was able to take an early 4-0 lead by the end of the third inning.

Jace Peterson got it started in the second inning by sending a ball deep to center field. It sailed over the outfielders heads and landed on the warning track before bouncing over the wall. Luckily for the O’s, this ground rule double didn’t have a negative impact since Mark Trumbo and Jonathan Schoop were both in scoring position to start the at bat.

In the third inning the Orioles added two more runs thanks to an RBI double by Trumbo and an RBI single by Trey Mancini. The two runs would end up being huge considering the O’s started the third with two quick outs. Despite this, the heart of the order managed to pick up three hits, including the two RBI’s, and a walk before ending the inning.

By the end of the fifth the Orioles had captured an impressive 8-1 lead. Adam Jones knocked in two with a double in the fourth and Peterson added another two with a home run in the fifth.

Dylan Bundy was on the mound for the Orioles and looked like he was on pace for a great afternoon. Through five innings Bundy had already received more than enough run support, but also held the Marlins lineup to just one run, which came via a home run by Justin Bour.

Bundy was working at an impressive pace and had kept his pitch count down early on. The sixth inning would stop him in his tracks though. After putting two runners on base to start the inning, Bundy had to face Bour for a third time. Once again the Marlins designated hitter got the best of Bundy and sent a three run homer over the right field wall to make it a 8-4 game.

Bundy’s afternoon came to an end after it took him just shy of 30 pitches to finish off the sixth. With the Marlins threatening again in the seventh, Buck Showalter opted to use three different relievers to get through the inning. Miguel Castro got the inning started but quickly loaded the bases without recording an out. Mychal Givens came in and picked up two outs but was replaced by Tanner Scott with Bour coming up to the plate. The 23-year-old lefty handled the pressure very well and got Bour to strikeout looking.

The O’s offense had already done enough but they still managed to push two more runs across in the late innings. A Mark Trumbo solo homer and RBI single by Manny Machado helped cap off the ten run afternoon for the O’s. Brad Brach and Zach Britton closed out the last two innings with ease to break the Orioles nine game losing streak.

Up Next: The Orioles will take Monday off before making a short trip down the beltway to face the Nationals. When these two teams met at Camden Yards back in late May, Washington walked away with a sweep. These next three games will wrap up the season series between the Nationals and Orioles for 2018. The Nationals only need to win one game for their first season series win over the Orioles since 2007.

Image credit: Patrick Semansky / AP

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Series Preview: Orioles welcome Marlins to Baltimore for first time in eight years

BALTIMORE — The Orioles (19-48) have hit rock-bottom. They own the worst record in the Major Leagues and currently find themselves on a seven-game losing streak, tying a season-high. Dating back to their 9-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on May 24, the Orioles have scored three runs or less in 14 of 20 contests. Through 67 games the Orioles are averaging 3.49 runs-per-game, but getting to three runs has been a real challenge for this ball-club.

Now 27 games out of first place in the American League East, the time for a fresh start is long overdue. Most teams in this situation would have already gotten the ball rolling on this process, but Orioles continue to stand pat. No press conference with ownership or management has taken place, no trades have been made, and no one’s been fired. There’s already an alarming amount of empty seats at Camden Yards every night. The longer the front office waits on rebuilding, the longer fans will stay away.

After suffering consecutive divisional series losses to the Blue Jays and Red Sox, the Orioles shift their attention to the National League for the second time second time this month, with the Miami Marlins (26,43, fifth place in National League East) on-deck for three games at Camden Yards beginning on Friday. The good news for the Orioles is that the Marlins rank right at the bottom of the majors in total offense – Miami currently sits 29th overall with 239 runs scored, and the Orioles rank last with 234.

This marks the Marlins’ first trip to Camden Yards since Jun. 22-24, 2010, when the team was still named the “Florida Marlins.” The Marlins took the first two games of that series, 10-4 and 7-5, but the Orioles avoided the sweep with an 11-5 win in game 3.

Here’s the Orioles’ lineup from that 2010 Marlins series opener on Jun. 22.

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Latest on Bleier: During his most recent relief appearance in Wednesday’s 5-1 loss to Boston, Richard Bleier was seen grimacing in pain and holding his left arm after throwing an 89-mph pitch to Eduardo Nunez that resulted in a groundout.

After the injury, Bleier underwent an X-ray and an MRI, but the severity of the injury isn’t known yet. Buck Showalter said after the game that Bleier ‘has all of the characteristics of a lat’ injury, which won’t bode well for him. Lat injuries, especially for pitchers, take months to recover from.

This is a really tough blow for the Orioles’ bullpen. Belier leads the team in appearances this season (31). Out of the relievers that have been with the big league Orioles club all season, Bleier owns the lowest ERA – 1.93 – of the group. He’s only allowed seven earned runs this season on 36 hits, four walks and 15 strikeouts.

When Bleier officially lands on the disabled list, Tanner Scott will likely get recalled and rejoin the Orioles bullpen after being sent down on Jun. 9. Scott was not seen in Triple-A Norfolk’s clubhouse on Thursday.

Last Meeting / All-Time Series: From May 22-24, 2015 at Marlins Park, Miami took two of three from Baltimore. It was the Orioles’ first series played at Marlins Park after the team moved out of Hard Rock Stadium (then Sun Life Stadium) and into their new ballpark prior to the 2012 season. The Birds took the opener 8-5. Manny Machado finished with three RBI on a groundout and a double. Mike Wright tossed seven shutout innings in game 2, allowing three hits and three walks with four strikeouts. Unfortunately, the Orioles got shutout 1-0. Miami took game 3, 5-2 behind 6.1 innings from Tom Koehler, who allowed one run in his start.

The Marlins lead their all-time series with the Orioles, 20-7. The Orioles are 5-7 at Camden Yards versus the Marlins all-time.

Game times and pitching matchups 

Game 1Friday, Jun. 15, 7:05 pm – José Ureña (1-8, 4.59 ERA) vs. Kevin Gausman (3-5, 4.58 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2: Saturday, Jun. 16, 4:05 pm – Wei-Yin Chen (1-3, 6.13 ERA) vs. Alex Cobb (2-8, 7.23 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3Sunday, Jun. 17, 1:05 pm – Trevor Richards (1-3, 4.41 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (4-7, 3.66 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Marlins:

  • Miami comes into this series winners in six of their last 10 games. The Marlins just wrapped up a 4-3 homestead that included a 3-1 series win over the San Fransisco Giants from Monday to Thursday (6-3 Thursday loss went 16 innings). Like the Orioles, then Marlins are really struggling to pull fans into the ballpark for games. The combined attendance for the four-game Giants series was 27,752. The all-time worst attendance mark at AT&T Stadium, home of the Giants, was 23,934 in May 2009.
  • On Saturday, former Oriole Wei-Yin Chen will pitch against his old team for the first time since leaving in free agency following the 2015 season. Chen spent four seasons with the Orioles, making 117 starts and pitching to a 3.72 ERA. Chen’s ERA since joining the Marlins has gone up to 5.01. Chen made at least 23 starts in all four of his seasons with the Orioles, but since he’s dealt with multiple injuries to his throwing arm that still gave him trouble at the beginning of the season.
  • The Marlins promoted reliever Kyle Barraclough to closer at the end of May. The right-hander is up to 15 consecutive scoreless appearances with four saves in his new role.

Notes on the Orioles:

  • On Jun. 15 in 2010 (O’s began the year 2-16), the Orioles were 18-47 and finished the year 66-96. In 1988 the O’s began the year 0-21, held a 16-47 record on this date, and ended the season 54-107. The current projections have the Orioles losing 116 games, which could land among the worst records in MLB history.
  • Lifetime against the Marlins, Pedro Alvarez is .284 with 33 hits, seven home runs, and 24 RBI in 116 at-bats. Alvarez spent six seasons in the NL with the Pirates and has more exposure to NL pitchers than perhaps anyone in the Orioles’ lineup.
  • Outfielder Cedric Mullins is currently slashing .313 with 63 hits, 12 doubles, six home runs, and 28 RBI in 201 at-bats with Double-A Bowie. How much more Craig Gentry and Joey Rickard do we need to watch?

Image Credit: Boston Herald

Orioles extend losing streak to seven after getting swept by Red Sox

Game 1 (2-0 BOS): After dropping a pair of extra inning games this past weekend in Toronto, the Orioles returned home on Monday and found themselves in yet another close battle that needed more than nine innings to resolve itself. Of course the O’s ended up on the losing end thanks to the offense taking the night off.

It’s no secret that the Orioles have been struggling to score runs recently. At their best they may put up three runs and we saw even less run production when the O’s played the Mets last week without a designated hitter. That felt like the lowest the offense could get but we now know that is wrong. On Monday the Orioles played without their best player as Manny Machado was left out of the lineup with an illness. Many fans expected the O’s to struggle without Machado, but getting shutout through twelve innings was still a new low for this offense.

The good news is the Orioles pitching staff showed up to play and did their best to extend the game as long as possible. Dylan Bundy got the start and allowed just three hits while striking out seven in eight innings of work. This deep outing would end up being even more appreciated as the game remained scoreless through regulation.

Richard Bleier kept the momentum going following Bundy’s exit and struck out two while retiring the side in the ninth on just eight pitches. Brad Brach was also fairly effective in 1.2 innings of work. The inconsistent reliever has cost the O’s a handful of games this season, but he provided a decent outing on Monday.

Brach made his way through the tenth inning without much trouble and then proceeded to get the first two outs of the eleventh pretty quickly. However, Brach put the next two batters on base and was forced out of the game before he could complete the inning.

Mychal Givens came in looking to shut the door and keep the Red Sox scoreless but proceeded to walk another batter and load the bases. To make things even more intense, Givens quickly fell behind Mitch Moreland in the next at bat and was now facing a 3-0 count. With his back against the wall, Givens reared back and delivered three straight fastballs to strikeout Moreland and escape the high tension moment.

You would hope an escape like that would kick the offense into high gear going into the bottom half of the inning, but the O’s remained uninspired at the plate. Chris Davis, Chance Sisco and Jace Peterson were due up but all three batters struck out and the game continued.

Givens made his way out of the eleventh by the skin of his teeth but the twelfth was not as kind. Givens allowed the first three batters to get on base before recording a single out. At this point it seemed inevitable that the Red Sox would break the scoreless monotony and that came true very quickly as Brock Holt and Jackie Bradley Jr. picked up RBI’s with a pair of sacrifice outs.

Game 2 (6-4 BOS): The Orioles got Manny Machado back on Tuesday but it was far from enough to propel them to victory. David Hess made his second start against the Red Sox and failed to make it out of the fourth inning. Hess has been a reliable piece of the rotations since making his major league debut in mid May, but Boston has given him a lot of trouble. In six starts Hess has given up fifteen earned runs and ten of them have come from the Red Sox lineup.

Miguel Castro entered the game after Hess and surrendered one more run to make it a 6-2 Boston lead by the end of the fifth.  The score would remain the same until the ninth inning when the O’s got two more runs. Mark Trumbo came through with a two RBI double, but the Orioles still found themselves down by two with just one out left.

Game 3 (4-0 BOS): In the series finale the Orioles turned to a new face to make a spot start. Andrew Cashner was originally scheduled to start but hit the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday with a lower back strain. This opened the door for Yefry Ramirez to make his MLB debut. The 24-year-old joined the Orioles organization in 2017 after being traded by the New York Yankees for international signing bonus slots.

Facing the Boston Red Sox in your first career start is far from ideal, but Ramirez seemed up to the task early on. The O’s starter took care of business in the first two innings but fell victim to Mookie Betts in the third when the Boston right fielder sent a solo home run to center field.

Ramirez was able to settle in and make it through the fourth but was removed after one out in the fifth after he started to run into a jam. It is likely that Buck Showalter kept Ramirez on a short leash in his first start, but the young pitcher had already thrown 97 pitches by the time he was pulled.

Mike Wright entered the game and proceeded to allow three runs before finishing the inning. The first two were credited to Ramirez since he put them on base before exiting the game.

Down 4-0 the Orioles were already at a disadvantage but the lead seemed even more insurmountable with Chris Sale on the mound for Boston. The Red Sox ace has dominated the Orioles for most of his career with a 5-2 record and a 2.79 ERA against the Birds. On Wednesday Sale gave up just two hits and struck out nine in six innings of work. He exited the game in the seventh after putting two runners on and when one came around to score later in the inning, Sale was credited with a run.

That would end up being the only run of the afternoon for the Orioles as the Boston bullpen came in and shutdown the last three innings. The O’s had a chance to push a few more runs across in the ninth by getting two runners in scoring position with two outs. Joey Rickard came to the plate for the at bat but grounded out to third base to end the game.

Up next: The Orioles will finish this home stand with a weekend series against the Miami Marlins. This will be the only meeting between these two teams in 2018.

Image credit: Patrick Semansky / AP

Podcast Episode 3: Nothing can JUSTIFY how bad the Orioles are

Welcome to Episode 3 of the new Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell and editor Nolan McGraw.

The guys kick off the show today talking about two monumental events in the Baltimore/D.C. sports community – the Washington Capitals winning the first Stanley Cup in franchise history, and Justify becoming the 13’th Triple Crown winner.

Ravens mandatory minicamp is underway this week, with the team holding three mandatory practices through Thursday. What did Nolan and Jake take away from the first day of camp?

Not much changes through the weeks when it comes to the Baltimore Orioles. The team now holds a 19-47 record, but no changes have been made as of now. The Charm City Bird Watch gang discusses Buck Showalter’s questionable managing decisions and the returns of both Zach Britton and Darren O’Day.

Last but not least, the return of one of our many new segments, Don’t Be A Jerk! Which sports figure will Jake call out this week for being a jerk? Listen and find out!

Subscribe to the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast on SoundCloud and iTunes. Please leave us a review, we love to hear your feedback and may read it on a future episode!

Series Preview: Orioles welcome Red Sox to Baltimore for first time in 2018

BALTIMORE — It seems that with every series preview we write here at Charm City Bird Watch, the same misfortunes keep popping up for the Orioles (19-45). The one-dimensional offense can’t produce enough runs, the bullpen can’t hold a lead, and the defense isn’t what it used to be. The starting pitching has actually been decent, with the Orioles ranking fourth in the American League in quality starts with 31. But, with so little run support, it’s been almost impossible for Orioles starting pitchers to record a win, even with a quality start.

After suffering a four-game sweep at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays, the Orioles return to Baltimore for a six-game homestead divided into two three-game series. The first team the Orioles will welcome to Camden Yards this week is the Boston Red Sox (44-22), who just suffered a 2-1 weekend series loss at the hands of the Chicago White Sox. Boston has lost three of their last four.

This marks the first time this season that these two teams meet at Camden Yards. In 2017, the Red Sox went 6-4 in Baltimore, including a 3-0 sweep from Sept. 18-20.

Standings Update: Looking at the current AL East standings, the Yankees (42-19) lead Boston by half a game. The Blue Jays (30-35) and the Rays (29-35) both trail by a large margin, but the Orioles are so far behind the rest of the bunch. Fourth-place Tampa finds themselves 14.5 games out of first place, while the Orioles sit 25.5 games back.

Last meeting: From May 17-20, the Red Sox took three of four from the Orioles in a weekend series at Fenway Park. In the opener, a 6-2 win for Boston, David Price pitched a complete game and came one pitch away from a shutout before Manny Machado smacked a two-run home run. Alex Cobb won his first game as an Oriole in Baltimore’s 7-4 win on Friday the 18th. In game 3 the O’s hung with Boston, trailing 4-3 until the seventh inning when Andrew Benintendi‘s two-run single made it a 6-3 game and eventual final score. The Red Sox shutout the Birds 5-0 in the Sunday finale. Baltimore out-hit Boston 13-12, but left 14 runners on-base.

Boston leads the season series over Baltimore, 6-1.

Game times and pitching matchups:

Game 1Monday, Jun. 11, 7:05 pm — Steven Wright (2-0, 1.57 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (4-7, 4.04 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2Tuesday, Jun. 12, 7:05 pm – Eduardo Rodriguez (7-1, 3.68 ERA) vs. David Hess (2-2, 3.07 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3Wednesday, Jun. 13, 3:05 pm – Chris Sale (5-4, 2.83 ERA) vs. Andrew Cashner (2-8, 4.98 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Red Sox:

  • Without Mookie Betts, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Jun. 1 with an abdominal strain, the Boston offense averages 4.5 runs-per-game, down nearly a run from when they had him in the lineup. Betts was officially activated from the DL this afternoon (Jun. 11). Red Sox legend Dustin Pedroia remains on the DL for the second time this season with inflammation in his left knee. Pedroia has only played in three games so far this season but is expected back by the end of the month.
  • J.D. Martinez has hit a home run against 12 of the 13 teams the Red Sox have played so far this season (Miami being the exception).  Martinez currently leads MLB in both home runs (21) and RBI (54).
  • In their weekend series against the White Sox, the Red Sox went 1-for-23 with runners in scoring position. Orioles fans can certainly relate to what that feels like.

Notes on the Orioles: 

  • Zach Britton will likely be activated off the 60-day disabled list ahead of Monday’s opener. Britton will make his 2018 debut after tearing his right Achilles tendon in December. It will likely take some time for Britton to return to form, but he reportedly looked like himself during his rehab assignment. Nevertheless, Britton and Darren O’Day‘s returns to the bullpen will be welcomed given how much the relief unit has struggled this season.
  • Want a perfect example of the Orioles’ inability to play small ball? Their last 15 home runs have all been solo shots. Simply put, the Orioles aren’t getting nearly enough runners on-base to pose a legitimate offensive threat.
  • Chris Davis is on-pace to possibly turn in the worst offensive season in the history of Major League Baseball. David Schoenfield of ESPNdetailed Davis’s completely inept season.

Image Credit: WJLA

Orioles swept by blue jays in four game weekend series

Game 1 (5-4 TOR): The Orioles opened up their series against the Blue Jays with a disappointing loss in extra innings. David Hess took the mound and once again gave his team a great chance to win by allowing just one run through six innings of work. Through his first five starts Hess is 2-2 with a 3.07 ERA. Thursday’s start also marked the third straight outing where he gave up one run or less.

Most pitchers would walk away from those three starts with a 3-0 record, but not Hess. Through his first four starts, Hess only received two runs of support per game and that’s obviously not a recipe for success. On Thursday the Orioles lineup actually showed up for their starter and scored four runs. It may have taken them a while to get the offense going but the support was there none the less.

Unfortunately, Brad Brach could not hold on to a 4-1 lead. Mychal Givens and Richard Bleier both worked an inning of relief and gave up just a hit each. When Brach came in for the save, he quickly ran into trouble. After getting the first out, Brach walked a batter and then gave up a double to put two runners in scoring position. Randal Grichuk brought them both home with double to make it a 4-3 game.

Buck Showalter opted to keep Brach in the game despite the shaky performance which ended up being a mistake. Brach failed to settle down and walked another batter before allowing a single to load the bases. An RBI single by Kevin Pillar tied the game and Showalter finally made a pitching change. Miguel Castro came in and worked out of the jam by inducing a double play to force extra innings

The pitching change kept the game alive for the O’s but certainly came too late. This is not the first time Brach has struggled this season in the closing role. With wins coming at a premium, Showalter’s decision is definitely confusing.

The controversial decisions continued as Showalter opted to let Castro come back out for the tenth inning. The reliever started the inning by putting two runners on but immediately followed it up with a pair of strikeouts. Castro would not finish off the inning and escape the jam this time though. Aledmys Diaz came up to the plate and delivered an RBI single to left field, completing the 5-4 walk off win.

Game 2 (5-1 TOR): Check out the full recap of Friday night’s game by Ian Schultz.

Game 3 (4-3 TOR): The Orioles played another extra inning game on Saturday and once again suffered the agony of a walk-off loss. It was a slow start for both offenses with only one run being scored in the first five innings. Kevin Gausman and Aaron Sanchez traded punches through their six-plus innings of work before turning it over to the bullpen.

Down 2-0 going into the seventh, the O’s offense finally came to life and pushed two runs across when an RBI double by Chance Sisco was followed by an RBI single by Adam Jones.

The Blue Jays responded with a solo home run by Grichuk in the next inning. The Toronto outfielder had a great series against the O’s this weekend by going 8-for-16 at the plate with two homers and five RBI.

A wild pitch by Tyler Clippard allowed Jonathan Schoop to score in the eighth and once again tie the game up. The score would remain tied at three through the ninth before these two teams entered extra innings for the second time this series.

The O’s did have a chance to take the lead in the ninth by getting Jones and Manny Machado on the corners with one out. However, in the ensuing at bat Jones misread a ground ball and was thrown out at home on a fielder’s choice. The mistake may have cost the O’s a chance at a win in regulation but the bullpen continued to be a liability as the game continued.

Mychal Givens came in to pitch the tenth inning and proceeded to get two outs but also load the bases. Luke Maile stepped up to the plate and was quickly fed three balls outside the zone. In this scenario there isn’t a reason to swing and Maile did just that as ball four sailed up in the zone. It wasn’t the most exciting walk-off for Toronto but they all feel the same when you’re on the losing end.

Game 4 (13-3 TOR): Facing their first four game sweep of the season, the O’s were desperate for a win in Sunday afternoon’s finale. Unlike the extra inning thrillers on Thursday and Saturday, the O’s did not hang around with the Blue Jays and found themselves on the wrong end of a 13-3 blowout.

Alex Cobb got the start for the O’s and surrendered nine runs in just 3.2 innings. Cobb has had quite a few awful starts this year but this one stands as one of the worst. The nine runs allowed ties Cobb’s career high and inflates his ERA back up to 7.23. Pedro Araujo entered the game after Cobb and failed to stop the bleeding by allowing four more runs in just one inning of work.

Mike Wright and Darren O’Day combined to close out the final three innings but the damage had already been done. Even in the blowout loss it was nice to see O’Day return to the bullpen after spending most of May on the disabled list. The submarine pitcher struck out two while retiring the Blue Jays on 17 pitches in the eighth.

The O’s offense actually struck first on Sunday with a solo home run by Trey Mancini in the second inning. The Orioles would not get another until the seventh when Schoop did the same thing. The third and final run came later that inning when Jace Peterson picked up an RBI on a fielder’s choice.

Up next: The Orioles return home on Monday to open a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox. This will be the Red Sox’ first visit to Camden Yards in 2018. The two AL East teams have met twice already with the Red Sox leading the season series 6-1.

Image credit: Baltimore Sun

Orioles fall 5-1 to the Blue Jays as bats remain dormant

TORONTO– After taking the first two games of their six-game road trip against the New York Mets, the Baltimore Orioles took their second straight loss to the Toronto Blue Jays by a score of  5-1 Friday night at Rogers Centre.

Andrew Cashner got the start for the Birds and performed admirably, going six innings and surrendering only three runs on nine hits while striking out four and walking two. Cashner (2-8, 4.98 ERA) continues to struggle with giving up the long ball as he was touched up for two more last night, bringing his season total to 13 which ranks him just outside of the top 10 in home runs allowed in Major League Baseball.

The Orioles’ offense managed to get Cashner an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. After a lead-off walk by Danny Valencia and a Jonathan Schoop flyout, Mark Trumbo walked to give the Orioles a scoring opportunity with runners at first and second and just one out.

Trey Mancini came to the plate and grounded into a fielders choice with Trumbo being forced out at second and Valencia scoring on a throwing error by Toronto second basemen Devon Travis. An Austin Wynns strikeout ended the inning for the Birds.

Cashner took the 1-0 lead to the hill in the bottom of the second inning and quickly picked up the first two outs, getting Justin Smoak to ground out and Kevin Pillar to strikeout. Russell Martin came to the plate for the Blue Jays and delivered a two-out homer to left field, his sixth, to tie the game 1-1.  A Randal Grichuk ground-out ended the inning.

After no runs in the third and fourth innings, the Blue Jays offense got back on the board in the bottom of the fifth when Grichuk homered to left to give the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead. After the Orioles produced their fourth straight scoreless inning in the top of the sixth, the Blue Jays extended their lead to 3-1 on a Martin single, scoring Teoscar Hernandez. Cashner finished the inning but left trailing 3-1.

Tanner Scott pitched the seventh inning, yielding one run on two hits and Mike Wright Jr. took the eighth, also giving up a run on two hits.

J.A. Happ was the latest pitcher to silence the Orioles offense, going seven innings and scattering just one run on two hits, while striking out three and walking two. Happ (8-3, 3.71 ERA) picked up the 100th win of his MLB career in the victory.

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Orioles hitting Coach Scott Coolbaugh could be on the hot seat.

The Orioles are 19-43 on the season with the loss and have scored one or fewer runs in 29% of their games this season (18/62).  They are 28th in average, 29th in runs scored, and dead last in on-base percentage. It’s time to start wondering who will be the first to fall on the sword for the overall ineptitude of this ball club and it reasons to believe that Orioles hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh is currently the leader in the clubhouse.

Game three of the four-game set is Saturday afternoon and the Orioles will send Kevin Gausman (3-5, 4.63 ERA) to the hill looking to end the brief two-game losing streak. Gausman will be looking to bounce back from an 8-5 loss to the Yankees last Saturday. The Blue Jays (28-35) will counter with Aaron Sanchez. Sanchez (3-5, 4.48 ERA) will be looking for his second-straight win fresh off the heels of an 8-4 decision over the Detroit Tigers.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:07pm on MASN 2.

Image Credit: CNN