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

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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 must change offensive approach to end losing ways

The Baltimore Orioles (17-41) enter the week of Jun. 4 with the worst record in the Majors. Losers of seven straight games, the 2018 season is already over. Now over two months into the season, Orioles ownership faces a cloud of uncertainty with the contracts of both general manger Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter expiring after the season. That’s not a good situation for a team like the Orioles who sit 22.5 games out of first place in the American League East.

Whether Duquette sticks around or leaves town following the 2018 season, the Orioles’ offensive approach needs to change in order for the team to find success again. Since Duquette arrived in Baltimore, the Orioles have relied on lineups full of power bats to carry the team via the long ball. From 2012-17, the Orioles finished in the top 3 in home runs, and they led the major leagues in 2013, 2014, and 2016. Also in that time span, Baltimore finished within the top 10 in strikeouts three times. So far this season, the Orioles rank fifth in strikeouts (523) and 14’th in home runs (65). They’re also 27’th in walks taken (159), 27’th in average (.230) and 29’th in both on-base percentage (OBP) (.293) & runs scored (210).

While these stats span just over two months total, it’s not hard to figure out that these numbers do not point to a successful offense. While ranking 14’th in home runs still puts the Orioles in the middle of the pack, they’re not scoring enough runs, not getting on base enough, and they’re striking out at an alarming rate.

Currently, only four regular starters in the Orioles lineup – Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Trey Mancini, and Mark Trumbo – own OBP’s above .300. This means that over half of Baltimore’s lineup is failing to reach base in seven-of-10 at-bats. Guys like Jones and Trumbo have done all they can to carry the offense, but even they carry free-swinging power bats who will see large strikeout totals when the 2018 season comes to a close.

Easily, the biggest disappointment for the Orioles dates back to the 2016 offseason, and that’s Chris Davis. Since signing a seven-year, $161 million deal in the winter preceding the 2016 season, Davis has hit an alarming .196 with 68 home runs and 487 strikeouts. Things seem to be hitting rock-bottom this season with Davis hitting .152 with just four home runs. Davis has hit at least 21 home runs in seven of 11 seasons, but he’s on pace to finish 2018 with 12 home runs (and about 219 strikeouts).

One factor playing into the declining offensive numbers has to be age. The Orioles are a veteran-heavy team with Jones, Davis, and Trumbo all at the age of 32. Pedro Alvarez, who’s been playing fairly often in the DH spot, is 31. Jonathan Schoop and Mancini are both 26, and Machado turns 26 on Jul. 6. When Davis, Jones, and Trumbo were in their late 20’s, relying on the home run got the Orioles by. Now, a lot of these guys are well above 30 and have started to decline. None of them will admit to it, but the Orioles are a veteran team in need of a turnover that includes plenty of youth.

This should not come as a surprise, but the Red Sox (40-19), Yankees (37-17), Astros (37-23), and Braves (34-24) are the highest scorers of the 2018 season to date. Boston, Atlanta and Houston make up the top three teams in hits while the Yankees, Red Sox and Astros hold the top three spots in RBI. Meanwhile, the Rangers (25-36), Padres (26-34), Giants (28-30) and Orioles make up four of the top five teams in strikeouts this season, with third-place Philadelphia (31-25) being an exception. The stats don’t lie. Teams that hit consistently, score runs and play small ball see success more often than not. Home runs will only get you so far, and strikeouts are the killer.

The scary part about this situation is that the Orioles’ front office appears to be very naive to the issue with no real drive to change the offensive approach. Despite a plethora of designated hitter, power bat types already on the roster (in the forms of Davis, Trumbo and Alvarez), Duquette recently expressed interest in 34-year-old free agent Hanley Ramirez. Duquette has prior experience with Ramirez from his tenure with the Red Sox, but signing a 34-year-old power bat to a team that should be selling makes no sense. With a 17-41 record and a lineup full of aging, undisciplined batters, comments like these from Duquette are extremely concerning.

Another frustrating practice the Orioles implement is neglecting their farm system of international talent. In May, Ben Badler of Baseball America wrote a story highlighting Baltimore ownership’s refusal to spend money in the international market. As Badler wrote in the piece, Duquette’s input only goes so far since the decisions on talent are ultimately made by the Angelos family. The decision to not dip into the international market not only limits the scouting the Orioles can do, but the return the team gets for sending off their international pool money amounts to almost nothing.

The struggles of the 2018 Orioles must not all fall on the offense. The pitching has not been perfect either, with the starting rotation sporting a 5.43 ERA and a bullpen that’s dealt with several injuries. However, since defeating the Red Sox 7-4 on May 18, the Orioles scored three runs or fewer in 13 of their last 14 games, going 3-11 in that span. Even if Dylan Bundy or another Orioles starting pitcher delivers a quality start, the chances of the Orioles’ offense providing just three runs have not been good as of late.

With just under two months remaining before the 2018 MLB trade deadline, there’s still time for Duquette and Orioles’ ownership to make some moves to better the club beyond 2018. All aspects of the club could use some work, but the offense appears to be the biggest issue plaguing the team. The scary reality Orioles fans are faced with is that the team’s ownership has been extremely reluctant to make any sort of changes to the way they construct their team, and no recent events point to that pattern changing. The reliance on the home run worked for a few seasons, but it’s time to change the offensive approach. Until the Orioles do that, the team’s losing ways will continue indefinitely.

Image Credit: Beyond the Box Score

 

Series Recap: Orioles end road losing streak but drop three of four to Red Sox

BOSTON — Despite a 13-game losing streak on the road coming to an end, the Baltimore Orioles suffered a 3-1 weekend series loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Game 1 (6-2 BOS): David Price threw a 95-pitch complete game and came one pitch shy of a shutout before Manny Machado smacked his 14’th home run of the season to left-center field. Price walked none, allowing five hits with eight strikeouts, a season-high to capture his fourth win of the season.

Kevin Gausman endured his second-worst start of 2018 and appeared lost at times on the mound, as the Red Sox stole five bases. Prior to Thursday, no baserunner had stolen against Gausman this season.

Both J.D. Martinez (two runs, first inning) and Xander Bogaerts (three runs, fifth inning) homered off Gausman, who allowed six runs on eight hits, two walks, and six strikeouts over 4.2 innings (101 pitches). Donnie Hart, Miguel Castro, and Pedro Araujo took care of the formidable Boston lineup the rest of the way, limiting the Red Sox to two hits and two walks with a strikeout by Castro.

With Caleb Joseph being optioned to Triple-A Norfolk ahead of the series opener, catcher Andrew Susac made his Orioles debut, going 1-for-3 with a double. He scored on Machado’s ninth-inning homer.

Game 2 (7-4 BAL): It took seven starts, but Alex Cobb finally recorded his first win as an Oriole as the Birds snapped a 13-game losing streak on the road. In 6.1 innings (93 pitches), Cobb allowed three runs on 10 hits, one walk, and three strikeouts. Mookie Betts tallied three hits against Cobb with a solo home run in the third inning and an RBI double in the fifth inning.

The Orioles struck first in the opening inning when Mark Trumbo grounded out to third basemen Rafael Devers to score Adam Jones. The Birds plated four runs in the fourth inning on two-run singles by Jones (aided by a throwing error by left fielder Andrew Benintendi) and Machado.

In the seventh frame, Jonathan Schoop launched his fourth home run of the season to plate Baltimore’s fifth run. Trumbo would add on the sixth run on a ninth-inning double that scored Schoop.

Brad Brach earned his sixth save (four outs), allowing a hit and a walk. Boston starter Drew Pomeranz lasted just four innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits, three walks, and two strikeouts. Steven Wright put together a 4.2-inning relief appearance, allowing two runs on three hits, two walks and five strikeouts.

Game 3 (6-3 BOS): Check out Nolan McGraw’s recap of game 3 here.

Game 4 (5-0 BOS): Despite out-hitting the Red Sox 13-12 during Sunday’s series finale, the Orioles left 14 runners on base en route to their fourth shutout loss of the season. Making his second career start at the major league level, David Hess fought valiantly, but received no run support and struggled mightily during his third rotation through Boston’s lineup. Martinez hit two home runs to give him three total RBI on the day. Benintendi launched a two-run bomb in the fifth inning, just moments before Martinez’s second homer of the afternoon.

Hess went 4.2 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits, two walks, ands four strikeouts. Mike Wright Jr. tossed 2.1 scoreless innings with a strikeout, and Araujo threw the eighth inning. Without allowing a walk, Eduardo Rodriguez earned his fourth win of the season for Boston, allowing nine hits with seven strikeouts.

Following Sunday’s action, the Orioles (14-32) sit 17.5 games back in the American League East, with the Red Sox (32-15) and Yankees (30-13) tied for first place.

Up next: The Orioles play another four-game road series at Guaranteed Rate Field against the struggling Chicago White Sox.

Image Credit: AccessWDUN

 

Bundy gives up three homers as Orioles fall to Red Sox 6-3

BOSTON — After grabbing their first road win since Apr. 8 on Friday night, the Orioles looked to keep the momentum going against the Red Sox and hopefully push for their first road series win since that same Sunday back in April.

Instead, the O’s pitchers fell victim to the dangerous Boston lineup on a chilly night at Fenway Park. Dylan Bundy and Red Sox starter Rick Porcello traded strikeouts early in Saturday’s game with both starters only surrendering a run through the first four innings. Overall it was shaping up to be a pitchers’ duel but then the offenses broke out.

Things got rough for Bundy in the fifth inning during his third time through the Boston lineup. To no one’s surprise it was Mookie Betts, the certified Oriole killer, leading the charge for the Boston offense with a two-run homer over the green monster. Betts has been on an absolute tear this year and the Orioles have just been another team standing in his way. The 25-year-old right fielder has seven hits and four RBI so far in this weekend’s series.

2018 Preakness winner, Justify, isn’t the only one with two legs of a triple crown under their belt as Saturday comes to a close. Betts fifth-inning homer marked his 15’th of the year, giving him the lead over Manny Machado (14 HR/.347 BA) in both home runs and batting average.

Andrew Benintendi immediately followed Betts with a solo shot of his own that landed in the Orioles’ bullpen. The back-to-back home runs quickly gave the Red Sox a 4-1 lead after the first four innings had been deadlocked.

The Orioles’ offense responded in the top of the sixth when Mark Trumbo got on base before Pedro Alvarez came up and launched a two-run blast down the left field line. The lead had been cut to just a run but it would not be long before the Red Sox extended it once again.

After walking the first two batters in the seventh, Tanner Scott surrendered a two-RBI single to Benintendi to make it a 6-3 game. The Orioles’ offense did not have a response this time as the Red Sox bullpen went on to close out the final two innings in order. Craig Kimbrel picked up his 13th save of the season and Porcello earned the win while Bundy was credited with his team-leading sixth loss.

The four-game series between Boston and Baltimore comes to a close tomorrow afternoon with the Orioles looking for a split against the AL East-leading Red Sox.

Image credit: Michael Dwyer / AP

Series Preview: Orioles begin longest road trip of 2018 at Fenway

BOSTON — Just two weeks after wrapping up their longest homestead of the 2018 campaign, the Orioles head out of Baltimore for their longest road trip of the season. The Orioles will play 11 games in 11 days, with the first two of three series being four games. Thursday through Sunday, the Orioles kick off the final road trip of May with four games in Boston against the Red Sox.

This already marks the Orioles’ second visit to Fenway Park this season. Boston swept the O’s in three games from Apr. 13-15. This weekend’s series was originally three games, but the Apr. 16 Patriot Day game was rained out and rescheduled for tonight.

In April’s three-game series, Boston outscored Baltimore 20-7. Chris Tillman (2.0 IP) and Alex Cobb (3.2 IP) gave up 13 combined earned runs in their starts. Tzu-Wei Lin went 6-for-11 from the ninth spot in the Boston lineup. Pedro Alvarez hit the lone Baltimore home run of the weekend in game two.

This week has been quiet for the Orioles. Not counting Sunday’s 17-1 win over Tampa Bay, the Orioles have only played one game this week (a 4-1 loss to the Phillies) due to a rainout on Tuesday night. The Red Sox, meanwhile, lost their series against the Oakland A’s 2-1 Monday to Wednesday. The two losses moved Boston (29-14) a half game behind the Yankees (28-12) for first place in the American League East. The Orioles (13-29) come into Thursday 16 games back with a last place mark in the division.

Road woes: Aside from taking three of four from the Yankees in the Bronx during the first road trip of the season, the Orioles are 0-16 in places not named Camden Yards or Yankee Stadium.

More rainy baseball ahead? While Baltimore and the mid-Atlantic region continue to get pummeled with rain, Boston’s weekend forecast looks better, but could become problematic during the final two games of this series. While rain is not expected Thursday or Friday, the forecast calls for a 90% chance of rain during Saturday evening. On Sunday, there’s an 80% chance of thunderstorms with winds gusting up to 25 miles-per-hour.

Game times and pitching matchups:

Game 1Thursday, May 17, 7:10 pm – Kevin Gausman (3-2, 3.18 ERA) vs. David Price (3-4, 4.89 ERA) – MASN, MLB Network, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2Friday, May 18, 7:10 pm – Alex Cobb (0-5, 7.06 ERA) vs. Drew Pomeranz (1-1, 5.47 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3Saturday, May 19, 7:10 pm – Dylan Bundy (2-5, 4.53 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (5-1, 3.28 ERA) – MASN 2, MLB Network, 105.7 The Fan

Game 4Sunday, May 20, 1:10 pm – TBD vs. Eduardo Rodriguez (3-1, 4.68 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Orioles:

  • Wednesday or Thursday was thought to be when Darren O’Day would get activated off the 10-day disabled list, but Friday looks more likely. O’Day threw a bullpen on Wednesday, with Zach Britton continuing to throw live batting practice before games. The depleted, struggling Orioles bullpen will gladly welcome two longtime veterans back into the fold.
  • Over his last two appearances, Richard Bleier allowed three runs on five hits in one combined inning of work. Before his May 11 appearance versus Tampa, Bleier’s ERA was 0.40. Now, it’s 1.52.
  • With his solo home run on Wednesday, Adam Jones extended his hitting streak to 11 games. His longest hit streak came in 2012, when Jones hit safely in 20 straight contests from May 10-29.
  • Jonathan Schoop returns to the same field where he suffered an oblique strain in April that landed him on the 10-day disabled list. In 2015, Schoop also suffered a PCL tear and MCL sprain to his right knee at Fenway, an injury that limited him to 86 games that season.

Notes on the Red Sox: 

  • Lifetime against the Orioles, Price is 12-5 with a 2.81 ERA in 25 starts.
  • Two of the top 10 hitters in baseball belong to the Red Sox. Mookie Betts (.353) is second in batting average, and J.D. Martinez (.344) is third. Betts has hit 13 home runs this season with 28 RBI, while Martinez owns 12 home runs and 36 RBI.
  • Lifetime against Gausman, Betts is 13-for-29 with three home runs and seven RBI.
  • Martinez has hit seven home runs in his last 14 games, and he’s reached base in 21 straight games.

Image Credit: Union Leader 

Series Recap: Orioles’ problems further exposed as Red Sox sweep Birds at Fenway

BOSTON — 16 games into the 2018 Major League Baseball regular season, the Baltimore Orioles are off to their worst start since the 2010 season. That year, the Birds went 2-16 through their first 18 games. After getting swept by the American League East-leading Red Sox this weekend, the Birds own a 5-11 record with the worst run differential in the AL (-35).

Game 1 (7-3 BOS): Chris Tillman struggled mightily, again in his third start of the season. Tillman lasted just two innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and two walks. He allowed four runs in the first inning, three coming off a three-run home run by Eduardo Nunez. Mookie Betts hit an RBI double in the second inning. After two consecutive singles in the third inning, Tillman hit Jackie Bradley Jr., and Buck Showalter had seen enough. Tillman got pulled after throwing 57 pitches, 31 for strikes.

Rule 5 pick Pedro Araujo picked up the slack for Tillman, pitching two innings of relief and allowing one hit and one walk with three strikeouts. Manny Machado hit a double in the seventh inning that scored two runs.

Game 2 (10-3 BOS): Saturday was supposed to be a positive day for the Orioles, as Alex Cobb made his debut in a Baltimore uniform. However, Saturday was anything but positive for the Birds.

In the hours leading up to Saturday’s game, the Orioles announced that second baseman Jonathan Schoop would be placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right oblique strain. Schoop apparently suffered the injury while taking a swing during Friday’s game. The ensuing roster move was Cobb’s activation.

As a result of Schoop’s injury, the Orioles shifted Tim Beckham over to second base, and started Danny Valencia at third base. With a new team and unfamiliar infield behind him, Cobb got rocked. In the first inning, Andrew Benintendi got the rally started with an RBI double that scored Betts, who had to leave the game after scoring due to a foot contusion. After that, Hanley Ramirez hit his third home run of the season to give Boston the quick 3-0 advantage. In the third inning, J.D. Martinez hit his third homer of the season to extend Boston’s lead to four.

In the fourth inning, things only got worse for Cobb. Benintendi hit a single that scored two runs, and then Ramirez doubled to score Benintendi. It was here that Showalter decided to pull Cobb after 79 pitches, 49 for strikes. His first stat line as an Oriole read 3.2 innings, with eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits and one walk.

Miguel Castro tossed two innings of relief, allowing one earned run on three hits, one walk, and one strikeout. Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning.

Game 3 (3-1 BOS): The Orioles struck out 14 times in what was their fifth game scoring one run or less this season. That lone run came in the first inning on a double by Machado. Two of Baltimore’s three hits on Sunday came in the first inning.

Once again, the Orioles failed to get Dylan Bundy any run support. Bundy dazzled again in his fourth start this season, going 5.2 innings and allowing three runs (one earned) off seven hits, two walks, and six strikeouts. In the fifth inning, Benintendi hit a triple that scored Bradley Jr. A wild pitch would score another Boston run in the sixth inning, with the last run coming on a ground-rule double by Tzu-Wei Lin.

After Bundy’s exit, Richard Bleier threw the final 2.1 innings, allowing three hits with two strikeouts.

Following the conclusion of Sunday’s game, it was announced that Monday’s Patriot Day series finale would be postponed due to inclement weather. The O’s and Red Sox will make up the game on May 17, which will stretch a three-game weekend series to four games at Fenway Park.

Up next: The Orioles now have an off-day on Monday before heading to Detroit to face the Tigers in a three-game series at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers own a 4-9 record so far this season, good for fourth place in the AL Central. The Tigers were supposed to play three games against the Yankees this weekend, but only played one due to weather. That game occurred on Friday, where the Yankees topped the Tigers 8-6.

Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games will begin at 6:40 pm, with the Thursday series finale starting at 1:10 pm.

Image Credit: InfoGlitz