Orioles offense steps up in series finale to split four game set against White Sox

Game 1 (3-2 BAL): The Orioles opened up their second four-game road series in a row with a quality performance. Andrew Cashner got the start for the Orioles and battled his way through five strong innings before turning it over to the bullpen.

Three relievers entered the game after Cashner’s exit to close out the final four innings of a one-run game. Mychal Givens tossed two clean innings and Richard Bleier worked through the eighth on just 10 pitches. Brad Brach has been shaky this season both in and out of the closer role and that didn’t stop on Monday. Brach caused a scare by loading the bases in the ninth, but still managed to escape and pick up his seventh save of the year by striking out the side.

The O’s offense was not particularity dominate but utilized three solo home runs by Manny Machado, Mark Trumbo and Adam Jones to edge past the White Sox.

The Orioles also got some crucial defensive plays from Trey Mancini and Machado in the fifth inning that ended up being huge in maintaining the slim lead. It started when Chicago’s Adam Engel tried to stretch a hit into a double but ended up getting cut down by Mancini’s throw to second base. The White Sox base runners did not learn their lesson and once again tried to be aggressive with two outs in the same inning.

With runners on first and second, Jose Abreu came through with a clutch double to left field that looked like it might score two. Mancini recovered the ball quickly and got it in to Machado who fired his relay throw to home plate in time to save a run.

Game 2 (3-2 CHW): These two evenly matched teams played another close game on Tuesday that ended in the same score as game one. However, this time the White Sox came out on top after picking up three runs in the eighth inning.

Kevin Gausman was even more effective than Cashner the night before, tossing 6.1 innings of work and racking up 10 strikeouts. Gausman has been the most consistent member of the O’s rotation so far this season and did a good job of getting back on track after a rare six-run performance last week against Boston.

Unfortunately the Givens and Bleier combo was not as effective as they were in game one. Givens finished off the seventh without any issues but ran into trouble in the eighth after giving up a leadoff triple and then loading the bases. Bleier entered the game and quickly traded the lead for the second out of the inning when Yoan Moncada hit a sacrifice fly. Yolmer Sanchez followed with an RBI single to give the White Sox their first lead of the game.

Miguel Castro closed out the inning but the damage had already been done and the O’s offense was left with just one inning to get their lead back or at least tie it up. Chris Davis walked and Trumbo singled to get two on with one out, but the potential rally ended there and Chicago escaped with a comeback win.

Game 3 (11-1 CHW): Full recap of Wednesday’s game by Ian Schultz

Game 4 (9-3 BAL): After completely imploding on Wednesday the Orioles regrouped and got great outings from both the offense and Dylan Bundy to force a series split. It started right away in the first inning when the Orioles offense took everything that was being given to them by White Sox starter Lucas Giolito.

The O’s started the first very impatient, getting two runners on but also picking up two outs after just eleven pitches. Davis, of all people, was the patient one at the plate and took a walk to load the bases and start the string of  good at-bats. Giolito could not settle down after walking Davis and proceeded to give up a pair of runs by walking the next two batters. Chance Sisco capped off the inning with a two-RBI single to make it a 4-0 game early.

Through the next two innings the Orioles offense would add five more runs. Mancini and Jones went yard back-to-back in the second while Machado and Pedro Alvarez added RBI singles in the third to put the O’s up 9-0.

Bundy also delivered a great start that was much needed after Cobb made an early exit the night before. Bundy went the distance for the second complete game of his career. He only ran into a little trouble in the fourth when Jose Rondon launched a three run homer to left field. It resulted in a weird box score as Bundy hit a batter and then allowed another to reach base on a wild pitch strikeout earlier in the inning. After the fourth the White Sox had scored three runs but recorded just one hit.

Bundy settled down after this and gave up just one more hit through the next five innings as he picked up his third win of the year. He would also finish with 14 strikeouts, just shy of the franchise record for most in a single game. The record of 15 strikeouts has been reached by three different pitchers with Erik Bedard being the most recent in 2007.

Up next: The Orioles wrap up their road trip this weekend against the Tampa Bay Rays. This marks the third meeting between these two AL East teams so far this year, but the first time in St. Petersburg.

Image credit: Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

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Cobb Crumbles as Orioles Fall 11-1 to the White Sox in Chicago

CHICAGO —  The Baltimore Orioles thought they had acquired a crown jewel of what was widely considered a successful offseason when they acquired Alex Cobb in the waning hours of free agency. Through May 23, they could not have been more wrong.

Cobb (1-6) struggled again as the Orioles dropped the third game of a four-game set in Chicago 11-1 against the White Sox on Wednesday evening. Cobb went just 3.2 innings giving up six earned runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out three. Cobb saw his season ERA rise to 7.32 in the process.

After the Orioles got the lead in the top of the second on a Jace Peterson single that plated Danny Valencia, the White Sox responded with 11 straight runs to rout the Birds.

Yoan Moncada started the White Sox parade to the plate in the bottom of the third inning when he launched a three-run homer to center field to put the White Sox in front 3-1. It was Moncada’s seventh home run of the season. The trouble for Cobb continued in the bottom of the third with two outs when Daniel Palka hit a single to center, scoring Jose Abreu and extending the White Sox’ lead to 4-1.

After the Orioles were retired to start the top half of the fourth inning, Cobb continued to unravel. After inducing a Jose Rondon popout and a  Tim Anderson lineout, Adam Engel drew a two-out walk. Engel stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch by Cobb. Cobb then walked Moncada and issued back to back RBI singles to Yolmer Sanchez and Abreu to extend the White Sox lead to 6-1.

The Orioles relievers didn’t fare much better as Pedro Araujo and Tanner Scott combined to give up five runs over the next 3.1 innings before Mike Wright Jr. pitched a scoreless eighth.

The Orioles’ offense continued to struggle as they could only muster six hits off of White Sox starter Dylan Covey. He went seven innings, striking out eight and walking one to pick up his first career major league win. Covey (1-1, 3.46 ERA) was able to settle in after the Orioles were able to get to him in the top of the second.

The Orioles got just one base runner to second base after the second inning. In the fifth frame, Jonathan Schoop hit a two-out single, advancing Trey Mancini who had led off the inning with a single of his own. Unfortunately for the Birds, Chris Davis struck out looking to end the threat.

Davis continues to be a story early on this season. After last night’s 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, Davis saw his average drop to .154 on the season. That average ranks him tied for last in baseball among qualified players with Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun . Baltimore’s first baseman has struck out 65 times in just 162 plate appearances to date in 2018.

The four-game set wraps up this afternoon in Chicago as the Orioles look to salvage a split with the White Sox. The Birds will send Dylan Bundy (2-6, 4.70 ERA) to the mound who will be looking to rebound from a 6-3 loss to the Red Sox in his last outing. The White Sox will counter with right hander Lucas Giolito who is 3-4 on the season with a 6.42 ERA. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10pm.

Image Credit: MLB.com

Series preview: Orioles continue road trip with four game set in Chicago

The Orioles broke their lengthy road losing streak during this past weekend’s series against Boston. However, that win would be the only one they got in a four game set. The O’s just couldn’t handle the division leading Red Sox resulting in some disappointing loses like Sunday afternoon’s series finale, where they outhit Boston 13-12 but failed to score a single run.

Now the O’s find themselves entering another four game road series against the White Sox. Fortunately the Chicago South Siders are struggling just as much, if not more, than the Orioles so far this season. The White Sox are coming off of a series win over Texas but hold a 5-10 record in their last 15 games.

As we know the Orioles are in a similar boat, sitting right next to the White Sox at the bottom of the American league standings. Both teams are floating just above .300 in terms of win percentage and hold two of the worst run differentials in all of baseball. If anything this four game set should be evenly matched.

When will the good news come?:

Ever since the O’s got off to a terrible 8-20 start in the first month of the season, fans have been wondering when the team would switch to a rebuild mentality. When will management come to terms with this flawed team and start making the trades necessary to compete in the future? Early this month Dan Duquette said the benchmark for evaluating the team would be Memorial Day. With that evaluating point just one week away, the Orioles are still basement dwellers with no signs of changing drastically.

Game times and pitching matchups:

Game 1: Monday, May 21, 8:10 pm – Andrew Cashner (1-5, 4.83 ERA) vs Hector Santiago (0-1, 5.29 ERA)- MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2: Tuesday, May 22, 8:10 pm – Kevin Gausman (3-3, 3.88 ERA) vs James Shields (1-4, 4.88 ERA) – MASN 2. 105.7 The Fan

Game 3: Wednesday, May 23, 8:10 pm – Alex Cobb (1-5, 6.56 ERA) vs Dylan Covey (0-1,6.00 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 4: Thursday, May 24, 2:10 pm – Dylan Bundy (2-6, 4.70 ERA) vs Lucas Giolito (3-4, 6.42 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on Orioles:

  • Joey Rickard has sparked debate among Orioles fans since making his major league debut in 2016. He has his supporters but probably more than his fair share of detractors as well. Regardless of how you feel about Rickard and his legitimacy as a starter, he is making the most of his time with the O’s so far this season. The 27-year-old outfielder has started in six games over the last month and holds a .333 batting average in that span. His two home run, five RBI performance on Mothers Day has accounted for most of his numbers but overall his at bats have been pretty good. In a lineup full of free swinging batters, Rickard has struck out just four times in 24 plate appearances.
  • Coming out of a terrible month of April there was not much hope for the O’s. Mark Trumbo and Jonathan Schoop found themselves on the disabled list early this season but their returns have not changed much. Trumbo is batting .274 with six home runs since coming back on May 1st but has taken just one walk, which doesn’t compliment his 19 strikeouts very well. Schoop has yet to heat up as well. In 12 starts this month, the O’s second baseman has had some timely hits to gather eleven RBI’s but is only batting .220

Notes on White Sox:

  • The White Sox have been experiencing some major consistency issues with their starting rotation this season. Of the four pitchers with at least eight starts this year, only one (Reynaldo Lopez) has an ERA below 4.50. With Miguel Gonzalez on the disabled list and Carson Fulmer getting sent down, the White Sox will turn to Hector Santiago and Dylan Covey to make some starts in this weeks series. Santiago is a veteran pitcher but hasn’t been a consistent member of a rotation since 2016. Covey, on the other hand, is a young pitcher who has yet to win a game at the MLB level and holds a 7.58 ERA in 13 career starts with the White Sox.
  • First baseman, Jose Abreu will be a player to watch out for this week. Mookie Betts got the best of the O’s once again this past weekend and continued to crown himself the official Oriole killer but Abreu might be just as dangerous. Despite facing him less than Betts, Abreu holds a .379 average with seven homers and 17 RBI’s against Baltimore since 2014.

Image credit: Michael Dwyer / AP

Series Recap: Orioles end losing streak but drop series against White Sox

The atrocious Yankees series is finally behind them, but the disappointing pitching and injury bug continued to linger into the Orioles’ series against the White Sox.  The offense continued to face uphill battles and only managed to come back from one of the major deficits.

The series started on Monday as Wade Miley took the mound and proceeded to do his best Chris Tillman impression, giving up six runs on six hits in just 2.1 innings. Unlike the games against New York, the offense was able to put up a surplus of runs but it wasn’t enough to bail out the pitching. The Orioles scored seven runs but the bullpen was still too overworked and incompetent to hold a struggling White Sox team down.

Ubaldo Jimenez gave up three runs in his 3+ innings of relief and Miguel Castro added another run, giving the White Sox a 10-7 victory.  Chris Davis was forced to exit Monday’s game with a right oblique strain. After sitting out on Tuesday, Davis was placed on the 10-day DL.

Tuesday’s game didn’t go any better. Alec Asher was able to pitch through the fifth inning, but he also gave up six runs along the way. Richard Bleier and Jimmy Yacabonis combined to pitch three innings of scoreless relief but the damage had already been done.

A grand slam by Matt Davidson in the sixth inning blew Chicago’s lead wide open. The O’s offense was shut down through the final eight innings after getting on the board in the first with an RBI single from Manny Machado. The White Sox never looked back after the grand slam and picked up a 6-1 win.

Wednesday’s game was delayed for about an hour and a half prior to the first pitch due to rain. Perhaps a cancelled game would have done the Orioles a favor considering how overworked the bullpen has been in the past few weeks. The game was able to begin around 9:40 pm and it started as bad as you would expect.

The White Sox had a 5-1 lead by the second inning and the frustration was setting in once again. Dylan Bundy was able to battle through five innings despite giving up the surplus of runs early on.

The Orioles comeback effort started in the fourth when Welington Castillo picked up an RBI on a fielder’s choice. Hyun Soo Kim kept things going, batting in two runs later in the fourth, bringing the O’s to within one run of Chicago.

In the fifth inning, Castillo came through once again. This time he did a lot more than ground into a fielder’s choice. With Mark Trumbo, Trey Mancini, and Jonathan Schoop on base, Castillo launched the first grand slam of his career and gave the Orioles a 8-5 lead.

The Birds added two more runs in the sixth inning while the bullpen performed surprisingly well, giving up just one run in the final four innings. Needless to say, this 10-6 win was huge for a team that has looked completely lost and uninspired for the past week.

With Wednesday’s game being delayed, Thursday afternoon’s series finale was played on short rest. Chris Tillman was on the mound for the Orioles and, to many fans surprise, turned in the best start of the past week. The struggling veteran made his way through 5.1 innings while giving up three runs.

Tillman finished the fifth with a pitch count of 100 and had only given up one run at the time. Buck Showalter allowed him to come out for the sixth, but that was likely too high of an order for a pitcher trying to get his season back on track.

Jimmy Yacabonis took over and quickly gave up two runs that would end up being attributed to Tillman in the box score. Miguel Castro pitched the final 2.1 innings and did not allow the White Sox to score again.

Down 5-1 in the ninth, the Orioles managed to score one run on a Castillo solo home run but fell way short of a comeback. The 5-2 win capped off an impressive series for the White Sox as they took advantage of a struggling Orioles team.

The Birds will return home to host the St. Louis Cardinals this weekend. There is no denying that the Orioles are much better at Camden Yards, so this home stand could be exactly what the O’s need to rebound.

Series Preview: Orioles look for signs of life in Chicago against White Sox

CHICAGO, IL — Coming off an embarrassing series in the Bronx in which they were outscored 38-8, the Orioles will conclude their current road trip with a four-game set in Chicago against the White Sox.

The Orioles (31-30), losers of four straight, come into the series now in fourth place in the American League East. They are six and a half games behind the New York Yankees (37-23). Over the weekend, the Tampa Bay Rays (34-32) overtook the O’s for third place in the division.

The White Sox (26-35) are in fifth place in the AL Central. The Minnesota Twins (32-27) man the top of the division with the defending American League Champion Cleveland Indians (31-29) hot on their tails. Chicago is coming off a nine-game road trip that had them in Detroit, Tampa Bay, and Cleveland. The White Sox went 2-7 on the trip, which included getting swept by the Tigers.

Road Woes: Dating back to May 17, the Orioles have lost nine straight games on the road. The Birds are 10-20 on the road this season, opposed to their stellar 21-10 mark at Camden Yards.

Last Meeting: From May 5-7 the White Sox visited Camden Yards for a three-game weekend series. The Orioles swept the series, by scores of 4-2, 6-5, and 4-0. The Friday night game was the contest in which Wade Miley was struck by two line drives in the first inning and had to leave the game. Gabriel Ynoa made his Orioles debut in relief of Miley, and pitched six shutout innings. In the Sunday afternoon game, Chris Tillman made his season debut, pitching five shutout innings. Not much positive has happened since then for Tillman.

From August 5-7 2016, the Orioles played a three-game weekend series at Guaranteed Date Field. The O’s took two of three from Chicago in that meeting.

Game times & pitching matchups:

Game 1Monday, June 12, 8:10 pm – Wade Miley (2-3, 3.27 ERA) vs. Mike Pelfrey (2-5, 3.80 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan.

Game 2Tuesday, June 13, 8:10 pm – Alec Asher (2-4, 4.35 ERA) vs. Derek Holland (4-6, 3.99 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan.

Game 3Wednesday, June 14, 8:10 pm – Dylan Bundy (6-5, 3.05 ERA) vs. Miguel Gonzalez (4-7, 4.89 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan.

Game 4Thursday, June 15, 2:10 pm – Chris Tillman (1-4, 8.01 ERA) vs. David Holmberg (1-0, 2.74 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan.

Notes on the Orioles:

  • Over the weekend against the Yankees, Orioles starters combined to give up 19 earned runs. On Friday, Bundy allowed three runs over six innings, and then the tandem of Edwin Jackson and Stefan Crichton combined to allow five runs in the last three innings. Tillman allowed nine earned runs in his start on Saturday, the most he has ever allowed in a game. On Sunday, Kevin Gausman’s season struggles continued as he lasted just 3.1 innings after allowing seven runs.
  • The depleted bullpen’s problems only got worse over the weekend, as Darren O’Day was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Friday with a right shoulder strain. It is the third time that O’Day has been placed on the DL since signing a four-year, $31 million deal before the 2016 season, and the second time in that span that his stint to the DL has been a throwing-shoulder-related injury.
  • Manny Machado continues to nurse a strained left wrist that was sustained during Wednesday night’s 9-6 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Machado has missed four straight games and is still listed as “day-to-day.”
  • Chris Davis has a career .293 batting average against the White Sox, with 51 hits and 11 home runs in 174 at-bats against Chicago.

Notes on the White Sox: 

  • Former Oriole Miguel Gonzalez has a 3.55 ERA in two starts against his former ballclub, allowing five earned runs on 16 hits, one walk, and six strikeouts.
  • Three Chicago hitters have batting averages at .300 or above this season – outfielder Avasial Garcia (.332 in 226 at-bats), infielder Yolmer Sanchez (.302/162), and outfielder Leury Garcia (.300/180).
  • Four White Sox are tied for the team lead in home runs with 10 apiece – A. Garcia, infielder Jose Abreu, designated-hitter Matt Davidson, and infielder Todd Frazier.
  • Abreu has a career .356 average against the Orioles, with 31 hits and seven home runs in 87 at-bats against Baltimore.