Series Recap: Orioles up to 12 straight road losses following sweep in Oakland

OAKLAND — Over the weekend, the Oakland Athletics swept the Baltimore Orioles over three games at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum. The Orioles lost all six games of a California road trip, split between three games in Anaheim and three games in Oakland.

After Sunday’s loss, the O’s have now lost 12 straight games on the road. Overall, the Orioles are 3-16 away from Camden Yards. The A’s are now one of four teams above .500 in the competitive American League West.

Game 1 (6-4 OAK): In his 1,500’th game as an Oriole, Adam Jones hit his fifth home run of the season in the first inning to put Baltimore up 1-0, but the A’s scored four runs in the first inning off Andrew Cashner. Khris Davis smacked a three-run home run to center field for his eighth homer of the season, and then Matt Olson added the fourth run with a solo shot.

In the top of the sixth inning, five Orioles posted singles to score three runs, with Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo, and Danny Valencia tallying an RBI. This tied the game up at four, but in the bottom of the frame Jed Lowrie hit an RBI single of his own off Brad Brach, who relieved Cashner after 4.2 innings. With Darren O’Day pitching in the eighth inning, Marcus Semien brought home the A’s final run on a single that scored Jonathan Lucroy. The O’s went 1-2-3 in the ninth inning, making it a 6-4 final.

Game 2 (2-0 OAK): Kevin Gausman tossed a nine innings of shutout baseball, but the Orioles struck out 20 times in another losing effort, this time a 2-0 final following a two-run walk-off home run by Khris Davis in the 12’th inning. Gausman limited the A’s to two hits and two walks with six strikeouts (113 pitches, 66 strikes) in nine frames. Rule 5 pick Pedro Araujo was the culprit of the 12’th inning walk-off blast.

In the 12’th inning, Jones was struck by a pitch that hit him in the right wrist. Jones was clearly in pain but remained in the game and played defense in the bottom half of the inning. He underwent a precautionary X-ray following the game, and was not in Sunday’s lineup. According to a tweet from The Sun‘s Jon Meoli, Jones’ wrist is sore, but he does not need any further tests on it. It’s assumed that this is a day-to-day injury.

Game 3 (2-1 OAK): Playing third base on Sunday in his first at-bat of the game, Pedro Alvarez got the Orioles on the board with a solo home run in the second inning. Despite giving the Orioles six quality innings, Alex Cobb was the culprit of another disappointing offensive effort by the Orioles. Baltimore was without both Jones and Trey Mancini (until Mancini pinch-hit for Engelb Vielma in the ninth inning), but overall the O’s were limited to just two hits after Alvarez’s solo jack.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Oakland manufactured two runs on a ground-out by Khris Davis that scored Matt Joyce, and a double by Olsen that brought home Mark Canha.

In six innings, Cobb allowed five hits and one walk with five strikeouts. Miguel Castro and Brach worked an inning with three strikeouts and two hits allowed between them.

Standings Update: The Orioles (8-26) now have a half-game lead for the worst record in the major leagues, with the Cincinnati Reds (8-25) at the bottom of the National League. The Orioles are 17 games out of first place in the AL East. The Red Sox (25-9) have the best record in baseball and are one game ahead of the red-hot Yankees (24-10) for the first place lead in the East.

Up Next: The Orioles return to Baltimore for a nine-game home-stand that features the Kansas City Royals (three games), Tampa Bay Rays (four-games, including a doubleheader), and the Philadelphia Phillies (two games). Following a Monday off-day, the first three games of that series, all 7:05 pm nightcaps, take place Tuesday through Thursday against the Royals (11-23, fourth place in the AL Central).

Image Credit: Baltimore Sun

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Series Preview: More late-night baseball on tap as Orioles head to Oakland

OAKLAND — At 8-23, the Baltimore Orioles now own the worst record in the American League, and the second-worst record in all of Major League Baseball, only behind the Cincinnati Reds (7-24).

The Birds are in the midst of a six-game west coast trip that began with getting swept by the Angels in Anaheim. The frustrating part about this series, like all season, was that the starting pitching and the offense could not get on the same page. On Monday, Alex Cobb tossed his best outing of the season, but Baltimore was limited to four hits. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Orioles’ offense managed to score seven runs or more, but the starting pitchers (Dylan Bundy and Chris Tillman) gave up at least five runs in their outings. Combined, the two lasted 5.1 innings in their starts.

Tillman’s one-inning effort was the second time this season that the 30-year-old’s start lasted less than two innings.

For the Orioles, the second half of this California trip goes north for a three-game series against the Athletics at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum. The A’s (15-16) come into the weekend sitting in fourth place in the AL West, four games behind the Angels (19-12) and the Astros (20-13). After a nine-game road trip that ended with a 2-1 series loss to the Mariners, Friday begins a six-game Oakland home-stand, with the Astros following the Orioles into the Coliseum.

Last meeting: In 2017, the Orioles went 4-3 against the A’s, with a 2-2 split at the Coliseum from Aug. 10-13. In that series, Adam Jones went 8-for-17 with two home runs and seven RBI. Trey Mancini hit two home runs in a 7-2 win. After going 0-for-5 in the series opener, Manny Machado went 7-for-14 with a home run, RBI double, and RBI single.

Game times and pitching matchups

Game 1: Friday, May 4, 10:05 pm — Andrew Cashner (1-4, 4.76 ERA) vs. Daniel Mengden (2-3, 4.68 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2: Saturday, May 5, 9:05 pm – Kevin Gausman (2-2, 4.15 ERA) vs. Trevor Cahill (1-1, 3.00 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3: Sunday, May 6, 4:05 pm – Alex Cobb (0-3, 9.68 ERA) vs. Andrew Triggs (2-1, 5.20 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Orioles:

  • Not that the Orioles have been playing well at home (5-10), but their 3-13 record on the road is worst in the majors.
  • Lifetime against the A’s, Cobb is 4-2 with a 2.33 ERA in 54 innings. The only AL team that Cobb has pitched better against is the Twins, with Cobb sporting a 2.20 ERA against Minnesota.
  • Injured infielder Jonathan Schoop will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Bowie on Friday night. Schoop has been sidelined with an oblique strain suffered in a game against the Red Sox on Apr. 13. Although Schoop suffered a slow start to his 2018 season, he did go 2-for-4 in two consecutive games before injuring his oblique.

Notes on the Athletics:

  • Third baseman Matt Chapman just got named MLB’s defensive player of the month, beating out Jose Ramirez of the Indians and Nick Markakis of the Braves. Chapman is only hitting .243, but has only committed two errors this season.
  • Second baseman Jed Lowrie ranks fourth in batting average in the major leagues at .346. In 127 at-bats, Lowrie has 44 hits, eight home runs, 11 walks, and 30 RBI.
  • Oakland’s Khris Davis is a lifetime .241 hitter vs. the O’s, while Baltimore’s Chris Davis is .272 lifetime versus the A’s.

Image Credit: Boston Herald

Series Recap: Orioles pick up crucial series win on Machado walk off

It was not pretty but the Orioles were able to pick up their first series win since the beginning of August on Wednesday. The O’s took two of three from the visiting Oakland Athletics to stay alive in a highly contested wildcard race.

The Orioles got off to a hot start in Monday’s series opener. Adam Jones led the way at the plate by going 4/4 with two solo home runs. Jones was not the only source of offense though. Wellington Castillo added a solo shot of his own and Jonathan Schoop plated three with his home run to help the Orioles beat the A’s 7-3.

Wade Miley took the mound and gave the O’s a much needed quality start. Through six innings of work, Miley surrendered just two runs on five hits. Manager Buck Showalter allowed Miley to come out for the seventh but after giving up a lead off walk he was replaced. The bullpen was able to close out the final three innings while giving up just one more run.

On Tuesday the Orioles were able to find a decent amount of offense but they were playing from behind the entire game. The A’s pounced on Ubaldo Jimenez early and held a 5-0 lead after five innings.

After Jimenez’s exit, the Orioles started to make up some ground. Manny Machado stayed hot at the plate with a two run homer in the sixth and Schoop brought two more home with a single in the eighth. This would be the end of the comeback though as the Oakland bullpen found their footing and shut down the O’s in the ninth, securing a 6-4 win.

After a loss on Tuesday the Orioles had to approach Wednesday afternoon’s series finale as if it were a must win game. It looked like the O’s were on the right track midway through the game but the A’s would not quit and extra innings had to be played.

It was a pitchers duel in the early innings as Dylan Bundy and Daniel Gossett retired their opponents on minimal pitches but both offenses would heat up soon enough.

In the fourth inning the Orioles offense was able to break out and take the lead thanks to a three run homer by Trey Mancini. The home run was followed by a Mark Trumbo walk and a Welington Castillo single, setting the table for Ryan Flaherty. The 31-year old utility player was making his first start since May 18 and he came through with a big RBI single to put the Orioles up 4-0. A two run homer in the sixth by Castillo helped give the O’s some insurance runs as the Athletics started to make a comeback.

Bundy did a good job of containing the A’s lineup but was ultimately chased out of the game. After getting a solid lead from his offense the young starter held Oakland to two runs through six innings of work. Bundy was replaced by Mychal Givens in the seventh but the A’s were able to plate two runs in the inning to cut their defect in half.

The Athletics continued to make a comeback in the eighth inning when Matt Joyce hit a two run homer to put his team within one run. Richard Bleier was called upon to get out of the inning but he was quickly replaced by Brad Brach after giving up a walk. Brach would end up getting the much needed strikeout after a few intense at bats to keep the O’s lead alive.

In the bottom half of the inning Chris Davis provided a big insurance run with a solo shot to center field. The home run put the O’s up 7-5 with Zach Britton coming in for the save. However, the Orioles closer did not look like his usual self as he quickly surrendered a single and a double to put the tying runs in scoring position.

Marcus Semien hit an RBI single and Matt Joyce followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at seven. The game was not over but the crowd was stunned as Briton’s 60 game save streak was snapped. The runs forced Buck Showalter to come out and replace his closer with just one out recorded in the ninth. Miguel Castro entered the game and was able to escape a bases load jam with a big strikeout.

In the bottom of the ninth the Orioles had an opportunity to prevent the game from going into extra innings but came up short. Welington Castillo led off the inning with a walk and Seth Smith followed with a single to put the winning run in scoring position. Buck Showalter opted not to bunt in this scenario with the teams best hitters due up but Tim Beckham, Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop recorded three straight strikeouts to end the inning.

With the game dragging on the Orioles were looking for the long ball to put an end to the game and the finally got it in the 12th. Manny Machado was the hero once again, hitting his second walk off homer of the home stand. After getting out of a jam in the ninth, Castro was called upon to eat up some innings. The 22-year-old reliever did a great job working his way through three more innings to pick up his third win of the year.

The O’s will have Thursday off as they prepare to face Boston this weekend. The three games in Boston will be a brief break from a lengthy home stand. It’s been a few months since these teams last met but everyone remembers those heated matchups like they were yesterday. Manny Machado and the rest of the Orioles will definitely be looking to take down Boston and stifle their pursuit of a division title.

Image Credit: Getty Images