Series Recap: Orioles continue to struggle in road series against Pirates

 

PITTSBURGH — There is nothing left to play for and the Orioles are showing it. After dropping two in Pittsburgh, they are now 3-7 in their last 10 games and still haven’t won a series in this final month of the season.

Andrew McCutchen had one of the best games of his career on Tuesday night. The veteran center fielder went 4-for-4 at the plate and drove in a career high eight RBI’s. What made the game even more special was the fact that he picked up half of those runs with his first career grand slam in the fourth inning.

A solo home run by Chris Davis was the only bright spot for the O’s in the 10-1 loss. Kevin Gausman gave up six runs in just four innings of work before being replaced by Jimmy Yacabonis, who gave up the other four runs over two innings. Those two innings were a disappointing step back for Yacabonis, who proved to be consistent since giving up four runs in his June 11 debut.

In the second game, the Orioles grabbed an early lead with three runs in the second inning. Doubles by Chance Sisco and Anthony Santander scored a run each and J.J Hardy added a third with a fielder’s choice.

However, the Pirates came right back in the bottom half of the second with a solo home run by Gregory Polanco. They were able to take a 4-3 lead in the next inning when Josh Bell hit a two-run homer and that would end up being enough for a win.

The homer drove Orioles starter Gabriel Ynoa out of the game and forced the O’s to go to their bullpen early once again. Mike Wright pitched three clean innings of relief and kept the O’s within striking distance, but the offense was unable to score for the remainder of the game.

Pittsburgh picked up an insurance run in the seventh and went on to win 5-3. After losing seven games in a row a few weeks ago, the Pirates have now won five of their last six.

Trey Mancini extended his hitting streak to 16 games on Wednesday. After tying a couple of Oriole legends in yesterdays game, Mancini now holds the longest hitting streak by a rookie in team history.

The Orioles season will come to a close this weekend when they play a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. The teams met last weekend and ended up splitting the series 2-2. Neither team will be playing for anything this weekend but the season series between them is still tied. If anything, you should probably tune in to at least one of these games before we lose Orioles baseball for the next six months.

Image Credit: Orioles’ Twitter

Advertisements

Series Preview: Orioles begin last road trip of season in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH —  For both the Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburgh Pirates, this marks the last week of the regular season. Both teams will finish the 2017 campaign with a losing record, the first time that has occurred for the Orioles since 2011. Neither squad will get an opportunity to qualify for the postseason, making this week a great opportunity to check out some of the up-and-coming players that spent most of the 2017 season in the minor leagues.

The Orioles already have a couple of young studs on the 40-man roster, including Chance Sisco, Austin Hays, Jimmy Yacabonis, and Tanner Scott. Sisco hit a home run on Sunday, Hays has 36 at-bats in the big leagues with a home run, and Scott & Yacabonis are helping out the bullpen.

Over the weekend, Baltimore split a four-game series with the Rays. Pittsburgh (71-85) won their three-game series against the Cardinals, 2-1.

Last Meeting: On June 6-7, the Orioles swept a two-game series against the Pirates at Camden Yards. Both games went into extra innings, with the O’s winning in walk-off fashion over 10 and 11 innings, respectively. Game 1 went to extras tied at 5. The Orioles trailed 5-3 in the ninth inning, but Jonathan Schoop‘s two-run home run sent the game into extras. In the 10th frame, Mark Trumbo hit an RBI single that scored Adam Jones.

In the second game, the Orioles overcame a 6-1 deficit to beat Pittsburgh 9-6. Wade Miley went just 2.2 innings in his start, allowing four earned runs on eight hits, two walks, and four strikeouts. Edwin Jackson let up a two-run home run in the sixth inning, giving the Orioles just 12 outs to mount a big comeback.

The Birds did just that. Jones got things started in the eighth inning with a solo home run. In the ninth, the O’s scored four runs playing small ball. Joey Rickard hit a sacrifice fly to score Trumbo, J.J. Hardy hit a double to score Schoop, and Trey Mancini hit his eighth home run of the season to tie the game up.

In the 11th inning, Mancini homered again, this time a three-run shot that scored Rickard & Caleb Joseph to walk it off for Baltimore. Following this game, the Orioles sported a 31-26 record and stood in third place in the American League East, 2.5 games behind the Yankees, who occupied first place at the time.

 MLB Playoff Picture as of Sept. 26:

Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 11.04.06 AM.png

Image Credit: MLB.com

AL East Standings as of Sept. 26:

Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 11.05.30 AM

Game Times and Pitching Matchups: 

Game 1Tuesday, Sept. 26, 7:05 pm – Kevin Gausman (11-10, 4.61 ERA) vs. Trevor Williams (6-9, 4.18 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan 

Game 2Wednesday, Sept. 27, 7:05 pm – Gabriel Ynoa (2-2, 3.41 ERA) vs. Chad Kuhl (7-11, 4.31 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Orioles: 

  • The Orioles have the second-highest starting pitching ERA (5.64) in the MLB, only behind the Cincinnati Reds (5.66). That, of course, puts Baltimore as the worst in the AL.
  • In 4.2 innings against the Pirates in his career, Miguel Castro has yet to allow a run. Castro previously spent some time in the National League as a member of the Rockies.
  • For the first time since 2012, the MLB home run leader will not be on the Orioles.
    (Trumbo, 2016, Chris Davis 2015, 2013, Nelson Cruz 2014).

Notes on the Pirates:

  • Gerrit Cole‘s 197.2 innings this season puts him at ninth place in MLB, tied with Rick Procello of the Red Sox.
  • Infielder Jordy Mercer is dealing with tendinitis in his left knee. He sat out on Sunday against St. Louis.
  • In 46 career at-bats against Baltimore, Andrew McCutchen is a lifetime .457 hitter with 21 hits and five RBI.

Up Next: Following another off-day on Thursday, the Orioles wrap up the 2017 season at the Trop for a three-game weekend series with the Rays. Friday and Saturday’s games are evening games, and Sunday’s game begins at 3:10 pm.

Featured Image Credit: Baltimore Sun 

Series Recap: Orioles put together two come-from-behind wins to sweep Pirates

BALTIMORE, MD — Despite trailing at at least four runs in both games, the Orioles were able to come from behind in both games and Sweep the Pirates, by scores of 6-5 and 9-6.

In game one, the Orioles trailed by scores of 4-1 and 5-3. Down by two in the ninth inning, it was the power bat of Jonathan Schoop that pushed the game into extra innings, as Schoop hit a two-run blast off of Pittsburgh closer Tony Watson. It was the second home run of the game for Schoop, who hit a solo shot in the seventh inning.

Schoop’s seventh-inning shot was back-to-back with that of Chris Davis.

In extras, Brad Brach made quick work of the Pirates’ lineup in the 10th inning, striking out David Freese and putting away Josh Bell and Andrew McCutchen via line-out and ground-out.

In the bottom of the 10th, Adam Jones singled with one out. Manny Machado was next up and almost won the game with a two-run home run, but left fielder Adam Frazier caught the ball up against the wall on the warning track. On the play, Jones was able to tag and reached second base, putting him in scoring position with two outs. From there, Mark Trumbo was the final hero of the night with a walk-off single on a 1-0 count. McCutchen’s throw was close, but not in time, and the Orioles were awarded with a 6-5 thrilling victory.

Starter Kevin Gausman once again had his fair share of struggles, mainly in the second inning when he allowed three runs. In his non-decision start, he pitched 6.2 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits, a walk and five strikeouts on 113 pitches.

Game two on Wednesday turned out to be very similar to Tuesday’s game. The Pirates got on the board first in the second inning when Max Moroff hit a two-run double. The Orioles answered quickly, when Hyun-Soo Kim hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning to cut Baltimore’s deficit to one run.

In the third inning, Elias Diaz would repeat the exact same thing, hitting another two-run double to put Pittsburgh up 4-1. Orioles starter Wade Miley had a rough night, and was done after 2 2/3 innings after throwing 83 pitches and recording eight outs. The game remained tied until the seventh inning, when Jose Osuna hit a two-run home run to extend Pittsburgh’s lead to 6-1.

From there, the Orioles scored eight unanswered runs to complete the second comeback in as many days. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Jones hit a solo home run. In the ninth inning, the Orioles scored four runs on a Joey Rickard sacrifice fly, a J.J. Hardy double, and a two-run home run by Trey Mancini. Mancini came through again in the 11th inning, hitting another home run; this time a three-run shot.

Mancini came off of the bench in the ninth inning, and finished the game with five RBI.

“I came in ready to hit in the last inning,” Mancini said after the game. “I knew that if guys got on base that I had a chance to get up there.”

“Trey obviously had a few big blows,” manager Buck Showalter said after the game.

In the game, Mike Wright had a solid relief outing, pitching 3.1 scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and recorded three strikeouts. Also in the game, Machado was spiked by McCutchen when the outfielder was sliding into third base. The injury forced Machado out of the game, and Ruben Tejada replaced Machado in the lineup.

“[Manny] had an X-Ray, which was negative,” Showalter said. “They’re talking about getting an MRI tomorrow just to be on the safe side and make sure we know what we are dealing with.”

The Orioles are now 9-1 in extra inning games this season.

With the conclusion of this nine-game homestand, the Orioles now hit the road for eight games. The original schedule had the O’s off on Thursday, but now the Birds will head back to our nation’s capital for a makeup game with the Nationals. This 7:05 matchup takes place in response to the rain-out on May 11. The Orioles currently lead the 2017 “Battle of the Beltways” series, 2-1.

 

Series Preview: Pirates vs. Orioles

BALTIMORE, MD — Coming off a four-game split with the Red Sox, the Baltimore Orioles look to end their current homestand on a positive note against the Pittsburgh Pirates. After a seven-game losing streak, the Birds have rebounded at Camden Yards, going 4-3 in their last seven games against both the Red Sox and Yankees.

The Orioles came back to life after suffering their longest losing streak since the 2011 season. The O’s will try to keep their positive spin going in this two-game series with the Pirates (26-31), who currently sit in fifth place in the National League Central Division. However, they are only three and a half games back behind the defending World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, who are currently in first place in the NL Central with a record of 29-27.

Over the weekend, the Bucs took two of three from the Mets in New York.

With the split with Boston, the O’s (29-26) remain in third place in the American League East, 3.5 games behind the first-place Yankees (32-22). The Red Sox (31-25) are just two games behind the Yanks. 

More on this series: The two-game set at Camden Yards is just the first half of the four-game season series between Baltimore and Pittsburgh. The Orioles and the Pirates will reconvene in the final week of the regular season with another two-game set, taking place at PNC Park on September 26 and 27.

Last Meeting: These two teams have not met in the regular season since 2014, which is of course the year the Orioles won the AL East for the first time in 1997. That year, the O’s swept the Bucs in May at Camden Yards by scores of 5-1 and 6-5 in a doubleheader. Three weeks later, the two teams split a two-game series in Pittsburgh. The Orioles won the first game, 9-2, and the Pirates won the latter, 9-8.

Game times & pitching matchups: 

Game 1Tuesday, June 6, 7:05 pm – Ivan Nova (5-4, 2.92 ERA) vs. Kevin Gausman (3-4, 5.92 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2Wednesday, June 7, 7:05 pm – Chad Kuhl (1-5, 6.02 ERA) vs. Wade Miley (2-3, 2.82 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Pirates:

  • Andrew McCutchen has a .500 batting average against the Orioles in his career, with 18 hits in 36 at-bats.
  • Second baseman Josh Harrison is the top offensive performer for the Bucs this season. Harrison is hitting .308 in 208 at-bats, recording 64 hits, 10 doubles, a triple, seven home runs, and 18 RBI. Harrison’s status for this series is up in the air, as he left Saturday’s game with a calf injury, keeping him out of Sunday’s game.
  • Nova is without question the top pitcher in Pittsburgh’s rotation. He is the only Pirate starter with an ERA below 3. In 11 starts, Nova has allowed 25 earned runs on 77 hits and 40 strikeouts. He has walked just six batters, which is less than anyone in the National League. Spending the first six and a half years of his career as a Yankee, Nova has a 5.01 lifetime ERA against the O’s in 16 starts, and a 5.44 lifetime ERA at Camden Yards.
  • Josh Bell leads the Pirates in home runs with 11. In his last three games, Bell has two home runs.

Notes on the Orioles: 

  • Manny Machado’s bat is showing signs of life. Machado has a hit in all four games played so far in June, including two doubles in Sunday’s 7-3 loss to the Red Sox. Machado also hit two home runs in the Boston series, one on Friday and the other on Saturday.
  • So far in June, Jonathan Schoop has six hits, two doubles, a home run, and four RBI. Aside from Trey Mancini, who has a .294 average in 136 at-bats, Schoop has the highest batting average on the team among active players, hitting .284 in 194 at-bats. Wellingon Castillo has a .317 average, but he is currently on the disabled list with a groin injury.
  • Miley has a 3.11 ERA against Pittsburgh in six career starts. Gausman has never faced the Pirates.
  • Brad Brach has not allowed a run since May 16. He has five relief appearances since then.

Following this two-game set with Pittsburgh, the Orioles will head to our nation’s capital for a makeup game with the Nationals. The 7:05 pm game on Thursday was scheduled after the rain-out on May 11. This game is the conclusion of the “Battle of the Beltways” series that the O’s currently lead, 2-1.