The Orioles have been swept in a three-game series against the Blue Jays this week, frustrating fans, as two of the games were very winnable if not for fundamental mistakes.
Base running continued to be an issue, as did situational hitting, as the Orioles left 19 runners on base over the last two games, while batting .218 with runners in scoring position. The team was able to put together 27 hits during the series but couldn’t put up enough runs to win a game.
Starting pitching continued to struggle, posting a 7.02 ERA over the series. The bottom four in the order continued to struggle, batting .232 in the series. During the series, Randal Grichuk made his case for baseball’s Hall of Fame (joking), going 6-for-14 with four home runs and 10 RBI.
Game 1: Blue Jays 7 – Orioles 2
Randal Grichuk ruined what was the beginning of a good start by Alex Cobb, one that saw him throw only 12 pitches in the first two innings.
However, the wheels fell off in the third, when the new Oriole killer Grichuk hit a three-run homer. The Orioles never recovered, as Hyun-Jin Ryu went six innings, allowing only one run. Cobb ended his night having gone 6.2 innings, while surrendering five earned runs. Anthony Santander continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-4.
Game 2: Blue Jays 8 – Orioles 7
This may be the heartbreaker game of the year thus far. The Blue Jays jumped out to a 7-1, as Wade LeBlanc struggled again, going four innings, while giving up five runs.
The bullpen, however, blanked the Blue Jays, and the Orioles offense showed fight behind two Santander home runs and a long ball by Chance Sisco.
The game went into extras with the now customary runner on second. After a walk to Vladimir Gurerro Jr., a sacrifice put runners on second and third with one out. Chris Davis made a great play, getting a throw to home on the next at-bat; however, catcher Pedro Severino couldn’t handle the bounce, and the run scored.
The Jays ended their half of the 10th up by a run. The Orioles came out in the bottom half with Dwight Smith, Jr. on second.
After a terrible strikeout by Hanser Alberto, Cedric Mullins came to the plate. Mullins had a great at-bat that had him see eight pitches, ending with a single to center. Smith Jr. got a bad jump on the ball and failed to see the stop sign from third base coach, José Flores.
Instead of first and third with no outs, the Orioles were faced with a runner on second and two out. Brian Holaday popped out to center to end a very frustrating game.
Game 3: Blue Jays 5 – Orioles 2
This was another game of missed opportunities, as the Orioles had runners on second and third with no outs in the first inning and first and second with no outs in the second and failed to score in either innings.
Grichuk, again, killed the Birds, hitting two home runs (and barely missing a third), as the Orioles inexplicably continued to pitch to him.
The Orioles begin a four-game series with the last place Boston Red Sox tomorrow night in Baltimore.
Check back with The Baltimore Battery, as we give you our Series Preview against the Sox tomorrow!