Baltimore lost two close games to Tampa Bay in a quick road trip to Tropicana Field to fall to 14-16 on the season.
Despite decent pitching by the Orioles’ arms, the team did not generate enough run support as the Birds lost 4-2 in game one and 4-3 in game two. The players chose to not play the third game of the series amidst the social injustice issues occurring in the United States.
Despite picking up two wins against the Red Sox before this series, the Orioles are now 7-10 against AL East opponents. Let’s take a look at how the games went down leading up to the postponement of Thursday’s game:
Orioles 2 Rays 4
The first inning of game one went about as well as you could hope for to begin a series; Renato Núñez hit a solo home run to left field that put the O’s up 1-0 early in the game.
Tommy Milone took the mound for Baltimore and pitched a solid outing in his sixth start of the year. In the bottom of the second, Hunter Renfroe launched a two-run shot to left field that scored Jose Martínez. In the following at-bat, Manual Margot homered to left and put the Rays up 3-1.
As we’ve seen before, Milone received little run support, as he eventually lost the game and fell to 1-4 on the season. Milone finished the game having allowed two earned runs over 5.1 innings and struck out six Tampa Bay batters.
Tyler Glasnow was phenomenal on the mound for the Rays; he pitched seven innings and struck out 13 batters in a winning effort. Glasnow improves to 1-1 on the season.
Rookie Ryan Mountcastle recorded his first career RBI in the top of the fourth. Mountcastle singled to right field to score Chance Sisco, which cut the lead to 3-2. The Orioles remained within striking distance but never scored past the fourth inning.
Ji-Man Choi added an insurance run for Tampa Bay in the bottom of the sixth, as he scored Renfroe on a sacrifice hit. The Rays took a 4-2 lead at this point and cemented the victory. Edgar Garcia closed out the game for his first save of the season.
Anthony Santander went 0-for-4 and ended his 18-game hitting streak in the losing effort.
Orioles 3 Rays 4
Game two of the series practically mirrored game one, as the Orioles fell 4-3. Just like game one, the O’s jumped out and took the lead in the top of the first.
Hanser Alberto reached base on an infield single, while Cedric Mullins scored on a fielding error. Later in the inning, Núñez hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Alberto and gave Baltimore a 2-0 lead.
Asher Wojciechowski pitched a solid four innings but allowed three earned runs off only four hits in a losing effort. Brandon Lowe hit a two-run homer in the fourth to score Austin Meadows, and Yandy Díaz scored Meadows later in the fifth inning; the Rays held a narrow 3-2 lead at this point.
Santander tied the game at 3-3, when he singled in the top of the seventh inning to score Alberto. However, Michael Perez homered to center field in the bottom of the eighth to put the Rays up 4-3. This deep shot was a dagger to Baltimore’s efforts, and the Orioles could not come back from this deficit.
Mychal Givens was charged with the loss in relief, while Ryan Sherriff received the victory, and Diego Castillo closed out the game with a save.
One positive from game two was Mountcastle’s two-hit performance. Seeing the young prospect get acclimated at the plate against major league pitching should have Orioles fans excited for his future. Mountcastle is hitting .375 in 16 at-bats so far in his career.
Game postponed prior to first pitch
Coming into game three with the hopes of avoiding a sweep, the Orioles and Rays players struggled with the decision of whether or not to play.
Like many other teams across all of sports, the teams chose to cancel Thursday’s game in an expression of solidarity toward the victims of social injustice and racism in the United States. The decision comes in the wake of protests over the recent shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Just minutes before the scheduled first pitch, the Orioles released this statement:
With the Orioles set to play the Toronto Blue Jays Friday, game three of this series will be postponed until a further date.
The Orioles have been amazing on the road this year but lost both these games to fall to 8-3 on the season in away games.
The O’s have not looked good lately, going 2-8 in their last 10 games. With the trade deadline looming, Baltimore will likely be sellers; stay tuned to The Baltimore Battery for any transactions the team makes.
The O’s now sit at fourth place in the AL East with a 14-16 record. Baltimore has slipped under .500 and finds itself six games back of first place.
Up next, the Orioles will head to Buffalo for what is scheduled to be a four-game series against the Blue Jays. Depending on the player protests, game one is scheduled for 6:37 p.m. EST. QAlex Cobb is next up to start on the mound for Baltimore.