Ahh, this was quite a frustrating weekend of baseball. Despite the exciting Orioles Hall of Fame ceremonies, this series felt like a display of Hall of Shame play.
The best team in the American League, the ever-dangerous Tampa Bay Rays, put on an offensive display to sweep the O’s in Baltimore. Tampa has now won 11 out of 12 games against our Birds this season.
This is a tough one, but let’s go over what went down this weekend.
In classic Oriole fashion, this was a winnable game in the late innings that was blown apart to shreds by the bullpen.
John Means was on the mound for the Birds, and he pitched very well. Against a team that has had his number so far this year, Means was dealing through five innings, allowing two runs, one earned.
The Orioles’ offense was alive to start this game, with some production from new faces. Ryan Mountcastle got it started in the first with an RBI single to go up 1-0.
Like said in our Series Preview, Trey Mancini loved Ryan Yarbrough. He had two doubles in this game, including one that came a pitch after Mancini took a ball to his family jewels.
In the second inning, Pedro Severino continued his hot bat since the All-Star Break with his ninth home run on the year. To follow that up, Richie Martin recorded his first RBI on the season, a roper down the third base line that his speed turned into a double. At this point, the Orioles had just taken a 3-2 lead.
Austin Hays showed off his power in the third with his 12th home run. Then with a 4-2 lead, new Oriole Jorge Mateo made his mark. He sent a ball over the head of the center fielder, and his blazing speed got him to third. This triple also scored a run, and the Orioles led 5-2.
From here, things got bad. Former Oriole favorite Nelson Cruz tied the game in the sixth with a three-run bomb. Then in the seventh, Cruz took the lead with a bases loaded double. Now, the Orioles trailed 7-5.
After Dillon Tate let up two more runs, Marcos Diplán got the chance to see a Major League mound. He did not disappoint. Diplán, a highlight of this game, tossed 1.2 scoreless innings in his debut. Good job, Marcos!
The Orioles dropped this first game 10-6, after being unable to capitalize on a bases loaded situation in the eighth. Paul Fry took the loss and moved to 4-4.
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game is Jorge Mateo. After entering off the bench when Mountcastle got injured, Mateo showed why Baltimore needed a guy like him. He went 2-for-4, including an RBI triple and a single, his first two hits as an Oriole.
This game felt a lot like the one the previous night. Spenser Watkins started this one, and he left with his team in a position to win. His outing ended after six innings, in which the Rays scored four runs.
The offense for the Orioles was basically nonexistent, except for the third inning. In that frame, Mateo stole the show. He doubled and then stole third. The throw down to third airmailed, and Mateo was able to take home on the error.
Later in that inning, Cedric Mullins did his thing. He launched a two-run homer that scored Martin, following his walk. Mullins’ 19th on the season tied this game up at three.
Once the bullpen entered the game in the seventh, everything went wrong. Down 5-3, the O’s sent César Valdez out there. University of Maryland alumni Brandon Lowe sent Valdez out of the park with the bases loaded. This grand slam gave the Rays a 9-3 lead.
The Rays were able to bring three more across and won this one 12-3. Spenser Watkins took the loss and moved to 2-3.
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game is Cedric Mullins. Because of his two-run shot in this game, the Orioles at one point had a chance to win because of his offensive production.
Deja Vu seems to be the name of the series, as strong starting pitching is wasted again by the bullpen, with two of the same culprits involved.
To start the game, Mullins led off with his 20th home run of the season. This also marked Mullins becoming the seventh player in Orioles history to join the 20 homer – 20 stolen base club. An impressive feat; congrats Cedric!
Mateo started off the second inning being hit by a pitch and promptly stealing second right after that. Martin decided to join the fun and singled to right, which quickly plated Mateo as fast as he reached base. Austin Wynns followed behind with a single of his own, and Martin ended up at third base. Shortly after, Austin Hays plated Martin with two outs in the inning. The Orioles entered the third up 3-0.
With Jorge López pitching solidly, the game seemed to be going smoothly. In the third and fourth innings, the O’s and Rays traded runs, with Anthony Santander picking up his seventh long ball of the season.
López picked up two more innings, before exiting the game after six innings with a 5-2 lead. He allowed two earned runs in those six innings, while striking out five and walking two. It was another great outing in which our starter covered six and left with a lead, before letting our bullpen take over.
The fun is just beginning, as Paul Fry has come out looking fried his last few appearances. In only a third of an inning, Fry gave up four runs, three base on balls and one hit. By the end of the game, the Baltimore bullpen ended with a final line of: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 5 BB, 7 ER
The O’s dropped game three and the series. Paul Fry took the loss and moved to 4-5.
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game was Jorge López. Pitching six innings of four-hit ball, allowing just two runs with five strikeouts, López left with a lead that should of accounted for his fourth victory. For August, he is 1-0 in 12 innings pitched, with five earned runs on five hits and nine strikeouts.
The O’s have a much-needed off day Monday, before starting a three-game series at home against Jonathan Schoop and the Detroit Tigers.
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