The Orioles came into Tropicana Field riding a 10-game winning streak. At the same time, they were riding a 10-game losing streak at the Trop. Something was going to give.
Though the Orioles were able to take the middle game of the series, they would drop the first and last to Tampa Bay. The 10-game winning streak ending and the 11-game losing streak over, the 2022 Orioles are showing they are a different team than in the past few seasons.
Though they lost the series, the O’s finish the first half .500, which no one would have seen coming, except a rag-tag bunch of players who are out to prove everyone wrong.
The first game would see the Oriole bullpen crack a bit, allowing two runs that would prove to be what was needed to hang on to a victory.
Tyler Wells pitched decently, taking his first loss in his last eight games, as he pitched into the sixth, allowing three earned runs.
Cionel Pérez would allow two earned runs in 0.1 innings, and though the Birds scored two in the eighth, it wasn’t enough to overtake the deficit.
Game two was an affair that seemed to go on forever. The Orioles would take the game in 11 innings, but up until the eighth inning, the Orioles appeared to be going through the motions.
Adley Rutschman, who started with the day off, would pinch hit in the eighth and hit the game-tying home run. Not to be outdone, he would then hit the go-head sac-fly in the 10th before Tampa Bay tied it in the bottom half.
The 11th inning saw Rougned Odor caught between second and third, being picked off before Jorge Mateo’s triple.
Mullins would walk, then steal second before Mountcastle singled them both in. The bullpen would shut down the Rays, and the Orioles would win, guaranteeing a .500 record or better at the break.
Game three came, and right off the bat, the Orioles looked in trouble. Jordan Lyles would last only 2.2 innings, allowing six runs that left the Birds in a big hole to climb out of early.
Though they gave their best shot with home runs from Odor and Austin Hays, it was not enough, as the Orioles fell, 7-5.
For the first time since 2016, the Orioles enter the All-Star break at .500, and the Birds have won 11 of their last 13 games.
The Baltimore Battery ❌-FACTOR heading into this series was the lower portion of the lineup. They would need to produce to help turn the series in the Orioles’ favor.
Production was not the issue, as the quartet of Ramón Urías, Rougned Odor, Jorge Mateo and Tyler Nevin would combine to go 12-for-36 (.333) with three doubles, one triple, three home runs, eight RBIs and five runs scored.
Leading the quarter was Urías, who was 5-for-12 (.417), including two home runs, two doubles, three runs scored and five RBIs.
The All-Star break officially starts at the end of the day today, as well as the MLB Draft, where the Birds hold the No. 1 overall pick. The Baltimore Battery will keep you updated on every pick the O’s make, so stay tuned.
After this week’s festivities, the Orioles will return to action Friday, July 22, when they welcome the New York Yankees to Camden Yards for a three-game set.
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