The Orioles came into Cincinnati riding a series victory and winning home stand, ready to take on the last play Reds in a three-game set.
After taking the first game, the Orioles were two games over .500 and had the look of a team ready to make a move against a sub-.500 team, games winning teams take advantage of.
Sadly, the Orioles would drop the last two games of the series, as comebacks fell short in the final two games. Now, they leave Cincinnati back at .500 and three games back in the AL Wild Card standings.
One of the things that plagued the Orioles the most was capitalizing on scoring opportunities. The O’s would come to bat 21 times with runners in scoring position and only collect three hits for the series.
The .143 average with RISP is reminiscent of the Birds’ early season struggles and is something that can be extremely costly this time of year.
Game one saw Kyle Bradish return form the 15 day-IL and pitch a strong outing.
Though Bradish gave up two runs in the first, he would pitch five innings, allowing five hits, the lone two-runs and striking out seven. The bullpen locked down the rest of the game before earning the victory.
It wasn’t until the sixth inning that the offense came alive, when Anthony Santander would hit his team-leading 18th home run to tie the game.
The Orioles would strike for four runs in the ninth, as two walks, three hits and a hit batter would break the tie and lead the Orioles to victory.
Game two looked like it was going to be a good one, as the Orioles would score two runs to open the game on three hits and a balk. Unfortunately, they would have three hits the rest of the game and not much help from their pitching.
The normally-reliable Dean Kremer (3-3) would put in 4.1 innings of work but would give up 10 hits, leading to six unanswered runs.
Beau Susler would pitch 3.2 innings and give up two more runs, with the final score being 8-2.
Game three went a little better from a pitching stand point, but, once again, the offense was pretty much silent until the seventh inning.
Austin Voth would pitch five innings of four-hit, shut out ball, matching his season-high in strikeouts. Though he gave way to Bryan Baker, it was the bullpen who gave up the three runs Cincinnati would score.
Cedric Mullins would hit a sac-fly in the the seventh, and Santander would tie the game with his 19th home run giving the Cardiac Birds signs of life.
Félix Bautista would unconventionally give back the run in the bottom of the eighth and take the loss, as the final was 3-2.
The Baltimore Battery ❌-FACTOR heading into the series was Ramón Urías and the hot-swinging bat that he had carried all month long.
Unfortunately, for the series, Urías’ bat went cold. He would wind up 1-for-8 (.125 BA) with three walks and two strikeouts, failing to record an extra base hit, RBI or run in the series.
Urias did end July hitting .329 for the month, but his quiet bat in the series, one of many players, was the ❌-FACTOR that didn’t come through.
The Orioles will have no time off, as they begin a three-game series with the Rangers in Arlington starting Monday. As the trade deadline approaches, it will be an interesting series to see what both teams do and if the talk gets to either side.
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