The Orioles entered their series with the Toronto Blue Jays needing to win at least two games to make the trip successful.
Instead, the Orioles leave Toronto losing the series, two-to-one, but remain four games back of the third AL Wild Card spot.
The Orioles have their most wins since 2016 when they went 89-73, also the last time they were in the postseason.
Game one against Toronto was the Matt Chapman game. The fourth-year third baseman seemed to be involved in almost all the scoring.
Chapman would hit two home runs, collect three RBIs and score three runs. One of those runs was part of a three-run home run that George Springer hit to give Toronto the lead for good.
The Orioles mustered five hits, but it was the rookies, Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson, who provided all the offense.
Both players hit home runs, Rutschman a two-runs shot and Henderson a solo, for all the offense the O’s would collect for the game.
Jordan Lyles (10-11) pitched five innings but gave up four runs and labored his way through 82 pitches.
Chapman started the scoring off in game two, as Toronto jumped out early. By the end of the second, a George Springer double made it 3-0 Jays, as the O’s fell into a hole they couldn’t dig out of.
Gunnar Henderson closed the gap with a two-runs single, as he had two hits in the game.
The gap was short-lived as Ramiel Tapia would hit a three-run double that closed the door on the game and ending the Orioles’ hope of winning the series.
Kyle Bradish (3-7) would last only 4.2 innings, giving up five runs, only three earned, while allowing six hits, a walk and striking out three.
With their backs against the wall, the Orioles came to fight in game three.
Dean Kremer would pitch 5.2 innings of two-run ball but tied his career-high with five walks. He would allow four hits and also hit a batter, as he gutted out a tough outing.
The Orioles’ defense would turn a triple play in the third inning. It was the 15th in team history, while it was also the 10th triple play that Toronto has hit into in its franchise existence.
Of course, it was a game that the Orioles went through the motions. They fell behind, once again, in the early innings.
A Jorge Mateo double tied the game in the fourth, only to see Danny Jansen homer in the bottom half of the inning. Vlad Guerrero Jr. homered in the seventh to extend the Toronto lead to 3-1.
A Jesús Aguilar home run, his first with the Orioles, in the eighth pulled the Birds within one, but Jordan Romano was coming in to close out the game.
Entering the game, Romano had not given up a run in his last 15 appearances. He also carried a streak of 28 appearances at home with only one run allowed.
Funny thing, the Orioles don’t seem to worry too much about those stats.
Come the ninth inning, rookie Kyle Stowers came on to pinch hit and promptly singled to start the inning. Ramón Urías followed with a single, before Cedric Mullins walked to load the bases.
Once again, another Orioles rookie would come to bat, and they would once again come through. Adley Rutschman would hit a bases loaded single, plating two runs and giving the Orioles their first lead.
An Anthony Santander run-scoring ground out would close the scoring. Félix “The Mountain” Bautista would close out the game, collecting his 14th save in 16 chances.
The Baltimore Battery ❌-FACTOR for the series was the Orioles’ offense. Rookies Gunnar Henderson, Adley Rutschman, Terrin Vavra and Kyle Stowers got the memo, as they were involved in most of the scoring and production of the series.
The offense would go 6-for-19 (.316) with RISP, but they would leave 21 on base for the series.
Henderson and Rutschman combined to go 9-for-20 (.450) with two doubles, two home runs, five walks, three runs and seven RBIs.
To put that into perspective, the Orioles had only 11 runs across the three games with 23 hits. That’s 39% of the team’s hits, and they drove in 64% of the team’s runs.
The offense needs the veterans to step up if they want to continue their playoff push. Rutschman and Henderson are showing their value, but it’s time for the rest of the team to show their’s.
The Orioles will fly home to start a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers Monday. Jet lagged and recovering from a tough series, the Orioles will need to be on their game, as first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. EST.
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