The short story: The opponents change, the results do not. The Minnesota Twins are the only team in baseball with fewer runs scored (even after tonight) than the Orioles. The Minnesota Twins are also one of the teams that has allowed more runs than the Orioles in the young season.
It did not matter, and the Twins edged the O's to take the first game of their four game set, and to extend the Orioles losing streak to eight games lost. The birds are now dangerously close to matching the longest losing streak from last season (ten games). There's a word at the tip of my brain for what we saw tonight, and what we've seen this past week plus, but it escapes me...
Well, on the bright side of life, Chris Tillman held his own and worked a quality start. His stuff didn't inspire poetry or anything, and again the Twins are one of the few teams worst at hitting baseballs than the Orioles, but six innings and three runs without a walk and with five strikeouts is a solid baby step for a guy with a recurring case of the "Gets Knocked Around A Lot". I noted at the beginning of the game that Tillman's swing-and-a-miss rate was incredibly miserable, but tonight's game improved it: 7 of his 62 strikes were of the swinging variety. A good sign.
Clay Rapada also impressed in his Orioles debut, striking out three and getting Twins manager Ron Gardenhire ejected for arguing balls and strikes. Rapada's stuff looked pretty solid, and he certainly looks like more of an asset than Chris Jakubauskas, the guy he replaced.
And for the bad stuff...well, let's start with Kevin Gregg, who was by far the worst Orioles pitcher going tonight, who effectively ended the game in the ninth by giving up two more runs with a potent combination of walks, line drives, and a wild pitch mixed in for taste. I'm not sure how Buck Showalter can seriously opt for Gregg next time the Orioles have a one-run lead late (or early, or whenever) in a ball game. Gregg - predictably - doesn't have any clean outings yet this year, and hasn't really looked like he's deserved any clean outings, either.
And then there's the offense. The Orioles actually showed a little patience (5 walks) and a little power (3 home runs), but just three basehits (and a lot of lazy groundballs) and, well, it was just another forgettable performance from the bats.
Forgettable, that's the word I'm looking for. These Orioles games - no, these Orioles - are eminently forgettable.