The Orioles once again choked against a mediocre left-handed pitcher, but this time it probably didn't matter since the pitching was so atrocious that it would have taken an onslaught by the offense to make up for the damage done by Chris Tillman.
Tillman, coming off a short but decent game in Chicago in which he pitched five innings and gave up just one run, got knocked around good by the Royals' offense. In 3.2 innings, Tillman gave up ten hits, including five doubles, and eight runs. The outing ran Tillman's ERA up to an atrocious 7.16. The Orioles will have some decisions to make when Brian Matusz is ready to come off of the disabled list, and Tillman is not doing a very good job of making his case to stay in the rotation.
Just as cringe inducing today was the O's lineup, which was completely shut down by Bruce Chen. The Orioles got to him for one run in the first inning when Adam Jones singled in Nick Markakis (Vladimir Guerrero also reached base in the inning on a walk - imagine that!), but after that they couldn't touch him. From the second through seventh innings Chen allowed just three singles and one walk, and the Orioles never had more than one baserunner in an inning.
Josh Rupe pitched very well in relief today, putting up 3.2 shutout innings with just one hit and one walk. Clay Rapada relieved him with one out in the eighth and coughed up a home run to Melky Cabrera before getting out of the inning.
If you're looking for a silver lining to this game, it appears that Markakis is continuing to shake off his slump, as is Mark Reynolds. Markakis added two more hits today and Reynolds was on base twice with a single and a walk. Not quite the home runs I was promised, but baby steps I suppose.
The Orioles had a chance to return home with a .500 record but they threw it away with a terrible, terrible game this afternoon. They head home for a six-game homestand, starting with three against the Rays this weekend.