Last night the Orioles broke their consecutive one-run game streak at seven with a 6-3 loss to the Mariners. They possibly started another one today with their 1-0 win over the M's to take the series. The only run came on a Nick Markakis home run in the first inning. After that the offense for both teams took a snooze for the next eight innings, leading to a boring game that thankfully ended up in the win column.
Let's start with the Orioles offense, and to do that you need look no further than Markakis. The Orioles got just five hits in the game, and three of them were by him. He was the first batter to face Hisashi Iwakuma, and he worked the count to 3-2 before parking the next pitch onto the flag court in right field. After the game Markakis said that he knows that Iwakuma has a great splitter so he was just looking for him to put a pitch up in the zone that he could drive.
A six-pitch at bat that leads to a homer in the first inning gives a little bit of hope that there might be more excitement from the offense than we've seen lately, what with eight more innings to go and all. But that of course wasn't the case. They got a single in the second inning by David Lough, but he got himself thrown out stealing to end the inning. For a guy that can run so fast, he's not really that great with the base stealing.
The Orioles had chances to add on in the sixth and eighth innings, but failed to come through. In the sixth, Markakis doubled for his third hit of the day and Manny Machado followed it with a walk. But neither Adam Jones nor Delmon Young could get the job done. And in the eighth, Hundley walked with one out and Machado singled with two down, but Adam Jones flew out to center field to end the inning. It marked the end of a miserable 0-for-12 series for Adam, who hopefully will find his bat on the road trip.
Chris Tillman had a very successful game today as he pitched seven shutout innings. Shutouts are pretty important when your team only scores one run, I'd say. He looked shaky early on, giving up a single in the first inning and two hits in the second. He also threw 26 pitches in the second which gave me visions of an early exit, but it didn't happen. Starting with the strike out of Mike Zunino to get the second out of the second inning, Tillman retired 14 batters in a row. That ended with a single by Kendrys Morales to start the seventh inning, but Tillman then got a double play ball from Kyle Seager to wipe it out. A ground out from Chris Denorfia marked the finish of his good day. His final pitching line was 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K.
Andrew Miller came in after Tillman and had a very nice inning in which he needed just 10 pitches for a 1-2-3 inning. The ninth was a bit more stressful as Zach Britton battled Robinson Cano for seven pitches before walking him with two outs. But he bounced back to strike out Morales to end the game and seal the series win for the O's.
And so the seventeen day stretch in which the Orioles played sixteen games against the top three teams in the American League West as come to an end. The Orioles were very frustrating at times but it's hard to argue with their record of 10-6. If it feels like it's about time for a day off, you're right. But the Orioles lost their day off tomorrow due a rain out and will travel down to DC before flying to Toronto on Tuesday.