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Orioles 1, Rays 3: Baltimore bats remain silent, Kiermaier home run seals series win for Tampa

Jimenez pitched just well enough to lose as the Orioles offense continues to struggle

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a difficult road trip for the Orioles and their bats. The team has lost three games in a row, dropped back-to-back series and has only scored two runs over the past three days, including Tuesday night's 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

"Good Ubaldo" showed up...until the very end

The pitching has been just good enough to lose the past two nights. On Monday it was Kevin Gausman who crumbled late and took the hard-luck loss. On Tuesday, it was Ubaldo Jimenez's turn. The righty threw six innings and allowed three earned runs from three walks and six strikeouts.

Jimenez got himself into plenty of jams, but always seemed to work his way through it. The right-hander allowed a double to Logan Forsythe to lead off the game before some poor base-running and a nice play by J.J. Hardy eliminated him at home plate two batters later.

In the second inning, the Rays got two more men on base, but were kept off the scoreboard. The hosts did breakthrough in the third inning after loading the bases with one out. A Desmond Jennings sacrifice fly to center field scored Brad Miller from third base, but got nothing more. The fourth and fifth innings presented little issue to Jimenez.

But then freakin' Kevin Kiermaier had to cause all kinds of problems. The center fielder had already stolen a would-be double from Adam Jones in the first inning. This time, he took Jimenez deep on an 0-2 fastball with Steven Souza Jr. on first base to give the Rays a 3-1 lead. That would prove to be all they needed.

Where are the Baltimore bats?

The Orioles offense has been absent the last few days. It was more of the same at Tropicana Field tonight. It is not that they aren't getting hits, but their timing stinks. As a team, they went 9-for-32 against Jake Odorizzi and company with one walk and three strikeouts, which works out to a .281 batting average. On most nights, that would score a least a few runs, but the inability to hit with runners on was a killer.

In the second inning, a Mark Trumbo single and J.J. Hardy double gave the O's two runners in scoring position with one out. Pedro Alvarez and Jonathan Schoop followed with a strikeout and pop out, respectively.

Caleb Joseph singled to lead off the third inning, but would go no farther thanks to three consecutive in-play outs from Joey Rickard, Jones and Manny Machado.

The Orioles did get on the board in the fourth inning with an RBI single from Trumbo to drive in Chris Davis from second base, but there could have been so much more. A Hardy walk and Alvarez single loaded the bases with no outs. The key hit was nowhere to be found. Schoop popped out and then Joseph grounded into a double play to end the inning. They couldn't score a single run with the bases loaded; not the key to winning baseball games.

After that, the Birds couldn't produce anymore real threats. Jones got picked off at first base with Machado at the plate in the fifth inning. Schoop hit into a double play of his own in the seventh inning. And Jones hit into another twin-killing an inning later.

This came on a night where Odorizzi was not too crisp. His pitches were all over the place and the Orioles were not swinging and missing much at all. They simply could not find holes in the defense and failed to hit in the clutch.

The good

Jimenez pitched pretty well until the home run to Kiermaier. Granted, the Rays do not have a scary offense, but the righty looks to be the anchor of the rotation early on, which is something they desperately need.

Again, the bullpen did a nice job. Mychal Givens and Brad Brach pitched an inning apiece, striking out one each and breezing through their respective innings. Brach has been great throughout the first month, but Givens' ability to rebound from a rocky first week has been impressive. He is still just 25 years old and has performed like a wily old veteran lately.

Alvarez's bat may finally be coming around. He has had four hits over the last two nights, but still has just one RBI and no home runs yet. If we could get a dong sometime soon, Pedro, I would really appreciate it.

The bad

This O's offense relies on the long ball a heck of a lot, but there has been a power outage. As a team, the Orioles have gone 34 innings without a home run. The last round-tripper came from Chris Davis in the sixth inning of the win over the Royals on Saturday. That has to change.

Trumbo's inability to play right field is starting to show itself more and more. He had two tough balls on Tuesday, both fell in for hits and they likely would have been caught if Rickard or Nolan Reimold had been in that position. With a lefty on the mound tomorrow, Alvarez will likely get the day off, so we should be spared from Trumbo in the outfield for one day.

Schoop's bat is MIA at the moment. The second-baseman is 2-for-30 with seven strikeouts and one walk over the last nine games. Yikes! With Ryan Flaherty down at Triple-A, there is not really a player on the big league squad to give him a day off to get his mind right, so he will need to hit himself out of this slump. Tonight he left a game-high six runners on base.

Tomorrow

A sweep would be a bad thing, so the Orioles will try to avoid it. Right-hander Chris Tillman (1-1, 4.42 ERA) is on the mound for the Birds, while southpaw Matt Moore (1-1, 3.60) gets the call for Tampa. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. at The Trop.