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Orioles routed 9-3 in series opener against Reds

Kevin Gausman goes less than three innings and the Orioles bats largely go silent to start the series in the Queen City.

Baltimore Orioles v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Tuesday night saw the Baltimore Orioles continue their Boston, Toronto, Cincinnati trip with game number seven out of nine away from Camden Yards. Entering the game at Great American Ballpark – their first appearance on that field since 2005 – the O’s were 4-2 looking to ensure a plus .500 record on the trip.

Interestingly, this series are the only O’s games against non-AL East opponents in the month of April. The match-up was the first 2017 interleague matchup for both teams and unfortunately, things did not go well for Baltimore.

After the O’s were retired in order to start the first, Kevin Gausman immediately got into trouble in the bottom of the inning. Speedy CF Billy Hamilton singled, 2B Jose Peraza walked and 1B Joey Votto singled to load the bases.

Hamilton scored on a sacrifice fly to left by LF Adam Duvall to give the Reds a 1-0 lead and SS Zack Cozart singled off Jonathan Schoop’s glove to make it 2-0. 3B Scooter Gennett reached on an uncharacteristic error by Manny Machado, loading the bases again. Tucker Barnhart popped to JJ Hardy to end the inning seeing Gausman throw 26 pitches.

The Orioles got on the board in the top of the second inning with a two out double by Wellington Castillo and a bloop single by Jonathan Schoop. After two innings, the Reds led 2-1.

Disaster struck big time in the bottom of the second with the Reds getting a single, hit by pitch and walk followed by an Adam Duvall grand slam making the score 6-1. It was Duvall’s fourth HR of 2017, giving him 11 RBI and the blast came on an 0-2 count. Another run scored on Tucker Barnhart’s double and Scooter Gennett was thrown out at home making it 7-1 after two innings.

Joey Votto hit his fourth HR of the year in the third, a two-run shot after Gausman was replaced by Vidal Nuno, making it 9-1 after three. The rout was on.

Gausman’s Worst Outing in 2017

Gausman’s fourth start of the season – his second straight on the road – did not go as planned. He left after 2.2 innings pitched, yielding 8 hits, 8 runs, all earned, walking three and striking out two. He threw 79 pitches and only faced 20 batters.

After a stellar Opening Day start against the Toronto Blue Jays, Gausman has not shown much consistency. The outing saw his 2017 record fall to 1-1, with a 7.23 ERA.

Gausman, a RHP but uniquely bats LH, was 0-1 at the plate.

O’s Post-Early Deficit

A leadoff double by Chris Davis was wasted in the fourth, and Adam Jones connected in the fifth with a two-run HR making it 9-3. The sixth saw another lead off hit and no runs for the Orioles as the inning ended. In the seventh, eighth and ninth, the Baltimore bats went quietly into the overcast 75 degree Midwest evening.

Arroyo Continues Comeback Attempt

From 2004-2013 with the Boston Red Sox and Reds, Bronson Arroyo was one of the most durable pitchers in MLB starting at least 29 games every year. Following that string of good luck, Arroyo missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons with Tommy John surgery and other arm ailments.

Entering Tuesday, Arroyo had allowed four HR’s in two games during 2017 and was 0-2 with a 9.90 ERA. Things turned around for him against the O’s. Arroyo went five innings, scattering five hits, three runs, all earned, striking out four and walking two. It wasn’t the best start ever, but it was a step in the right direction for a 40-year-old pitcher trying to get back on track.

No DH = Mancini not in Starting Lineup

Through 12 career games in 2016 and 2017, Trey Mancini has seven home runs and 14 RBI. Quite the start. However, likely due to the lack of a DH in Cincinnati, Mancini found himself on the bench in favor of LF Seth Smith.

Mancini pinch hit in the seventh for Smith, with the game largely out of reach, and bounced out. He played the final two innings in LF.

Bullpen Sans Zach Britton

Britton’s stint on the 10-day DL continued, but he wasn’t missed.

Vidal Nuno replaced Gausman in the third and went 2.1 innings with the damage done to him by the Joey Votto HR. Nuno struck out four Reds on the night. Mychal Givens came on in the sixth, was later pinch hit for by Craig Gentry who struck out, and Tyler Wilson pitched the seventh and eighth.

Notes and Looking Ahead

Entering the game, Adam Jones had hit safely in 10 of the last 11 games. Tuesday, Jones extended that streak to 11 of 12 with a HR in the fifth.

Jonathan Schoop’s base hit in the second gave him a six-game hitting streak following a slow start to the season.

Mychal Givens outing was his first in six days. He hit 98 with his fastball, throwing heat all night.

O’s LF Seth Smith exited the game with a strained left hamstring.

Ex-Washington National Drew Storen pitched the ninth inning for Cincinnati striking out Hyun Soo Kim to end the game.

Former Oriole Miguel Gonzalez (2-0), now with the Chicago White Sox, pitched 8.1 innings to snap the New York Yankees nine game winning streak, giving up one run and striking out four to get the victory. The outing by Gonzalez brought back memories of his 2012 success at Yankee Stadium with the Orioles.

Looking at left field tonight, even though it was in old Riverfront Stadium and not the Great American Ballpark, undoubtedly reminded some viewers of Boog Powell’s two run HR in Game #1 of the 1970 World Series. Once asked about the HR and his initial slow trot out of the box on a ball that barely cleared the wall, Powell replied with a smile and wink, “Son, when you’ve hit as many home runs as I have, you know when they’re gone.”

The next game for Baltimore is Wednesday at 7:10ET against the Reds in Cincinnati. Ubaldo Jiminez (0-0, 10.38) is slated to go against LHP Amir Garrett (2-0, 1.42).