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Orioles blanked by five Rays relievers

Tampa pitchers retire 18 of the last 19 O’s to end the game. Jonathan Schoop provides the only hit out of the infield all night.    

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

The Baltimore Orioles entered Tuesday’s game at rainy Camden Yards with a 13-5 record, the best in the American League, against the Tampa Rays. The O’s have not lost a series all season and were looking to win another by capturing game two out of three against Tampa.

O’s LHP Wade Miley, off to a strong 2017 start, was slated to go against Rays RHP Erasmo Ramirez, but the opponent ended up being RHP Austin Pruitt. More on that later.

Quiet O’s Bats

Through six innings, the Orioles offense only had one hit out of the infield, a Jonathan Schoop double. After seven, they had been retired three up and three down in three consecutive innings. After eight, it was 15 straight down and 20 of 21. The score was 2-0 Tampa.

Rays RHP Alex Colome – nephew of former major leaguer Jesus Colome – came on in the ninth for the save slated to face Adam Jones, Manny Machado and Chris Davis.

Against Colome, Jones grounded out to second, Machado grounded out sharply to third and Davis walked. Mark Trumbo came to the plate as the tying run with two outs and no hits in his last 17 at bats. On a 2-2 pitch, Trumbo struck out, ending the game.

It was the story of the night.

Orioles Offense Struggles; Miley Wild

The O’s first chance to score came in the second with a one out HBP allowing Hyun Soo Kim to reach first, and a Jonathan Schoop double leaving runners and second and third and the Rays infield in. JJ Hardy chopped out to shortstop, sending the infield back to normal depth, bringing Caleb Joseph to the plate. Joseph has not had an RBI in almost two years and he struck out looking to end the inning.

In the fourth, back to back walks by Wade Miley after a ground out by 1B Brad Miller, brought SS Tim Beckham to the plate with runners on first and second. Beckham singled to center, scoring Rickie Weeks, Jr., making it 1-0 Rays. C Derek Norris followed with a sacrifice fly to right field, making it 2-0. LF Peter Bourjos walked, the fifth of the night and third of the inning by SP Wade Miley, bringing Stephen Souza, Jr., to the plate.

Souza, Jr. – the former Washington National and reigning AL Player of the Week – struck out looking to end the inning and threw his bat in disgust reacting to the call.

Chris Davis started the bottom of the fourth with an infield hit against the shift. Mark Trumbo popped out, Hyun Soo Kim struck out swinging as did Jonathan Schoop.

In the seventh, Souza, Jr., singled off JJ Hardy’s glove, CF Kevin Kiermaier struck out swinging and O’s killer Evan Longoria – he has 35 career HR’s against Baltimore, with 20 of those coming at Camden Yards – grounded out softly on a great play by Manny Machado.

Wade Miley Attempted to Continue Hot Start

MLB is completely unpredictable – that’s why they play the games – and LHP Wade Miley’s start to the season before Tuesday, 1-0, 1.89 ERA, is testament to this fact. In his last outing against Cincinnati, Miley went eight innings, giving up one run and striking out 11 in a complete gem. It was the third time in his career he had struck out 11 batters.

Tonight, the 30-year-old Miley made his fourth start of the season and the notorious fast worker was caught again by Caleb Joseph. They’ve developed quite the repertoire together, with Miley showing amazing command all season, before tonight at least, and reportedly shaking Joseph off a total of zero times last week against the Reds.

This was Miley’s tenth career start against Tampa. After two walks in the first and a deep fly out to end the inning, Miley came back with a 1-2-3 second. In the third, following back to back singles by LF Peter Bourjos and Steven Souza, Jr., he got out of the inning with no damage.

Through 4.1 IP, Miley had thrown 79 pitches, yielding two runs, having walked five Rays. His sixth walk came in the fifth, but no one else scored.

On the night, Miley didn’t have the command he’d shown in previous starts, but he limited the overall damage and left with the O’s in the game. He went seven innings, giving up four hits, two runs, both earned, with eight strikeouts and six walks. His ERA stands at 2.08.

Rays Surprise Starter and Relief Parade

Until moments before the first pitch at Camden, the O’s expected to face Erasmo Ramirez (2-0, 3.07), who pitched five innings giving up one run and two hits in his last game against the Detroit Tigers. However, with barely any notice – apparently out of concern that rain would delay the game at some point – Rays Manager Kevin Cash went with Austin Pruitt.

Pruitt, 27 years old and hailing from The Woodlands, Texas, just outside of Houston, started the game with a 2-0 record, 7.94 ERA, zero games started in 2017, yielding 11 hits in 21 innings in relief. He’d started in the minors, but this was his first MLB game as a SP.

Leaving after three innings, Pruitt gave up one hit, one walk, striking out three and was replaced by RHP Danny Farquhar. Farquhar went 0.2 IP and was relieved by Jose Rafael “Jumbo” Diaz. “Jumbo” stands 6’4, weighs 278 pounds.

Former New York Yankee, RHP Chase Whitley, came on in the sixth inning. Whitley pitched splendidly, going three innings, giving up no hits and no runs.

O’s Relievers

Donnie Hart replaced Miley in the eighth inning and he promptly walked 2B Brad Miller on four pitches, gave up a single to DH Rickie Weeks, Jr., and 1B Logan Morrison grounded into a force out to Manny Machado ending the lefty’s night. Darren O’Day entered the game with runners on first and second and SS Tim Beckham batting. Beckham bounced into a double play ending the inning.

O’Day also pitched the ninth and gave up a two out single to the red-hot Steven Souza, Jr., his third stroke of the night, and retired Kevin Kiermaier on a soft ground out.

Bad Weather Two Nights in a Row

A second straight night of rain and chilly weather in Baltimore limited the crowd and made game conditions challenging. Tuesday, the temperature was in the high 50’s, cloudy, with approximately 15-mile per hour winds. A drizzle fell most of the night, and if it was any consolation, the weather was better than Monday.

Notes and Next Game

Mark Trumbo entered the game zero for his last 14 and had not hit a HR in his last 65 at bats, going back to Opening Day. He didn’t homer Tuesday.

This was Hyun Soo Kim’s eighth start of the season. The O’s were 6-1 in those games. Now they are 6-2.

Entering the game, the Orioles were 10-1 when they hit a HR. They are still 10-1 when that happens.

Adam Jones entered the game with a four-game hitting streak. He finished Tuesday 0-4.

Monday ended Manny Machado’s five game hitting streak. Tuesday, he was 0-3 with a walk and a strikeout.

The Orioles made no defensive changes in Tuesday’s game.

Orioles closer Zach Britton is making progress with his injury and could be back within the next week.

OF Joey Rickard is continuing his way back with various minor league rehab starts.

LHP Paul Fry, formerly of the Seattle Mariners, was promoted to Baltimore Tuesday from Norfolk.

RHP Dylan Bundy (3-1, 1.37) is scheduled to go Wednesday, v. Tampa at 7:05ET, against RHP Alex Cobb (1-2, 4.88).