It’s a good thing that the Orioles ended their losing streak last night because they were right back in the loss column today with Ubaldo Jimenez on the mound. The Orioles actually held a two-run lead at one point, but Jimenez blew that allowing the Tigers to win the game 5-4.
Tigers starter Michael Fulmer came into this game with a 2.54 ERA. In seven starts this year he had yet to give up more than three runs, and in his last two starts he gave up a total of two runs in 15 innings pitched. He’s been pretty good.
The Orioles hitters were not interested in letting Fulmer continue his streak of quality starts as they hung four runs on him through the first five innings. Fulmer ultimately gave his team seven innings to make his pitching line look more respectable, but I think it’s safe to say that the offense did more than what was expected tonight. Unfortunately thanks to the pitching, it wasn’t enough.
In the second inning, back-to-back-to-back one-out singles from Jonathan Schoop, Welington Castillo, and Trey Mancini loaded the based for J.J. Hardy. Not exactly the guy you want at the plate in that situation. Hardy hit a ball up the middle that looked like it might be an inning ending double play, but Ian Kinsler couldn’t handle the transfer and Hardy was safe at first.
A two-run rally in the fourth inning was started by an error by the normally sure-handed Jose Iglesias. He botched the throw on a ground ball by Mark Trumbo, and Schoop followed that with a double that put runners on second and third. Castillo and Mancini each knocked in one run on a single and a sacrifice fly, respectively, and the Orioles had themselves a 3-2 lead in the game!
Back-to-back two-out doubles by Chris Davis and Trumbo added a run in the fifth inning and the Orioles had a two-run lead. It did not last long.
The Tyler Collins Show
After a scoreless first inning that saw him throw about 30 pitches, Jimenez first allowed the Tigers on the board in the second inning. After a strikeout of Alex Avila, Tyler Collins stepped to the plate. Going back to May 1st, Collins was on a streak of 0-for-30 at the plate. He found the cure for his ills tonight, and that cure was Ubaldo. Collins broke his 0-fer with a home run to center field.
A few batters later Ian Kinsler singled in a run, giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead. The Orioles had just given Jimenez the lead in the top of the inning, which is about how it’s been going lately.
Fast forward to the fifth inning and Collins was at it again. After a leadoff single, Ubaldo got two quick outs but couldn’t close things out. Avila doubled, bringing Collins to the plate. This time Collins hit the ball to right field, but again it went over the fence for a home run. The Earl Weaver special gave the Tigers a 5-4 lead that they would not relinquish.
Jimenez finished the inning but did not come back out for the sixth, making it another short game for an Orioles starter. His final pitching line was 5 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 2 HR.
New Guys Doing Work
The bullpen has been overworked lately and let’s not mince words, they’ve been pretty crappy. Before tonight’s game the Orioles made a few transactions, calling up Stefan Crichton and Miguel Castro. Those two along with Richard Bleier put together a strong three innings that held the Orioles deficit at one, giving the bats the chance to come back. They didn’t, but they had a chance!
Crichton, who has had his troubles at the major league level, was quite good. He retired the first five batters he faced before the sixth reach on an error by Manny Machado. He was pulled for Bleier, a lefty, who closed out the inning.
After Bleier gave up a leadoff double in the eighth inning (it was Collins, naturally), Buck Showalter called on Castro to get out of the jam. Since coming to the Orioles in early April, Castro has mostly been at extended spring training. He got called up after just one game in Bowie.
Castro throws strikes, or at least he did tonight. He retired all three batters he faced, stranding Collins at third.
After scoring in the fifth, the Orioles bats went quiet. Fulmer and the Tigers bullpen kept them off the board for the final four innings, leading to yet another one-run loss. There was some excitement in the ninth inning with two runners on, but they couldn’t stage another comeback. The game ended when first base umpire CB Bucknor called Machado out on a check swing appeal that Manny clearly held up on. Shame.
Tomorrow the Orioles and Tigers play the rubber match at 1 p.m. Dylan Bundy will be on the mound for the Orioles hoping to help his team take two of three in Detroit. Jordan Zimmermann will pitch for the Tigers.