The Cubs were back in Baltimore on Saturday night for the second game of this weekend’s three-game set. Below, the details of another Orioles loss, the team’s second since the All-Star break and ninth in their last 12.
The Orioles started the night with several good at-bats and actually forced old friend Jake Arrieta to toss 27 pitches in the first inning to begin the game’s action. However, an early base-running blunder caused a once promising frame to ultimately yield nothing in the runs column.
With runners on first and second and one out with Chris Davis up, Manny Machado attempted to steal third and was out by a mile. It’s unclear if he had the sign to go, but it was a clear poor decision nonetheless. Mark Trumbo struck out looking following a Davis walk, ending what could’ve been a key early inning for the O’s.
Wade Miley rolled through the first two innings with impressive command, but Chicago nine-hole hitter Albert Almora Jr. led off the third inning with a home run, putting an end the shutout chances. Almora Jr. drove a first-pitch fastball that was up in the zone and caught every bit of the plate. It sailed over the head of Adam Jones, a no-doubter that gave the Cubs the first lead of the game, 1-0.
Arrieta continued to roll through the third inning and it appeared Miley would escape the fourth with no damage. But true to the Orioles’ recent struggles, Addison Russell did exactly what Almora Jr. was able to do an inning earlier. His solo home run was another no-doubter, this one a blast that went quite a few rows deep in left field.
After a a relatively smooth start to the game, Miley hit somewhat of a road block in that fourth inning. He walked a pair of batters following the Russell homer, setting the defending World Champions up to plate another. An Almora Jr. single gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead, and while that would be all the Cubs would get in the inning, the lineup forced Miley’s pitch count to jump to 71.
Not exactly the night it looked like it might be. And the worse news? The next inning was quite a bit worse.
From Kris Bryant’s leadoff single to a walk to Ian Happ to Jason Heyward’s bases-clearing triple, the top of the fifth inning was, unfortunately, a disastrous inning for Miley. The Heyward at-bat ended the his night, but the line couldn’t be closed until after Miguel Castro allowed the Cubs’ seventh run of the game.
Miley’s final line wasn’t a pretty one — 4.2 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 4 K. After his hot start, Miley now has a 5.40 ERA.
Caleb Joseph got the Orioles on the board with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth, his fourth round-tripper of the season. It was a great at-bat for Caleb, but MASN’s Roch Kubatko summed up the hit’s meaning in the grand scheme of the game rather fittingly:
Unfortunately for the great Saturday night crowd that made it out to the park, the late innings went down in a rather uneventful fashion. The bottom of the O’s lineup was able to cash in for a run in the bottom of the seventh inning, but it was still Jake Arrieta’s night to shine in his former home park. He left after 6.2 innings to a standing ovation (well deserved, to be sure).
Castro ended up pitching 3.1 innings on the night, surrendering a pair of runs that included an Anthony Rizzo solo shot in the eighth inning. It wasn’t his cleanest outing, but if nothing else, he managed a good chunk of the game and continued to showcase that he’s a potentially long-term option for the team out of the bullpen.
In terms of offense, the 10-3 final score says it all. The Birds scattered seven hits on the night including a “garbage time” RBI single from Joseph in the ninth, but the game was significantly out of reach for any ninth inning mini-rally to matter.
Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo and Trey Mancini combined to go 1-11, and the only extra-base hit of the game was Joseph’s home run. Not exactly a recipe for success.
Tomorrow, the Orioles will send Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound to attempt to capture a win in this weekend series. For the Cubs, it’ll be recently-acquired Jose Quintana taking the hill for the first time following his trade from the White Sox. The first pitch for the Sunday game at Camden Yards will be the standard 1:35.