After playing 13 innings last night the Orioles came into tonight’s game looking for their second straight win, but what they got instead was their second straight night of failing on offense. The final score was 7-2 with both Orioles’ runs being scratched out after the outcome was pretty much determined.
Wade Miley started and allowed two runs in six innings, which is very respectable, but he got the loss anyway. The game was scoreless until the fifth inning when Kevin Pillar hit a solo home run. Miley had been on quite a run until that point, retiring 10 in a row before the dinger. It felt like that run would be enough for the Blue Jays to win, because the O’s offense completely went quiet.
Miley got himself in trouble in the sixth inning but worked out of the jam, only allowing one more run. A walk and two singles loaded the bases with no outs, but Miley didn’t allow another hit. The Blue Jays’ second run of the game scored on a sacrifice fly. It was actually kind of impressive.
A very nice outing by Miley, indeed, but it didn’t matter in the end because the Orioles could not put together an offensive outburst despite the fact that Marcus Stroman had to leave the game early.
Stroman was hit by a line drive from Mark Trumbo in the second inning. It did not look good. It hit off of his arm/elbow area and Stroman dropped to the ground in pain. You hate to see that, and I really hope that Stroman’s injury (described as a contusion) isn’t too serious.
That being said, it seemed like an opportunity for the Orioles. Stroman is a very good pitcher and suddenly it was up to the Blue Jays bullpen instead. And well, they prevailed.
The O’s batters flailed away for the rest of the night, failing to ever put together a rally. By the time they got on the board, the Orioles’ bullpen had already thrown away the game (more on that in a second). Down 7-0, Seth Smith hit an FUHR in the eighth inning. A walk by Manny Machado and single from Jonathan Schoop with one out gave some hope, but it was quickly extinguished by a double play from Adam Jones.
The Orioles tacked on another meaningless run in the ninth inning before finally bringing the game to an end.
Now, about that bullpen. One of the things about not scoring any runs until the 13th inning yesterday is that all of the good Orioles relievers were used. And so today, down 2-0 after six, the Orioles turned to Richard Rodriguez. Rodriguez was making his major league debut and it did not go well.
The very first pitch that Rodriguez threw in the majors was lined down the left field line for a double by Darwin Barney. Welcome to the big leagues, guy. He also hit a batter with a pitch but managed to get two outs without a run scoring and just had to get out Josh Donaldson to salvage his debut. That didn’t happen. Welington Castillo set up low and away on a 2-2 count and Rodriguez missed his spot badly. Donaldson smoked the ball to left field for a three-run homer.
Alec Asher replaced Rodriguez in the eighth inning after Rodriguez gave up a single to Jose Bautista. Asher retired the first two but then gave up a home run of his own, this one to Barney. What a mess. Asher finished the game with no further damage.
Richard Rodriguez wasn’t the only Oriole to make his major league debut in this game. Down by six runs in the ninth inning, Buck Showalter made some defensive substitutions. One of those was to bring in top prospect Chance Sisco. How exciting!
Sisco had an uneventful inning behind the plate. One ball did get away from him but it was scored a wild pitch. He did not get a plate appearance.
The Orioles and Blue Jays finish the series tomorrow afternoon with Chris Tillman on the mound, which feels like a guaranteed loss. But maybe they’ll surprise us! They need to win to split the series, not to mention to keep pace in the wild card race.