The good feelings from Friday night’s win sure didn’t last long. Andrew Cashner struggled early on and put the Orioles into a big hole from which they were never able to recover. The Tigers offense was relentless as the O’s lost 9-5 at a rainy Camden Yards on Saturday evening.
You remember how the Friday night win was pretty much a perfect performance all around from the Birds? The starting pitcher went deep into the game. The defense made all of the routine plays. And the offense made the most of their opportunities. Remember? Well, it was pretty much the opposite on Saturday, at least early on.
Cashner had a bad night on the mound, his worst as an Oriole. However, he wasn’t quite as awful as his final stat line would suggest. Over just four innings, the righty allowed seven runs (six earned) on seven hits, three walks and four strikeouts.
Detroit wasted no time in getting on the board. Four batters into the game, the Tigers went up 1-0 on a Nick Castellanos single to left field, scoring Jeimer Candelario, who had reached base on a fielder’s choice earlier in the first inning.
The second frame was where Cashner got into the most trouble. Jose Iglesias started things off with a single and then promptly stole second base. Dixon Machado followed with a walk and then a Leonys Martin base hit doubled the visitors’ lead. A couple batters later, Miguel Cabrera launched a 93 mph fastball onto the right-field flag court, scoring three more runs and making it a massive 5-0 advantage for Detroit.
After a clean third inning, the Tigers offense was back to wrecking havoc in the fourth, but this time they got a lot of help from the Orioles defense.
Detroit’s Machado led off with a ground ball to third base. That is where Danny Valencia currently plays. You can guess how well this went. Valencia bobbled the ball a bit but recovered in plenty of time to make a good throw to first base. Instead, he rushed it, didn’t set his feet and threw straight to the ground, skipping the ball right past Trey Mancini at first base, allowing Machado to advance to second base. Lovely. A walk to Candelario later on gave the Tigers runners on first and second with one out.
But that wasn’t all! Machado and Candelario would come around to score shortly thereafter on a Cabrera line drive to left field that Craig Gentry played into a double. Gentry came charging in on the hit and made an ill-advised dive, never touched the ball, and it bounced over him to the left field warning track. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2018 Baltimore Orioles.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Birds. They brought back one run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Anthony Santander tripled to lead off frame after Martin, the Tigers center fielder, took a horrific route to the line drive in the right-center gap. Santander scored when the next batter, Gentry, grounded out to second base.
Pedro Araujo was the first guy out of the bullpen, and he did a really nice job in relief of Cashner. Over 2.2 innings, he allowed one run on three hits and three strikeouts. The one run he allowed came as his evening neared its end in the seventh inning. A double by JaCoby Jones and an RBI single from James McCann provided the only blemish on Araujo’s outing, his longest of the season.
The Orioles offense showed signs of life in a big seventh inning. They loaded the bases and knocked out starter Francisco Liriano before going to work on the Tigers bullpen. A run scored on a Chance Sisco hit-by-pitch, and another came in on a Jace Peterson walk. Mancini nearly made things interesting with a line drive to third base, but it was plucked out of the air by Candelario. However, Manny Machado did draw the good guys closer with a single up the middle to score two more runs.
That put a wrap on the O’s offense. They threatened again in the ninth inning by getting runners on the corners with one out, but couldn’t add to their run total.
Miguel Castro was solid in his 1.1 inning of work out of the ‘pen. He struck out two, walked one and allowed one hit in a scoreless performance. Darren O’Day, on the other hand, struggled a bit. Victor Martinez hit a bomb to right field on O’Day’s first pitch. But the submariner settled down from there and finished the rest of the inning.
Also, Joey Rickard had a steady night in his return to the big leagues. He walked twice, scored a run and made an impressive catch to end the fourth inning, which left us with this amazing picture:
These two teams will go at it one more time on Sunday in the rubber match to decide who takes the series. Kevin Gausman (1-2, 4.66 ERA) heads to the mound for the Orioles, looking to build on an impressive eight-inning performance last time out. He will be opposed by Detroit lefty Daniel Norris (0-1, 4.85 ERA), who will be making just his second start of the season.