Tonight’s loss by the Baltimore Orioles showed off perfectly why they started this day 15.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox got good pitching and good hitting, the Orioles got bad hitting and bad pitching. That’s really all there is to it. It’s not a good combination if you happen to be a person playing or rooting for the Orioles. The end result was a 6-2 loss in a game that never felt close.
Really, it was a tale of two pitchers. One pitcher threw way too many pitches and couldn’t put batters away. He gave up two home runs and was run out of the game after just 4.2 innings. The other worked efficiently (with a little bit of help from the batters he was facing) and only a 9th inning FUHR by Manny Machado kept him from pitching a Maddux.
Tale #1: Gausman’s rough night
Kevin Gausman came into this game having lowered his ERA in every single start since his first, but that changed tonight. After getting it down to a season-low 3.18 after his last game, left today with not even five innings pitched and an ERA of 3.88. Six runs will do that.
It was bad from the start as the Red Sox jumped on Gausman immediately. Mookie Betts singled to start the bottom of the first and then stole the first of five bases off of Gausman on the evening. He didn’t really need to steal, though, as two batters later J.D. Martinez hit his 13th home run of the year.
After a shaky second inning, it looked like Gausman might settle down and give the Orioles five innings. With over 30 pitches in the first inning alone it was hard to imagine more. The had a quick third and fourth inning, but then it all went to hell in the fifth.
The first thing Gausman did in the inning was walk Jackie Bradley, who is the ninth batter and who is having a terrible year at the plate. Don’t do that, Kevin! Bradley stole second, moved to third on a single by Mookie Betts, and came in to score on a sac fly.
The running bonanza continued as Metts also stole second, then after a infield single by Hanley Ramirez, both runners stole again. Gah, what is going on! Before this game no stolen bases had even been attempted with Gausman on the mound.
As in the first inning, those last two stolen bases didn’t really matter as the last batter Gausman faced was Xander Bogaerts hit a towering home run to left field to give the Red Sox a 6-0 lead. Buck Showalter was out on the field before Bogaerts reach second base in his home run trot.
Once Gausman came out of the game, the relief pitchers did their job. Donnie Hart, Miguel Castro, and Pedro Araujo combined to pitch 3.1 scoreless innings.
Tale #2: Price’s gem
The one good thing I can say about the Orioles in this game is that Danny Valencia singled as the first batter in the third inning, so we didn’t have to wonder until late in the game if were were going to see a no hitter. If that sounds like a pretty pathetic thing to call good, well, you got me.
The Orioles managed just five hits in the game. Jonathan Schoop singled in the fourth, and Valencia got another hit in the fifth. He forgot where he was playing, though, and tried to stretch a Green Monster single into a double. He was thrown out by a mile.
That hit marked the last baserunner of the game until new catcher Andrew Susac doubled to lead off the ninth. Any hope of a big rally was quickly squashed, though, as Trey Mancini and Adam Jones quickly popped out in the infield. That left the Machado as the only thing standing between Price and a complete game shutout. And to the shutout, at least, Manny said, “Not today.” He launched a ball to left field that would have left the park completely if not for the sign it hit.
It wasn’t enough, of course. And just seconds after Machado crossed the plate and returned to the dugout, Schoop flew out to left field to end the game.
The Orioles and Red Sox will be back at it tomorrow and the Orioles continue their quest to win a game on the road anywhere else other than Yankee Stadium. Alex Cobb will try to rebound from a tough start last weekend and Drew Pomeranz will take the mound for the Red Sox.