The Orioles lost...again. This time it was a 10-1 drubbing at the hands of the Twins to finalize a four-game sweep at Target Field over a long weekend. How is this season only slightly past the half-way mark?
It feels important to note that the Twins came into this series as losers of their last six games in a row and eight out of their last nine. They had been one of the worst teams in the league over the previous week or two. Lucky for them, the Orioles came into town and served up four wins.
Here was the main Orioles highlight from this game:
That’s it, folks. A pretty good semi-diving play from Manny Machado at shortstop was the best the boys from Baltimore could offer. Given the situation in the game, the web gem probably saved a run, maybe two, and kept the O’s in arm’s length of a win at the time.
In order to win baseball games, however, a team must score runs; usually more than one. The Orioles offense has found that to be extremely difficult all season. It was more of the same on Sunday.
Machado was also one of the O’s few positives with the bat as well. He was one of only two hitters with more than one hit as he singled in the first inning and legged out a hustle double in the sixth. Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo each added a hit while Jonathan Schoop had two singles. Schoop is now on a six-game hitting streak and playing like the All-Star he was in 2017, so that’s nice.
The run production, if you can believe it, came from none other than the master of clutch himself, Chris Davis. In the top of the ninth, with two outs and the Orioles already trailing 10-0, Davis smacked a line drive over the right field fence for the Birds lone run of the afternoon. Take that, historically bad offensive season!
It was the Twins that were doing the dong hitting for most of the day, starting with a two-run bomb from Mitch Garver in the bottom of the fifth. It was the catcher’s fourth homer of the season.
Prior to that point, Orioles starter Alex Cobb had pitched pretty well. Minnesota had mustered just three hits and struck out five times in the first four frames. Cobb even worked his way out of the fifth without giving up any further runs, but everything fell apart in the sixth.
The first three batters of the Twins half of the sixth inning went like this: double, home run, bunt single. At that point, Caleb Joseph asked for someone from the Orioles dugout to come look at Cobb. Manager Buck Showalter, pitching coach Roger McDowell and head trainer Brian Ebel all descended on the mound to check on their pitcher. It’s not clear what the apparent injury was, but Cobb walked off the field with Ebel and was replaced by Paul Fry.
Fry, who had been perfect in his limited MLB experience to this point, had a tough afternoon. The lefty faced six batters, three of them singled, one reached on a Manny Machado throwing error to home plate, one had an RBI ground out and the last one struck out. Not the best day of work, but perhaps a bit better than fellow Ryan Meisinger, who came in to finish the inning, but allowed a three-run homer to Brian Dozier before doing so.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the sixth inning trailing 2-0 and left it with an injured starting pitcher and 10-0 in the hole. That could have gone better.
Not much else happened of note in the remainder of the game. Davis hit his homer in the ninth. Showalter sent in the reserves (Chance Sisco for Joseph, Joey Rickard for Jones and Jace Peterson for Machado). Miguel Castro and Brad Brach each through a scoreless inning out of the ‘pen. Blah, blah, blah.
The misery continues on Monday as the O’s begin a four-game series against the AL East rival Yankees. Things kick-off with a double-header. The Birds have not announced a starter for game one yet, but New York will send CC Sabathia (6-3, 3.02 ERA) to the mound at 4:05 p.m. Game two will following immediately afterwards with Yefrey Ramirez (0-2, 2.51) pitching for the O’s and Luis Cessa (0-1, 5.00 ERA) on the bump for the Yanks.