At this point, there should not be anything surprising about a Baltimore loss. But every once in a while, the Orioles have a game that makes you wonder out loud “how are they actually this bad?”
The Orioles held Oakland off the board for eight of the nine innings Wednesday night. That’s usually be a recipe for success, but not when the opponent scores 10 runs in that inning. The Athletics used the double-digit inning to claim full control of the game, and they never came close to relinquishing it in a 10-0 victory.
Orioles starter Andrew Cashner allowed only an infield single in the first, and sat the A’s down in order in the second. He did not record another out after that.
Nick Martini got the party started with a single to left, and Jonathan Lucroy followed with a knock of his own. After Cashner walked the bases loaded, Matt Chapman blasted a two-run double off of the left-field wall. Jed Lowrie drove in another run with a single to right field, and Khris Davis notched an RBI-single that extended the lead to four.
Cashner failed to regain his composure, and things continued to spiral out of control. Matt Olson turned around a 91-MPH fastball and drove it 383 feet into the left field seats. The ball left Olson’s bat at a 37-degree angle, and traveled 102 MPH into the crowd. The Earl Weaver special provided Oakland a seven-run advantage, and all but stuck a fork in Cashner.
Cashner would allow one more single before finally being replaced by Cody Carroll. His final stat line read 2.0 innings, 8 hits, 8 runs, 1 walk and 1 strikeout. He through 52 pitches, only 33 for strokes, and his ERA ballooned to 5.29. The loss pushed him to 4-15 on the season.
Carroll struggled with control issues once he entered the game. A quick wild pitch allowed Stephen Piscotty to move up to second, and he walked the first batter that he faced. Martini laced another single to load the bases, and Lucroy plated a pair with a single up the middle.
Oakland scored nine runs before the Orioles could record an out. Chapman drove in the 10th run with a single to center, before Carroll mercifully recorded the final two outs of the inning.
The game was never in doubt after that. Sure, a 10-run lead is normally safe, but the Orioles offense didn’t even pretend to rally. Trey Mancini singled to left field in the bottom of the first, and that was it. Baltimore finished with only one hit. Jace Peterson worked a walk if you want to count that.
DJ Stewart finished 0-3 in his first Major League game. He started in left field, and moved over to right before the game ended. Cedric Mullins finished 0-4 from the lead off spot, but Chris Davis did hustle to reach on an error in the second inning.
Sean Gillmartin pitched three scoreless innings for Baltimore out of the bullpen. Although there’s a chance that the Oakland offense was just tired from running around the bases. GIllmartin struck out two and walked a batter in the three frames.
Ryan Meisinger added two shutout innings of his own, and Paul Fry did not allow a run in the ninth. Fry struck out two of the three batters that he faced.
After a strong June and July, Cashner went 1-4 with a 6.62 ERA in August. In two starts this September, his ERA is above 15. There’s really nothing left to say, other than hopefully these woes don’t carry over into 2019.
The Orioles offense didn’t bother to show up tonight, but they’ll have one more shot against the A’s Thursday night. With the league leader in home runs allowed taking the mound for Baltimore, they’ll need to get things going in a hurry.