Another day, another disastrous game for the Orioles. For the second straight game they gave up double digit runs to the Athletics, this time losing by a score of 10-3. Hey, none of us are surprised by these kinds of losses, or at least we shouldn’t be. But that doesn’t mean I like writing about another redheaded, bearded starting pitcher giving up multiple home runs in another loss by the Orioles.
I’m speaking, of course, of new Oriole Dan Straily, who labored through 3.1 innings to start tonight’s game. It was actually his second appearance since joning the team, the first a miserable 1.1 innings last Sunday. Tonight’s outing for him was....better, I guess? He gave up the same number of runs (five) but pitched two more innings.
The first inning for Straily was a harbinger of things to come. He didn’t allow any runs but he gave up two very hard hit balls to the outfield. Luckily for him a double play helped keep the inning in check. Things didn’t go so well in subsequent innings as he gave up runs in each of the second, third, and fourth innings before being pulled from the game. He gave up two home runs, the first of five for the A’s on the night.
Straily is the one who will take the loss on his record, but he was hardly the only problem. The first 12 batters of the game were retired by A’s starter Frankie Montas, who looked early on like he would cruise to a complete game shutout with under 100 pitches thrown (aka The Maddux). But the Orioles’ hottest hitter, Trey Mancini, dashed those hopes with a leadoff home run.
Two batters later Rio Ruiz hit his first home run as an Oriole, a two-run shot that came THIS close to landing on Eutaw Street. Hit that dinger again in July, Rio, and you’ll get a nice plaque out there.
Those three runs cut the A’s lead to four runs at 7-3. Not particularly close, but close enough that I started to imagine a world where the Orioles could come back. Enter Josh Rogers, who was just called up from triple-A Norfolk to replace the injured Alex Cobb.
Rogers had taken over Straily with one out in the fourth inning and got out of the inning, but gave up a two-run homer to Khris Davis before the Orioles staged their modest rally. It didn’t really matter since the Orioles never scored another run, but he couldn’t hold the four-run deficit.
In the seventh inning, Marcus Semien lashed a double to start the inning and then rode home on Matt Chapman’s fourth home run of the season. Before Rogers could even catch his breath, Davis launched his second home run of the game to make the score 10-3.
As for the Orioles’ offense, things didn’t go so well after that fifth inning. They tried to start something in the seventh when a Ruiz walk and a Joey Rickard double put runners on second and third with no outs, but neither Jesus Sucre nor Hanser Alberto were able to bring them home.
The best performance of the night came from an unexpected source: Mike Wright. Wright came out to start the eighth inning and struck out the first two batters he faced. He pitched the final two innings of the game and while he did allow one base runner in each, no one scored. Well done!
As a footnote to the game, struggling hitter Chris Davis didn’t start tonight for the second game in a row. When last we saw Davis, he was breaking the record for most at bats without a hit. Tonight, he tied another dubious record.
Between innings MASN showed video of Davis working with hitting coach Don Long before the game as Jim Hunter optimistically suggested that Davis could improve with this extra work.
Davis came up to bat as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning with the Orioles down by a score of 10-3. I’d say that’s about a low pressure as you can get. Davis worked the count to 2-2 before sending a fly ball to deep center field. Ramon Laureano caught it just in front of the warning track, and with that Davis tied Tony Bernazard for for most plate appearances without a hit at 57. I don’t know what Davis has been working on, but he is at least striking out less than before.
So, another tough but rather expected game for our rebuilding Orioles. Tomorrow at 12:35 these teams will meet again for the last of this four-game series. The Orioles will send Dylan Bundy to the mound looking for the series split.