Another day, another loss to the Rays. Make that four straight in this five-game series. Decent pitching wasn’t enough to overcome an truly inept offensive performance and the end result was a pretty boring game and a 3-1 loss.
Despite getting into jams nearly every inning, starter Jorge López put together a quality start. But a quality start wasn’t nearly good enough to overcome an offense that only scored one run. That run came in very first inning, an inning of wasted chances. With one out, the Orioles loaded the bases on a double from Jose Iglesias, a walk by DJ Stewart, and a single from Ryan Mountcastle. It looked like the offense was in business!
Pedro Severino wasn’t able to bring home any runs as he struck out for the second out. It was all up to Chance Sisco, who got hit by a pitch! It’s a painful but effective way to get an RBI, and it gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead. Hanser Alberto grounded out to end the inning. It really would have been nice to see a hit somewhere in the inning with the bases loaded.
The Sisco HBP was first of three Oriole HBPs in the game. The second came in the second inning and it was a bad one. With two outs, Rays starter Charlie Morton hit Iglesias flush on the left hand. Everyone knew it was bad as soon as it happened based on the reaction from Iglesias. He left the game, replaced by Pat Valaika. As I write this, there is no official word on what happened, but we may have seen the last of Iglesias this season.
Morton was far from perfect, but he got through five innings without any more runs crossing the plate. Austin Hays got to him for two hits, but was also thrown out trying to steal.
Morton’s relief was better than he was. Aarons Loup and Slegers combined for 3.1 innings, with just a Ryan Mountcastle single marring their joint line. Ryan Thompson pitched the final 2⁄3 of an inning of the game without incident.
As for López, he went six innings but was hurt by the long ball. After working around base runners in the first and second innings, he gave up home run to the first batter of the third inning. Yoshi Tsutsugo launched a ball onto the flag court to tie the score at 1-1. He then gave up a single, but faced just three more batters in the inning thanks to a double play ball.
It was more trouble for López in the fourth as Joey Wendle doubled to lead off, then made it to third when DJ Stewart bobbled the ball in right field. But Hanser Alberto kept a run off the board when he gunned down Wendle at the plate on a ground ball.
The go-ahead runs scored in the fifth inning when López gave up another home run. With two outs and Tsutsugo on base via walk, Randy Arozarena hit his fifth home run of the season. This one also went onto the flag court and put the Orioles into a 3-1 hole.
López finished six innings with the three runs allowed before turning the ball over to the bullpen, which did a fine job, scoreboard wise. Evan Phillips had a tumultuous but ultimately successful outing. He pitched a 1-2-3 seventh and then worked around a single, a throwing error that turned a stolen base into a runner on third, Hanser Alberto throwing out another guy at the plate, and DJ Stewart dropping a ball in foul territory. But no runs!
Travis Lakins pitched a scoreless ninth for the Orioles, not that it mattered. Their one run of the game just wasn’t going to cut it.
Tonight’s loss was the 31st of the year for the Orioles, and in a season with only 60 games that means they’ve clinched another losing season. They Orioles go into tomorrow’s game looking to avoid a mortifying five-game sweep at the hands of the Rays. It would be nice to win the last home game of the year.