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Lack of offense dooms Orioles in 3-1 loss to White Sox, losing streak climbs to 13

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Keegan Akin put together a nice outing, but the Orioles couldn’t muster much on offense.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Chicago White Sox Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles’ losing streak climbed to 13 on Sunday afternoon as they dropped their fourth in a row against the White Sox on Chicago’s south side. The story in the 3-1 defeat was a pitching staff that kept things close but an offense that failed to cash in on the few opportunities they managed to create.

Baltimore’s bats registered just three hits in what was a predictably difficult day against Chicago righty Lucas Giolito. Their lone run was the result of a DJ Stewart home run in the third inning, which briefly gave them a 1-0 advantage.

The White Sox bounced back in their half of the third inning to knot the score at a run apiece on a home run from Billy Hamilton, his second in as many days. Hamilton had just 22 home runs in around 860 career games prior to Saturday, and only one home run since 2018. So of course he went deep twice over the weekend.

Other than that, Keegan Akin was quite effective on the mound in his first major league start of the season. The 26-year-old worked out of minor jams in the second and third innings before being lifted in favor of Adam Plutko with two outs and two runners on in the fifth inning. Thankfully, Plutko was able to close out that inning (with a huge defensive assist from Freddy Galvis) to give Akin a favorable line of 4.2 innings, one run, five hits, two walks, and four strikeouts.

The O’s had a golden opportunity to re-take the lead in the top of the sixth inning. Cedric Mullins singled with one out on a beautiful bunt base hit down third base line. Back-to-back walks to Freddy Galvis and Trey Mancini loaded the bases for Anthony Santander. But the right fielder could not come through, striking out as part of a performance that saw him go 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and kiss his 10-game hitting streak goodbye. Maikel Franco then popped out to the catcher to end the inning.

That would prove to be the last bit of fight put up by Baltimore. After escaping the seventh, Giolito threw one more shutout inning to finish his day. Garrett Crochet and Liam Hendricks would follow with a clean inning apiece.

Meanwhile, it took just one bad inning from Dillon Tate to sink the Orioles. The righty entered to start the seventh inning and appeared to be throwing batting practice. Tim Anderson led off with a single and then stole second base on an odd sequence that saw Pedro Severino drop a pitch that appeared to be fouled off but on replay never touched Nick Madrigal’s bat.

A wayward pick-off attempt from Tate moved Anderson to third, and he then scored on a Madrigal triple. A laser up-the-middle off the bat of Yoan Moncada brought in Madrigal to give us the 3-1 scoreline that finished the game. Tate would settle down to retire the final three hitters, but the damage had been done.

It was another rough day at the office for the Orioles. Their hitters struck out 12 times. Stewart (home run, walk) and Mullins (triple, single) were the only guys to reach base more than once. As a team they went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left five runners on base.

If you are looking for positives, though, all of the pitchers except Tate had nice days. Akin earned himself another start. Plutko did well to escape the fifth-inning jam. Cole Sulser struck out two. And Paul Fry looked nasty in his inning of work.

It’s back to Camden Yards for the O’s as the wrap up a nightmarish May with a Memorial Day match-up against another AL Central club, the Minnesota Twins, who just swept the Orioles a few days ago in Minneapolis. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. as José Berríos and Jorge López face off on the mound.