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Orioles pitch, don’t hit, in 3-0 loss to Braves

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Keegan Akin limited the Braves to three runs, but Baltimore managed only four hits against Atlanta starter Max Fried. The Orioles have now lost 16-straight games.

Atlanta Braves v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The martingale system is a betting strategy that involves doubling down after every loss. Logic states that the winning outcome will happen eventually, and anyone with infinite wealth can afford to wager until the desired result occurs. In a vacuum, it’s a guarantee.

If some poor sap decided to utilize the martingale strategy with the Orioles back on August 3, well, he better have one heck of a bank roll. The Orioles entered tonight’s game boasting the organization’s longest losing streak in many of our lifetimes. Baltimore’s latest strategy to snap the streak—sending out an 0-7 starter with an 8.04 ERA—did not inspire much confidence from Vegas.

Keegan Akin did not pick up his first win of the season tonight, but he did pitch well within the context of this season. Akin allowed three runs in five innings, but Baltimore’s bats never came to his aid. Atlanta held its early lead and clinched a 3-0 victory in the first of a three game series.

Akin delivered a scoreless first, but the Braves took him for a pair in the second inning. Dansby Swanson got things started with a leadoff single. Travis d’Arnaud stepped in next and launched a two-run shot to left field. The ball left the bat at 99.7 MPH and traveled a projected 401 feet. d’Arnaud signed a two-year, $16 million contract extension earlier this morning.

Akin struck out the next two batters he faced and used a groundout to end the inning, but Atlanta returned for another run in the third. Jorge Soler launched an absolute no-doubter to left field on a 2-2 changeup. Soler hit the ball hard multiple times, including a 111 MPH lineout against Dillon Tate, but the blast marked his only hit on the night.

Neither team scored after that. Atlanta starter Max Fried went the distance and allowed only four hits all game. He struck out four and did not walk a batter. Surprisingly, it was only Baltimore’s second scoreless effort during the 16-game losing streak.

Tate replaced Akin after two batters reached to start the sixth inning. Tate picked up three straight outs to keep the game within reach, and retired two batters in the seventh before Brandon Hyde came for the ball.

Paul Fry replaced Tate and allowed just one hit over 1.1 innings. The game provided a small confidence boost for Fry during a brutal month of August. Fellow lefty Tanner Scott worked the ninth inning and did not allow a run.

A losing streak of this magnitude consists of several different losses. Hit but don’t pitch, pitch but don’t hit, and bad all around. Unfortunately for Akin and the O’s, the bats never showed up this evening.

The broadcast featured a feel-good appearance by former AL MVP Boog Powell. MASN’s Roch Kubatko also stopped by the booth for an inning. Kubatko did his best to combat the negative publicity that came with Dan Connolly’s recent hit piece on the Orioles’ rebuild. I have nothing but the ultimate respect for Kubatko, but he is essentially a team employee. Roch pointed out Baltimore’s recent gains on the farm and in the international market.

Austin Hays impressed with a pair of diving catches in left field, and Jorge Mateo showed off his speed with an infield single. Trey Mancini picked up a pair of hits, and Ryan Mountcastle finished 1-4.

The low scoring affair made for a relatively quick contest. The game lasted just 2 hours and 29 minutes. Baltimore will attempt to end the skid tomorrow evening with Matt Harvey on the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.