The Orioles entered Wednesday night’s game against Tampa Bay having gone through their most impressive stretch of starting pitching all season. Despite dropping the last two games following a five game winning streak, Orioles starters had a stretch of seven consecutive quality starts. Yeah, about that…
Miguel Gonzalez (L, 2-2) knew his margin for error would be slim. He was going up against Rays ace David Price, who, at 13-4, hadn’t lost since June 13th. Gonzalez gave the Rays all they’d need before he recorded three outs.
Desmond Jennings led off with his seventh home run of the year on the game’s first pitch. B.J. Upton followed with a single, and moved to second on a wild pitch. Two outs later, Gonzalez walked Jeff Keppinger, and Carlos Pena plated Upton with a hit, making it 2-0. The Rays weren’t done in the first. Not even close.
Gonzalez hit Ryan Roberts with a pitch, loading the bases. He followed that by nailing Jose Lobaton with a pitch, forcing in the Rays’ third run. Elliot Johnson then delivered a two-run single to left, giving the Rays a 5-0 lead before their ace had even touched the baseball. Johnson was thrown out after taking a big turn at first on the play, otherwise the inning may still actually be going on.
Down 5-0, the Orioles got to work immediately against Price (W, 14-4). Nick Markakis singled to start the game, and moved to second on a wild pitch. A nice piece of hitting by JJ Hardy brought Markakis home, as Hardy took a 96 MPH fastball away and drilled it down the right field line. The Orioles scored a run before their first out. They would score zero more between outs 1 and 27.
Gonzalez would not survive the Rays’ third, giving up a leadoff hit to Matt Joyce, then a two-out, two run homer to Roberts. Lobaton singled, Johnson walked, and Jennings was hit by a pitch before Buck Showalter made the move to Matt Lindstrom out of the bullpen.
Lindstrom would give up three in the fifth, walking Pena and Roberts before surrendering Lobaton’s first career home run. The three run shot made it 10-1 Rays, and that’s where things finished.
The Orioles will look to salvage one of the three games against Tampa Bay before the red hot Oaklnad A’s come to town this weekend. Chris Tillman (2-1, 1.15) goes for the birds against James Shields (8-6, 4.39) for Tampa Bay. Game time is set for 12:35.
- Two hits each from Hardy and Omar Quintanilla.
- Chris Davis snapped his streak of striking out in seven consecutive at bats. He grounded to second in his lone at bat.
- The bullpen, aside from Lindstrom, worked four shutout innings. Kevin Gregg, Luis Ayala, Troy Patton and Pedro Strop shut down the Rays on 3 hits and 1 walk.
- Gonzalez’s final line: 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 3 HBP, 2 HR. His ERA jumped from 2.61 to 4.28.
- Another very bad offensive day for most of the team, but especially Matt Wieters: 4 AB, 0H, 3K, 2LOB.
- The Orioles struck out 13 times. They did not draw a single walk.