Monday, April 12, 2010

Another poor offensive performance, another loss

The Orioles (1-6) wasted another decent start by Jeremy Guthrie -- seven innings pitched, eight hits, three earned runs -- and dropped their fourth game in a row (all at home) after a 5-1 loss to the Rays. Matt Garza threw eight strong innings, giving up only one run, and earned his second victory over the Orioles in this young season.

Garza allowed just six hits, with the O's lone run coming on a leadoff home run by Felix Pie. The Orioles had a couple of chances to score -- in the second and seventh innings -- but again couldn't put together another hit or two to put more runs on the scoreboard.

With the O's ahead 1-0 in the second, Matt Wieters led off with an infield single, and Luke Scott followed with a single of his own to right field. Unfortunately, Garrett Atkins came up next and hit a ground ball right to the shortstop for a double play. And in a sentence that will probably be repeated numerous times this season, Julio Lugo then struck out to end the threat.

In the seventh (the Orioles are trailing 3-1 at this point), with one out and Scott on first after a walk, Atkins hit a shot into the left center field gap, but the ball was caught on an outstanding running play by Carl Crawford. So with two outs, Ty Wigginton, pinch-hitting for Lugo, hit a flare to short right field that fell in for a single. With runners on first and second with two outs, Nolan Reimold was sent to the plate to pinch-hit for Cesar Izturis -- makes sense, right? Reimold, though, never got a chance to swing the bat -- on a ball in the dirt that got away from the catcher for a moment, Wigginton took off for second. There was just one problem: Scott stayed put. Wigginton was easily caught in a rundown, ending yet another scoring opportunity. Who does Wigginton think he is? Melvin Mora?

Pie, as stated before, led the O's offense attack with his solo home run. He also singled and walked. Jones, Wieters, Scott, and Wigginton each had a hit, and Scott and Wieters both drew walks. Nick Markakis went 0-3 and is now hitting .143, but he did walk again. And Miguel Tejada went 0-4 and saw just nine pitches in those at bats -- not exactly the kind of performance the O's are looking for from their cleanup hitter.

The Orioles have now scored just 20 runs in seven games. Get well soon, Brian Roberts.

By the way, if the team's recent play isn't bad enough, the 9,129 fans in attendance at Camden Yards tonight broke the "record" for the smallest crowd in the stadium's 19 seasons. Awesome.

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