The Orioles fall back to .500 after a 9-3 loss, and will be glad to see Omar Infante leave town, after he had quite a series at the plate and with the glove.
Game 24 – Kansas City Royals (12-12) 9 Baltimore Orioles (12-12) 3 F
W: James Shields (3-2, 2.03)
L: Miguel Gonzalez (1-2, 5.19)
MVP: Omar Infante: 2/3, 6 RBIs, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 2B, 1 SF and great defense, which he did all series long
The GOOD: The Orioles don’t have to face Omar Infante in the next game. Infante had quite a series both at the plate and also in the field. He picked up 6 RBIs in this game, hitting a double and a home run. As for the Orioles, Nelson Cruz continued his sizzling month of April with a two-run HR. Delmon Young pinch-hit and doubled, as he continues to hit well despite few opportunities. Also, Jemile Weeks continued to display a good eye, seeing more pitches than any other Oriole.
Miguel Gonzalez didn’t have an awful start. Sure he left up four runs, but only three were earned. He also was done in by some bad luck with balls bouncing off him. He went 6 innings, left up 6 hits and only walked one. Only Infante had an extra base hit off of him. But, with James Shields pitching, it just wasn’t enough.
David Lough had a highlight reel play in the latter innings. The game was already out of reach at 8-2, but Lough made a diving, leaping catch that belongs on any highlight reel.
The BAD: Well, when I have little good to say about the Orioles defense or pitching, there is a lot of bad. Let’s start with the defense. First play of the game, fly ball hit to Adam Jones. The play appeared to be routine, but the sun gave numerous people problems on Sunday. Jones had the ball bounce off of his glove, allowing Norichika Aoki to get to third base on the first play of the game. I wouldn’t say it was an easy play, but it was a play that Adam usually makes.
Nick Markakis also threw the ball away on a rundown, which wasn’t an error, but the runner did come around to score later.
The bullpen also was pretty bad in this game. Evan Meek went 2/3 of an inning and left up four runs, putting the game out of reach. Josh Stinson came in and got four outs, but also walked three people and looked pretty bad on the mound. Ryan Webb came in for the 9th, and he allowed a run as well. Certainly a Sunday to forget for the O’s.
Add to that that Chris Davis was officially placed on the 15-day Disabled List, and it was a sad Sunday for O’s fans. The bigger issue is the rumor is the injury is a tear and this may take a lot more than 15 days to get Davis healthy. That would be a major concern for the Orioles team, even with Manny Machado coming back soon.
What’s NEXT: The Orioles have Monday off, and then the rest of the week depends on the weather. It is supposed to be a wet week in the area, which could rain out the two games against Pittsburgh on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, Chris Tillman (3-1, 3.38) is scheduled to face Charlie Morton (0-3, 4.35). The Pirates are really struggling. They have several key players on the DL and have five of their 10 wins against the Cubs.
The Orioles have a great chance to get a little momentum in this short two-game series, if Mother Nature cooperates.