For the Baltimore Orioles, they are really struggling to put together complete games. The pitching was pretty good on Thursday, but the hitting was silent.
Game 52 – Baltimore Orioles (26-26) 1 Houston Astros (23–32) 3 F
W: Josh Fields (1-3, 7.20)
L: Preston Guilmet (0-1, 2.57)
S: Chad Qualls (4, 2.76)
MVP: George Springer 1-4, 2 RBIs, 1 HR, 1 R, Springer’s 10th home run of the month, as the rookie continues to tear the cover off the ball.
The GOOD: Nelson Cruz continues to rake at the plate. Cruz had a single and an RBI in the 4th, and also another base hit. Where would the Orioles be without Nelson’s bat in the lineup so far this year?
Steve Pearce had a double for the Orioles, as the reserve continues to take advantage of all the playing time he can get.
Ubaldo Jimenez pitched better than he has in several starts, holding the Astros to one run in 6 innings of work. Jimenez struck out 8 Astros and only allowed 3 hits, but also walked three batters.
The BAD: The Orioles continue to not be able to put things together. For several games, the O’s were able to score runs, but the pitching was leaving up too many runs. On this day, the Baltimore Orioles pitching competed. But it wasn’t enough because the offense was silenced by a team that should not be able to hold the O’s to one run.
The Orioles still cannot get their pitching to go deep into games, and that leaves the bullpen susceptible to being overworked. Preston Guilmet, who has been spectacular, left up his first runs of the year when the scorching hot George Springer hit a two-run homer off Guilmet in the 7th to break the 1-1 tie.
Manny Machado had another error Thursday. His defense certainly has not been as stellar this year. He still makes a lot of great plays, but he isn’t as consistent coming back from his injury.
What’s NEXT: The Orioles are back at .500 for the first time since April 27. You have to go back to May 10-12, when the Orioles last played the Astros, for the Orioles’ last winning series. The Orioles will send Miguel Gonzalez, (3-3, 4.35) their most consistent starter, to the mound on Friday night to face the Astros. Houston will counter with the struggling Brett Oberholtzer (1-6, 5.32). Another game the Orioles should win on paper, but lately that has not meant much.