Jun 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) reacts after striking out to end the game against the Tampa Bay Rays catcher Ryan Hanigan (not shown) in the sixth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Rays defeated the Orioles 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Orioles: Out-homered 3-2, Outscored 5-4

The Baltimore Orioles lead the major leagues in home runs in the month of June, but they were out-homered on Saturday by the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2. Wei-Yin Chen had the shortest start of his career, giving up all five runs on three round-trippers in 3.1 innings of work. The bullpen closed down the scoring for the rest of the game, but the Orioles were only able to get four runs back, dropping the contest 5-4.

Erik Bedard had one of his best starts in recent years, looking like the former Orioles star with huge, sweeping breaking balls and changes of speed. He went deep into the game after being given the 5-0 early lead.

Bedard surrendered a solo home run to Nick Markakis in the sixth inning; and then in the eighth frame J.J. Hardy opened with a double, followed quickly by a Manny Machado two-run homer off the foul pole to chase the Rays’ starter.

The Orioles would put together a string of hits after that to get one more run scored, but that would leave them still a run short in the end.

Delmon Young increased his pinch-hitting output to 7-for-13 on the season, which is simply extraordinary. There somehow needs to be a way to get him on the field more. Could this be it? …

The loss prevents the Orioles from gaining a game in the standing on both the Jays and Yankees, as each of them were beaten on Saturday as well.

Turning the calendar to Sunday … not the best day of the week historically for the O’s, who have had a very poor record all season on the first day of the week and in day games as well.

The Birds will be hoping that Miguel Gonzalez (5-4, 4.48) will be able to lead them back into the win column. However, he has not been sharp in his two most recent starts, only going five innings in each. One of those was against the Rays who touched him for four runs on eight hits and two walks, even though he was the winning pitcher in that game.

The Orioles will be facing Alex Cobb (2-6, 4.10) who gave up only one unearned run over seven innings against the Orioles on June 17th … in a 2-0 loss to Kevin Gausman. Cobb was roughed up by the Pirates in his one intervening start since then, yielding six runs in five innings.

Against Cobb, the Orioles don’t have many good numbers. J.J. Hardy is 4-for-13; but that is it for any sort of positives. Adam Jones is 3-for-16, Markakis is 2-for-10, Nelson Cruz is 1-for-9, Machado is 0-13, Chris Davis is 2-for-11 with a triple – apparently the only extra-base hit by any Orioles player.

All of this looks very bad for the Birds … except that it seems the Orioles lose the games they should win, and win many of the games that appear most difficult on paper. The weird year continues; maybe the second half of the season will look more normal.

Tags: Baltimore Orioles

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