After two games where the bats came alive, the Baltimore Orioles went back to being shut down by solid pitching. This time it was Drew Smyly for seven innings, along with two shutdown innings by the Tampa Bay Rays bullpen.
The Orioles were only able to score a single run on the homer of Chris Davis, which was one of only two hits for the O’s in this game. It is never a good night when you have the same number of both hits and errors …. two.
Kevin Gausman was not sharp in this outing, going only four innings and giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits. The Rays broke out of the gate with two first-inning runs, with a third unearned run in the second inning resultant from a rare J.J. Hardy error.
So again, it is difficult to put much blame on the pitching staff, even with a below average start by Gausman. The staff only gave up two earned runs, and the bullpen shut out the Rays for five innings – three of them by T.J. McFarland who looked especially good.
But rather than jump on the Orioles hitters, it is better on this night to acknowledge that Smyly was simply that good as to shut down the Birds. He is on a hot streak of pitching excellence, and the win was his third of the season against the Orioles.
Apart from a late-game comeback of the Tigers who trail the Yankees 8-2 at the time of this writing, the Orioles are going to drop a game in the standings and fall back to a divisional lead of just six games.
We’ll have some more thoughts tomorrow morning in another piece, while also looking at the game four matchup with the Rays.
Tags: Baltimore Orioles