For the second straight game, the Baltimore Orioles lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, this time by a score of 4-0.
Overall, the Orioles were held scoreless by Jays pitching, who only allowed six hits on the night. They didn’t have many opportunities to even do much on the scoreboard, and when they did – nothing much happened.
Joe Saunders was decent on the night on the mound for the Orioles, but obviously didn’t get the help he needed from the bats.
Aaron Laffey – who started the game for the Jays on the mound – stifled the Orioles offensively throughout his outing as he induced groundball after groundball, keeping the ball out of the air. Baltimore got a few solid hits off of him, but overall, they were no match for Laffey on the night.
After Laffey left the game in the sixth inning, the Toronto bullpen also kept Baltimore at bay.
Saunders tried to match Laffey on the mound, pitch for pitch, but a few mistakes did him in. He and the Orioles perhaps deserved a better fate on the night, considering they are trying to do their best to keep pace with the Yankees with the number of games dwindling along with maintaining their Wild Card standing.
Saunders lasted 6 1/3 innings on Wednesday, and gave up four runs – three earned.
The first third of the ball game was very well-played by Baltimore; however, the Toronto took a 1-0 lead off Yan Gomes’ RBI-single in the first inning and added another in the fourth with Adeiny Hechavarria’s single to left. They added two more in the seventh off runs driven by Colby Rasmus and Edwin Encarnacion.
The Orioles had chances in the first and seventh innings as they had two men on base and could have started a rally, but they could not capitalize.
J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters did have two hits for Baltimore.
If there was any good news on the night for the fans in attendance – 30,205 who stayed until the ninth inning – 19-year-old Oriole pitching phenom Dylan Bundy made his home debut. He had some mixed results in his outing – a walk, and a bloop single – but, he did get a double play to the end the frame and didn’t allow a Jay to cross home plate. Overall, Bundy acquiesced himself on the mound and his defense behind him did their job.
As of now, the Orioles are 88-67; however, with two losses in row, they are opening the door ever so slowly for other teams to get back into the Wild Card race and take their spot. They hold the first wild card over the Athletics by only 1/2 a game now, and the Angels trail by two; the Rays are three behind. The Orioles still trail the New York Yankees by 1 1/2 games, due to the New Yorkers losing to the Minnesota Twins last night.
Baltimore has played very well this season, but with a handful of games remaining, they can ill-afford to let teams like Toronto beat them day in and day out.
They have to win tonight. That’s a given. The Rays – who I think are the most dangerous team left in the wild care – might sneak back in, and Oakland along with the Los Angeles Angels won on Tuesday. The Wild Card race is tightening up, and if things shape up like they did last year in the final days, next week may be one to remember – or dread.
Hopefully the Orioles make it into October and don’t go the way of the San Diego Padres in 2010 in the final weekend.