The Baltimore Orioles on Saturday ended up losing to the Kansas City Royals in a close contest, 4-3, at Camden Yards.
It was a hard fought game by the Birds; however, in the final third of the contest, the bullpen could not hold a 3-2 lead, mistakes, plus an inability to get runners on base and advance them in the final frame cost the Orioles a chance to win their 30th game of the season.
The Royals held with their own with the Orioles, and at the end of the day, Eric Hosmer – who has been struggling this year as a high-profile youngster – did his job. He drove in the final two runs of the game to send Kansas City to victory.
The Orioles had chances late to comeback, but they could not push any more runs through.
Wei-Yin Chen started for the Orioles on the mound. He lasted six innings, gave up two runs and earned a no-decision.
Pedro Strop took the loss in relief for the Orioles.
For the Royals, Greg Holland earned the win by pitching parts of the seventh and eight innings; meanwhile, Jonathan Broxton earned the save.
The Orioles got things rolling early with the bats.
Baltimore got on the scoreboard first as Chris Davis homered for the eighth time this year – a solo shot – to take a 1-0 lead; thereafter, they scored twice in the third inning off J.J. Hardy’s solo homer (his 10th on the year) and Matt Wieters plated in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Kansas City finally got to Chen in the fifth inning as Eric Hosmer plated in a run with a single. They added another run in the sixth off Billy Butler’s 10th homer of the year – a solo shot.
A crazy moment took place in the game during the seventh inning, as Eric Hosmer reached second with an infield double. His hit trickled down the line, and Wilson Betemit along with reliever Darren O’ Day watched the ball; meanwhile, Hosmer hustled to second.
That play along with Hosmer’s heads-up baserunning would be enormous in the frame.
Naturally, Hosmer would score and tie the game at three as Humberto Quintero plated him with a hard single down the left line; thereafter, O’Day would get himself in more trouble as Mitch Maier blooped a one-out single to short left field.
However, O’Day was clutch towards the end of the frame, striking out the final two batters with men and first and second.
The Orioles allowed the Royals to take a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning as an ineffective Pedro Strop – who took the loss on Saturday – loaded the bases and Hosmer struck again, this with an RBI-single to plate Mike Moustakas.
That frame would decide the game. The Orioles would get a runner at first base with each one of their outs available in the ninth inning; however, they could not get runners onto second base. Nick Markakis hit a hard groundout to Hosmer to end the game.
Adam Jones continued to build on his impressive run this season as he extended his hitting streak to seventeen games.
He showed some incredible hustle and grit in the third inning as he extended a ball that is normally a double into a triple by running full-tilt. He made an empathic Pete Rose type of dive into third – despite being safe by maybe 30 feet – and the crowd of 26,714 went wild afterwards.
Much like Jones, the Orioles are defying expectations and heading into the month of June, it will be fascinating to see what happens.
I’m sure a lot of people – including myself – are eating some crow after seeing what Baltimore has done over the first two months of the season.
I’m wondering what happens if the Orioles still contend in late July?
Do they trade some prospects to get a hired gun, or big bat into the lineup – or do they stand pat and not make a move and keep their youngsters down at the lower levels?
We shall see.