Baltimore Orioles swept away in prime time

Jeremy Hellickson turned in a quality start last night for the Baltimore Orioles. Hellickson’s line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Hellickson pitched to contact for most of the night, as evidenced by the zero walks. Needless to say, he put the Orioles in a position to win the game.

But once again Oriole bats couldn’t muster much in the way of offense in Cleveland. The good news in this game was that the O’s actually held Cleveland at bay for most of the game as well. The difference of course was that Cleveland was able to net just a little more than the Orioles. And that’s been the story of the Orioles’ season to this point – it seems that no matter what they do, someone else is doing just a little bit more.

Cleveland took a 1-0 lead on an RBI-ground out by Ramirez in the second inning. And after that it seemed that both teams settled in for a pitcher’s duel on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. However again, Cleveland already had the lead. That meant that the O’s would have to score at least two to bea them.

And two runs the Orioles would get. The issue was that Cleveland put three on the board. As I said, someone else always seems to do just a bit more. The O’s did however tie the game in the sixth. Schoop’s RBI-single plated Machado, and the Orioles had a fighting chance. But back-to-back homers in the bottom of that inning from Perez and Lindor gave Cleveland a 3-1 lead. The O’s would get a solo home run of their own from Davis in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough.

Of course this was Cleveland’s 18th win in a row, which is fairly impressive. In that sense the Orioles shouldn’t worry too much about being swept over the weekend, as they’ve swept several teams during this run. But as I’ve said before, the Birds have a knack for catching teams while they’re hot. And the fact that it comes in the middle of a playoff chase doesn’t help matters. Hellickson spoke to both of these points after the game (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

We’re still not out of it, but it’s not a good time to come in here and play these guys, that’s for sure. We’re probably going to have to run off a few in a row and get back in it.

The O’s now head to Toronto for the opener of a three-game series. Ubaldo Jimenez gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Marco Estrada. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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