Baltimore Orioles: Colby Rasmus homers in return but Birds fall

Before last night’s series finale in Washington the Baltimore Orioles activated Colby Rasmus from the 60-day DL. He of course was placed on it way back on April 6th with a hip flexor. Was the hip flexor all that ailed Rasmus, or were there other issues? Those were questions that the Birds hoped would be answered with him back in the lineup.

Kevin Gausman got the start for the O’s, and at times appeared poised to surrender several runs at a time. However the fact is that Gausman pitched out of almost every jam in which he found himself. And very quietly, he pitched himself to a quality start. Gausman’s line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 1 K.

The Birds got some answers on Rasmus almost immediately in the game. In his first at-bat, he sent a deep shot to center that just kept carrying. It eventually carried it’s way out of Nationals Park, and the Orioles led 1-0. To be clear, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be hot dogs and apple pie with Colby Rasmus the rest of the way. But needless to say, he looked a lot more spry than he did before going on the DL – when he was flailing at pitches all over the place.

Washington was able to put two runners in scoring position against Gausman in the last of the third, but as I said Gausman pitched out of it. Not before Harper’s sac fly-RBI however, tying the game at one. However Washington had runners at second and third with nobody out, and Gausman yielded only one run. It’s not only impressive, but it kept the Orioles in the game.

And by virtue of keeping the Birds in the game, it allowed them to take the lead in the fourth on Mark Trumbo‘s solo homer. It’s worth mentioning that Trumbo’s bat is starting to heat up. He’s hit four home runs in as many games, dating back to Sunday against Miami at home. Of those four games, three were obviously in D.C. So it seems he likes hitting at Nationals Park!

Even though three runs stood up for the O’s on Wednesday night, two were never going to get the job done against a team like Washington. Rendon’s homer in the sixth tied the game at two, which played an eventual role in chasing Gausman. They pinch hit for him in the last of the sixth to attempt to push across a go-ahead run, but to no avail. And as I’ve chronicled, when you let opportunities go by the wayside your opponents will usually take advantage. And they did, as Soto smacked a two-RBI double in the eighth to give Washington a 4-2 lead, which stood up as the final.

Colby Rasmus has a history against Washington’s Scherzer, as the two have faced one another numerous times over the course of their respective careers. They also know one another very well, and Rasmus indicated that he actually got a kick out of facing Scherzer last night, and that his experience against him worked in his favor (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

Man, it was fun. Like I said, we go way back. So I’ve faced him for a long time and it was fun. To face the best is always a good time.

The Orioles will remain in interleague play and in the National League East as they head to Atlanta for a three game series starting tonight. Alex Cobb gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Atlanta’s Sean Newcomb. Game time is set for just after 7:30 PM.


    1. He’s a great young talent that’s swinging a great bat right now. I think he has a great future in MLB. Now the downside is that at some point the league’s going to figure him out, kind of like they seem to have done with Chris Davis and Bryce Harper right now. So if Soto can avoid falling into a rut and not staying ahead of the curve, he’s going to be in great shape. He does need to work on his defense a bit. However he’s certainly done his part offensively and made it impossible for them to send him back down. Thanks for reading!


    1. Some of the routes he takes to balls are inefficient, which in many cases gives extra bases to runners. He also at times can play too deep, such as Wednesday when he trapped a liner that was straight to him. Valiant effort, but had he been playing a few steps closer in it would have been a routine play. And in fairness to him on that, he’s also playing for a rookie manager who might not be as experienced in placing his outfielders as others. Furthermore few managers put as much emphasis on defense as they do offense. Buck’s one of the few in that regard.


    1. Yes but keep in mind that at some point the league will figure him out. Guys come up all the time who look like they’re going to be the next Ted Williams, and then indubitably at some point they hit a skid. Baseball will do that to you. As I said, look at Bryce Harper now. And Chris Davis was a 50 plus HR hitter a few years ago. So if he’s going to be a successful player, he needs to keep his approach fresh. And that’s more about brains than ability.


  1. i see you are a redskin season ticket holder how do you think alex smith is gonna do? what kinda record you see for us this year?


    1. Oh well first off keep in mind that this is a baseball and an Orioles site. But that aside if you’ve read this column you’ll know that I like older veteran players who’ve been around the block. Smith’s a guy who’s been in the post season and knows how to get there. But the key to their season is the running game, as has been the case with the Washington Redskins forever.


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