Baltimore Orioles: Fifth inning costs Kevin Gausman, Birds

Conditions were about as poor as they could be for the Baltimore Orioles and Kevin Gausman last night as they opened a three-game series with Boston. However keep in mind that the conditions are the same for both teams in games like this. In the NFL they say that the weather is “the great equalizer.” Gausman’s line: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 2 K.

The teams ended up sitting through two short rain delays. They were both so short that both teams kept their starters in the game. But none the less the game featured two rain delays and was played under a perpetual threat of rain. At best it was a steady drizzle all night.

Boston took a 1-0 lead in the second on Moreland’s solo homer. However as we know, solo home runs aren’t going to beat you for the most part. And all things being the same, that homer wouldn’t have beaten the Orioles last night. What did beat them was the fifth inning, in which Gausman seemed to lose his command.

Gausman loaded the bases, and then promptly walked in a run by issuing a walk to Bradley. That was followed by an RBI-double by Benintendi, followed up by an infield RBI-single by Martinez. When the smoke cleared Gausman was out of the game and the Orioles trailed 5-0. Afterwards Gausman addressed his command in that fifth inning (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

Just kind of lost the feel for my split. That was the biggest thing, especially to all those lefties. That was the situation. I had so many opportunities to get a ground ball double play, walking three guys at the bottom of the lineup to get to the top. Obviously, not what I’m trying to do there.

Command, or feel for a pitch as Gausman put it, can be a fickle thing. Especially in conditions as such. One moment you have it, and the next moment it’s gone.

But as I said, solo homers aren’t going to beat you. Had the Orioles not given up those five runs in the fifth inning, they might have had a shot at winning. Jonathan Schoop smacked a two-run homer in the last of the eighth to cut the lead to 5-2. The Birds also put a run on the board in the ninth on an RBI-single by Caleb Joseph.

The series continues this evening at Camden Yards (weather permitting). Yefry Ramirez gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Drew Pomeranz. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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