Baltimore Orioles can’t recover after tough first inning in Tampa finale

The tale of this afternoon’s Baltimore Orioles series finale in Tampa was the first inning. Starter Josh Rogers gave up five runs in the inning, and six total. And that was the game. Rogers line: 1.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 0 K.

Cron got the scoring started with an RBI-double in that first inning. He would later score on an RBI-single by Adames, who would ultimately score on Lowe’s three-run home run. One inning later Smith stole home plate in a double-steal, and Tampa took a 6-0 lead. A run that was charged to Rogers.

Following Rogers’ departure things stablized just a bit for a few innings. Gomez would smack a solo homer in the sixth inning to run things to 7-0, before the O’s put a few on the board as well. Jace Peterson‘s two-RBI triple cut the lead to 7-2, and the O’s would garner a third run on Caleb Joseph‘s sac fly-RBI. Pham would double home one additional run in the eighth, and the Orioles were swept out of Tampa with an 8-2 loss.

After the game Buck Showalter announced that Josh Rogers would be shut down for the remainder of the season. Rogers on his season being done (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

Yeah, it’s pretty unfortunate because I’ve had too pretty OK outings starting my career off and trying to build off those. This will sink in and it’ll be a long offseason thinking about this one, but just taking away the positives of the experience of being here so far. It’s a learning experience and it’s a great opportunity here and I’m excited about it.

I was supposed to be in Trenton in Double-A. I was going to be the fifth starter in Trenton and I just kind of got lucky. It kind of worked out. I was going to be in the bullpen in Triple-A and we had a guy go up and I made a start and did well and just kind of ran with it.

I pitched well and I’ve always been a starter and always wanted to be a starter. I was fortunate enough to get that opportunity with the Yankees and to have a couple months with them and then have the opportunities here it was really exciting. If this was my last one, I’ll work hard this offseason and I’ll come into spring ready to go.

Withstanding this, his final appearance of the season, Rogers is someone that the Orioles definitely want to continue looking at into next year. I would expect him to get a good look in spring training. Rogers obviously wants to start, however I would remind him to keep in mind once spring games start that when you pitch is irrelevant. The idea is to get your work in. And he will.

The Orioles looked every bit of a team that was playing out a string on the season this weekend. While Tampa’s still mathematically alive for the post season, the odds aren’t in their favor. But they played like there was no tomorrow. They refused to relent on pressure in games, whether it was double-steals, or their manager challenging calls to net them a run when they’re up ten.

You can talk about how that doesn’t bode well for the Orioles if you would like. But keep in mind that the team that’s on the field now probably isn’t going to be the team on the field on Opening Day next year. Many of these guys still have the deer in the headlights look going. Give them a chance.

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