Baltimore Orioles’ fans got their first dose of starting pitcher Dan Straily this evening. And I suspect that many of them came always wondering why the organization signed him. However keep in mind that he was thrust into this starting role this evening due to injuries, and only signed with the O’s last week. Straily’s line: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 0 K.
Straily pitched to contact – and it showed. Oakland hitters didn’t miss much. And much of what they didn’t miss ended up in the seats.
Ponder smacked a solo homer in the second inning, which was followed up by an RBI-double in the third by Chapman. Later in the inning Davis would single Chapman home, giving Oakland a 3-0 lead.
Those were the only two Oakland runs of the game which didn’t come off the long ball. Profar would smack a two-run home run in the fourth, and Chapman another two-run shot in the fifth. The runs seemed to come in two’s, in the form of two-run homers tonight for Oakland.
The Orioles did get a brief respite in a sense come the last of the fifth. The Birds’ first hit of the game came in the form of a Trey Mancini home run – of the solo variety. Later in the inning Rio Ruiz would hit a two-run homer of his own, cutting the Oakland lead to 7-2.
Chapman and Davis would however homer for the second time in the seventh inning. Chapman with a two-run shot, and Davis with a solo shot.
The Orioles cannot continue to give up the number of home runs they’re surrendering. People can talk all they want about how the Orioles aren’t “trying to win” this year and so forth. I don’t believe for one moment that the players and coaches are buying into that mentality. They’re trying to win every time they’re putting their uniforms on.
Which is why something has to be done about the homers. This Oriole offense can get guys on base and get them home. But if they’re already too far behind to have a few runs make a difference, there’s not much we can say or do. If you continually give up the long ball, especially with guys on base, that makes it all the more difficult to function as a team with the goal of winning games.
One bright spot for the Orioles was reliever Mike Wright, who pitched the eighth and ninth innings. He gave up one hit in that period, closing out the game for the O’s. Critics will point out that coming in with the team already trailing by seven certainly isn’t a high-yield situation. However the fact is that the guy looked good, and he probably saved the O’s from having to use an additional reliever in the ninth inning.
The series with Oakland (and the home stand) concludes tomorrow afternoon at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Aaron Brooks. Game time is set for just after 12:30 PM.