Baltimore Orioles: Winning is tough when you leave a team on base

The Baltimore Orioles fell just short against Minnesota today in game one of a doubleheader. Dan Straily got the start, and did exactly what you want a starter to do: put the team in a position to win. Straily’s line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 4 K.

Rosario had a big day for Minnesota; astute readers won’t be surprised by that, as he had a few big games against the O’s during spring training as well. However he smacked a solo homer in the second, which was followed by a solo homer by Astudillo. Minnesota went back-to-back, and took a 2-0 lead.

However the Orioles battled back, which was good to see. They went back-to-back themselves in the third with Dwight Smith Jr, and Renato Nunez smacking homers. Smith’s was a two-run shot, and the O’s led 3-2. But Rosario struck again, smacking a solo homer in the fifth tying things back up at three.

Minnesota would put three more runs on the board in the sixth, on Buxton’s two-RBI double, and Cruz’s RBI-single. But even still, the Birds weren’t going to be held down. Pedro Severino‘s solo homer in the bottom of the inning brought the O’s back to within two at 6-4. Backing up for just a moment however, Rosario wasn’t kidding around in having a good game. Chris Davis flat out hit an apparent opposite-field home run to left to lead off the sixth – and Rosario brought it back, saving a run.

The O’s would put runners back on again in the eighth, and Trey Mancini‘s RBI-double got them to within 6-5. However they also stranded two runners in scoring position to end the inning. And that’s a microcosm of the entire game.

The O’s stranded left ten men on base over the course of the entire game. That has to improve if this team is going to win consistently. This was a one-run win for Minnesota; if even one of those ten men had been able to score, all things being the same (which is always a tough sell) it’s a totally different ballgame.

Obviously, the would-be homer that Chris Davis has robbed from him factors big also. However Rosario wasn’t letting anyone steal the limelight from him in this game. But the Orioles as a team need to work on their situational hitting, as every runner on base could in theory become a run. And when you lose a one-run game and realize you left ten men on base, it gives you a sickening feeling.

The series continues this evening at Camden Yards with game two of this traditional twin-bill. Alex Cobb gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s Martin Perez. Game time is set for 8 PM this evening, which is about 10 minutes from the time this is being written!

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