Baltimore Orioles: You can’t give extra outs and expect to win

Baltimore Orioles’ starter Tommy Milone gave the Birds a good outing tonight against Tampa at Tropicana Field. The result indicates he didn’t pitch good enough to win. But he put the Birds in a position to do so. And that’s all you can ask of a starter. Milone’s line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R (2 earned), 1 BB, 6 K.

Renato Nunez have Milone and the O’s am early 1-0 lead with a first inning home run. However an inning later Tampa took the lead at 2-1 on Renfro’s two-run shot. But it’s important to note that the only reason there was a runner on base was due to a Pat Valaika throwing error at shortstop. For good measure, Margot would launch a solo homer immediately following Renfro’s shot, giving Tampa a 3-1 lead.

In the fourth Ryan Mountcastle recorded his first big league RBI, with a single that cut the Tampa lead to 3-2. However in the sixth Tampa would extend it’s lead to 4-2 on Choi’s sac fly-RBI. And that would be the final, as the O’s fell to Tampa in game one of the series.

However it’s important to note once again that the bases were loaded in the sixth due to another Valaika throwing error. Now this isn’t to call out Valaika, as Tropicana Field’s a tough infield with the field turf. However the two errors were responsible for two unearned runs. And that meant the game in this instance.

I wrote earlier today that Tampa finds wacky ways to beat you. It doesn’t help when you give them extra outs. They usually find a way to bring a run into score, compounding your problems. You can’t give extra outs to anyone at any level of baseball. But Tampa’s a team to whom you really can’t do that, as they always find a way to come through.

Before the game the O’s announced that they had ended the season of pitcher Wade LeBlanc. He was placed on the 60-day DL with a stress reaction in his elbow. As you’ll recall, that forced him from Sunday’s game against Boston in the first inning. To take his spot, the Birds recalled LHP Keegan Akin from their alternative site in Bowie.

The series continues tomorrow at Tropicana Field. Asher Wojciechowski gets the start for the O’s, and Tampa is yet to announce their starter. Game time is set for approximately 6:40 PM.

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