Baltimore Orioles: You have to take opportunities as presented

Jorge Lopez got the start for the Baltimore Orioles last night in the first of three with Oakland. As has been the case with numerous starters this year (including Lopez), he provided mixed results. He pitched well enough to put the team in a position to win, but he exited early and surrendered the winning runs. Lopez’s line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 1 K.

Oakland took a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI-groundout by Brown. Piscotty’s RBI-single later in the inning ran the score to 2-0. Lopez also loaded the bases in that inning, but pitched out of it abs limited the damage. So that’s a good thing.

Laureano’s solo homer in the fifth would chase Lopez and give Oakland a 3-0 lead. The O’s however did have a legit shot at winning the game. They loaded the bases with nobody out in the last of the sixth, but only mustered an RBI-single by Pedro Severino. That was the lone Oriole run of the game, and they fell 3-1.

Manager Brandon Hyde semi-addressed this sequence after the game (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

“Just didn’t get the big hit. We’ve got to move the ball with runners in scoring position. We’re punching out too often. … We’re swinging at pitchers’ pitches a little bit too often in big spots and we’ve got to make better decisions at the plate.

Netting only one run with the bases loaded and nobody out looks fairly incriminating. In any sport, you can’t expect to win games when you don’t take advantage of opportunities like that. That’s a golden chance to do some serious damage in an inning. In this specific case, the O’s could have taken the lead. Instead they settled for the one run, and an opportunity as such never presented itself again in the game.

You have to take advantage of opportunities your opponent gives you. Oakland did, early in the game. The Orioles let Oakland off the hook, and it cost them. Now granted they’re a young team – that sort of thing is going to happen. But they need to move forward and fix the issues. Teams that leave runs on the table lose a lot of games.

The series continues this evening at Camden Yards. The Orioles have yet to name a starter, and they might have to dip into the alternative site to get one. Whomever the starter is, he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Chris Bassitt. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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