Baltimore Orioles: Six-run eighth sinks the Birds in Minneapolis

The Baltimore Orioles appeared poised to break a six-game losing streak last night in Minnesota following a 45 minute rain delay. John Means had started for the O’s, and was predictably effective. But as I said, they “appeared poised to break the losing streak.” Appearances can be deceiving. Means’ line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 5 K.

The Orioles took an early 1-0 lead in the first on Anthony Santander’s RBI-double. This is the third straight game in which the Birds have gotten at it right away and scored in the first inning. Unfortunately it’s almost been like the opponent has said we have them right where we want them. Even still, with Means on the mound and with Oriole bats coming in hot after the weekend in Washington, things were looking up.

Means would give up a solo homer to Larnach in the third to tie the game at one. He’s surrender a second solo homer to Garlick in the sixth, giving Minnesota the lead. But true to form, solo homers usually don’t beat you.

The skies opened up with DJ Stewart about to come to the plate with a runner on base in the eighth. The teams sat through a 45 minute rain delay before play was able to resume. And perhaps it was worth the wait, as Stewart smacked a two-run homer. That put the O’s in the lead at 3-2, and again they appeared poised to snap the losing streak.

Then the last of the eighth happened. Minnesota not only tied the game and took the lead, but they did it in grandiose fashion. They shut the door on the Orioles’ hopes of snapping the losing streak, which now sits at seven games. When the smoke cleared Minnesota had put six runs on the board in the eighth inning, and they cruised to an 9-4 victory.

After the game John Means tried to stay upbeat, saying that the O’s were still in a good spot:

Obviously, after a loss like that, it’s pretty quiet, but we approach every day with a lot of energy. We come to the field ready to win, ready to compete. I still think this team is in a good place and has energy coming to the field. It’s just can’t get that one win to get us going.

Quote courtesy of Rich Kubatko, MASNsports

As I said following the Washington series, the Oriole bullpen is really in a spot. They’ve been overused with starters not being able (or in some cases allowed) to go deep into games. And with no off day in sight for awhile. What was once supposed to be the strength of the team is now a major liability.

The series continues tonight at Target Field in Minneapolis. Dean Kremer gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s Jose Berrios. Game time is set for just after 7:30 PM.

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