Baltimore Orioles: Four-run fifth sinks the O’s

Matt Harvey pitched a decent outing for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He probably didn’t go as deep into the game as manager Brandon Hyde would have liked, but in theory he put the team in a spot to win. Although a four-run fifth inning wiped that out. Harvey’s line: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

Oriole bats gave Harvey an early lead. Trey Mancini smacked a solo homer in the first inning. He hit to about the deepest part of the ballpark, giving the O’s a 1-0 lead. And Harvey held Toronto at bay for four innings.

But things changed in the fifth. I’m not sure if he tired quickly or what, but while he was previously recording outs, he seemed to just lose it all at once. Which again tells me he doesn’t have the stamina to go much further than about 70 pitches or so in a game.

Bichette’s RBI-single in that fifth inning got the Toronto rally started, tying the game at one. Hernandez added an RBI-double to give them a 2-1 lead. Grichuk and Biggio added RBI-singles before the O’s could record the third out.

But the damage was done. And on top of that, Toronto would add two runs in the eighth and take the game – following a solo homer by Pedro Severino in the last of the eighth, and a two-run shot by Trey Mancini. The O’s made a run at it, but couldn’t come all the way back. Toronto would add on an insurance run in the ninth to take the game, 7-4. And take the series.

As I said, the O’s made a valiant run at coming back. This game was never pretty from the get-go. They never gave up though, which for a rebuilding team is really all that counts. But obviously we’re also in the business of wins and losses. Every game counts.

I’ve said this before, but I do wonder if the Orioles are too predictable in terms of how they position their fielder’s. If I’m Brandon Hyde I think it’s at lease worth looking at. Because often the O’s are playing their outfield straight up, and guys are pulling the ball tightly down the line. Basically hitting ‘em where they ain’t.

One bright spot today was reliever Adam Plutko. He pitched 2.2 scoreless innings in the immediate relief of Matt Harvey. That may well have saved another bullpen reliever, and it stemmed the tide of Toronto momentum. Not that it mattered on the scoreboard, but that’s one of those things that happens in games which are intangible.

The Orioles will open up a three-game set with the Houston Astro’s tomorrow at Camden Yards. Keegan Akin gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Houston’s Jake Odorizzi. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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