Baltimore Orioles running into a buzz saw

Spencer Watkins pitched better than the numbers indicate for the Baltimore Orioles against Tampa last night. Keep in mind that he’s a rookie, and was pitching against a buzz saw of a team in Tampa. A team that pulls out any stop necessary to win. Watkins’ line: 6.0 IP, 8 H 5 R (4 earned), 0 BB, 4 K.

Tampa got a solo homer from Diaz and an RBI-groundout from Kiermaier in the second to take a 2-0 lead. The good thing for Watkins in that sequence is that he had loaded the bases at the end. But the RBI-groundout to Kiermaier was the only run he surrendered (with the bases loaded, that is). He limited the damage.

New Oriole Jorge Mateo have the crowd a thrill in the third, however. He comes across as one of the fastest humans alive as it is. And speed’s a huge positive in games. Mateo stole third base, and in the process the throw went into left field, allowing Mateo to score and cutting the Tampa lead to 2-1.

Later in the inning Cedric Mullins smacked a two1run homer, giving the Orioles a 3-2 lead. But that was where the highlights ended for the O’s in the game. Cruz’s two-run homer in the fifth gave Tampa the lead back at 4-3.

Tampa would tack on an additional run in the sixth, and Lowe’s grand slam in the eighth would break the game wide open. The thing with Tampa is they continue taking what you give them, regardless of the situation. They would also score late runs on a walk and on a wild pitch. If you give it to them, they’ll take it. When the smoke cleared the Orioles had fallen 12-3.

Again, they take what you give them. Spencer Watkins addressed Tampa after the game:

They’re pesky, they’re phenomenal hitters up and down the lineup. There’s really not a spot that you can pick out and say, ‘OK, I can take a little bit of a breath here.’ It’s full-go, as any lineup is, but even more so with this lineup how talented they are one through nine.

Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

The series concludes today at Camden Yards. Jorge Lopez gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Michael Wacha. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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