Baltimore Orioles fall in first half finale

Today wasn’t Jordan Lyles’ day for the Baltimore Orioles. The Birds’ starter seemed to flail in the wind this afternoon in the first half finale at Tropicana Field. And that happens, incidentally, with the best of starting pitchers. So it’s nothing about which to fret. Lyles’ line: 2.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 5 K.

The O’s trailed from the beginning in this one, as Tampa’s Arozarena smacked a two-run homer in the last of the first right off the bat. Lowe’s RBI-double in the second added to the lead, and Tampa blew it open in the last of the third on a three-run homer by Phillips.

But these are still the Orioles. And they fight until the end. Adley Rutschman’s RBI-single in the fourth cut the lead to 6-1. A moment later it was 6-2 on an RBI-single by Ramon Urias.

Two innings later the O’s made it interesting. Roughned Odor smacked a two-run homer, cutting the lead to 6-4. However Tampa would add an insurance run in the bottom of the inning on a solo homer by Mejia. The O’s got back to within two in the eighth with a solo homer by Austin Hays. And that was your ballgame.

So the O’s head into the all-star break with a .500 record. 46 wins and 46 losses. Anyone would have gladly signed up for that before the season began. They did that primarily by winning 11 of their last 13 games to close the first half. Needless to say, nobody in playoff contention wants to play these Orioles. One way or the other, they’ll have their say in the playoff race in the second half.

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