Starter Pitching Woes Haunt Orioles against Mariners, but Bullpen Saves Series versus Angels


(April 29-May 1) Mariners Hand Orioles Second Series Loss of Season 
The Baltimore Orioles lost two games on the road against the Seattle Mariners, dropping a three-game series for the first time since early April.

The Orioles fell 6-2 in the opening game and struggled at the plate against Mariners pitcher Joe Saunders, formerly of the Orioles. Saunders gave up a homerun in the first inning, but responded well from that point forward, surrendering just four hits and one run for the remainder of the game.

Orioles starting pitcher Zack Britton didn’t perform nearly as well, giving up 10 hits and six runs in six innings.

Fortunately, the second game of the series was the complete opposite for the Orioles’ batters, who collected 13 hits on offense. Starting pitcher Jason Hammel started out the game solidly, but gave up two runs in the sixth inning, forcing manager Buck Showalter to call on the bullpen early, a trend for the Orioles this season. Showalter is concerned that his relief pitchers are being called on too often and too early in games and need more rest. However, they still managed to do a masterful job and close out a 7-2 win.

Baltimore’s starters continued to struggle in the final game of the series, as Wei-Yin Chen gave up seven runs through seven innings. But it wasn’t all Chen’s fault, as star center fielder Adam Jones took some of the blame for failing to snag fly balls hit his way, contributing to an 8-3 loss.

(May 2-May 4) Orioles Take Series over Angels
In the opening game of the second leg of their West Coast trip, and for the first time this season, an Oriole starting pitcher lasted nearly the entire game without much help from the exhausted bullpen. Starter Chris Tillman pitched a scoreless game through the first eight innings before handing the ball over to closer Jim Johnson. Johnson gave up a solo homerun to Albert Pujols in the ninth inning, but successfully closed out the Orioles’ 17th win of the season.

Unfortunately, Tillman’s performance was outshined in the second game by Angels starting pitcher Jason Vargas. The Orioles recorded just three hits against Vargas in a 4-0 loss.

Orioles batters continued to struggle in the third Angels confrontation which was an extra-inning game. Oriole batters failed to record a hit with a runner in position in the first 10 innings of the game. First baseman Steve Pearce, filling in for an injured Chris Davis, broke the funk with a two-out hit that allowed Nolan Reimold to score from second base. Jim Johnson came in and recorded his 11th save of the season, a 5-4 win.

Orioles Player of the Week:
Third baseman Manny Machado was solid at the plate, recording eight hits, five runs, two homeruns, three RBIs and a .352 batting percentage throughout the two series.

Next-up:
The Orioles host the Kansas City Royals from May 7 to May 9 at Camden Yards before heading to Minnesota to face the Twins on May 10 to May 12.

Starter Pitching Woes Haunt Orioles against Mariners, but Bullpen Saves Series versus Angels

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