The Baltimore Orioles sit at .500 with a 27-27 record after a week in which they won just two games and lost four straight, losing series to both the Milwaukee Brewers and the Houston Astros from May 26-31.

May 26-28: Orioles Lose Series to Milwaukee

Baltimore started the week with a 7-6 win over the Brewers on May 26 in Game One of the series in Milwaukee. Trailing 6-4, second baseman Jonathan Schoop nailed a home run in the ninth inning to help spark a three-run spasm and comeback win by the Orioles. Schoop also hit a home run in the seventh inning. Baltimore won despite starting pitcher Chris Tillman’s awful performance – Tillman allowed six earned runs in just 5.1 innings played.

Game Two of Baltimore’s visit to the Brewers on May 27 was similar in many ways to Game One, but this time Milwaukee pulled it out with a 7-6 win. Baltimore led, 6-5, going into the ninth inning but surrendered two late-game runs to give away the win to the Brewers. Schoop and left fielder Nelson Cruz both went the yard with home runs for the Orioles, despite the loss. But the Orioles pitching was horrific again as starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen gave up five earned runs in five innings pitched.

Milwaukee capped the series with an 8-3 win in Game Three on May 28. Once again, the starting pitching suffered for Baltimore as Bud Norris lasted six innings but allowed four earned runs with just one strikeout. Cruz hit a home run for the second straight game, but the rest of the Orioles’ bats were asleep as the Brewers ran away with the series victory.

May 29-31: Orioles Lose Two, Win One against Astros

The losing continued for Baltimore as they ran into a smoking-hot Astros team. The Orioles fell, 3-1, to the Astros in Game One May 29 in Houston, giving the Astros their sixth straight win. Baltimore’s starting pitcher was surprisingly impressive as Ubaldo Jimenez played well, lasting six innings while giving up just three hits and one earned run with eight strikeouts recorded while on the mound. But the hitting was nonexistent for the Orioles as they produced just seven hits and one RBI.

The Astros won their seventh consecutive game and the Orioles lost its fourth straight on May 30 in a 2-1 Houston victory in Game Two. The Orioles starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez was solid, allowing just two earned runs with four strikeouts in five innings pitched. But Baltimore recorded just five hits and shortstop J.J. Hardy was the only Oriole to come up with an RBI in the tough loss.

Fortunately for Baltimore, the impressive pitching extended into Game Three of the series as the Orioles finally snapped its losing funk with a 4-1 win over the Astros on May 31. Tillman started the game at pitcher and lasted into the seventh inning while allowing only one earned run and four hits. Cruz hit his league-leading 20th homerun of the season and recorded 3 RBI; Cruz also leads the league with 52 RBI.

Next-up: Following action against the Astros on June 1 in Houston, the Orioles will take on the Texas Rangers in a three-game series on June 3-5 in Texas. The Orioles will then return to Baltimore to host the Oakland Athletics in a three-game series on June 6-8.

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor