The Baltimore Orioles have now lost five straight games courtesy of a sweep by the Tampa Bay Rays, including a 3-1 loss yesterday afternoon. It is the first time the Rays have swept the O's since May 6-8, 2011.
Pitching was not the issue yesterday as it has been the past few games, as Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman (3-2) pitched very well, and certainly well enough to win the game. Although he allowed two solo homers, including one to former Oriole, Luke Scott, Tillman executed his pitches for the most part in yesterday's outing. He ended up tossing six innings, while allowing three runs on five hits, just one walk and four strikeouts.
Orioles pitching continued to be effective after Tillman's departure, as T.J. McFarland was pretty impressive as he threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, while giving up just two hits and one walk, with two strikeouts. Pedro Strop also tossed a scoreless 2/3 of an inning in relief as well.
Although the pitching was certainly good enough to earn the win for the Orioles, the offense could not supply the back up as Tampa starter Matt Moore (8-0) shutdown the Baltimore lineup to earn his league leading eighth win of the season.
Baltimore only mustered five hits in the game, which still could have been enough, but the Birds did not take advantage of the opportunities when they had them as they went 1-7 with runners in scoring position yesterday. In fact, twice in the game, the Orioles had a runner on third with one out and could not push the run across, which are the situations that seem to show themselves when in the midst of a losing streak.
Adam Jones got the lone RBI in the game and also had the only multi-hit game for the Birds as well as he went 2-4 with an RBI and two stolen bases. Nick Markakis, Manny Machado, and Danny Valencia got the other hits for the O's in the game.
Mother Nature is not doing the Orioles any favors either, as tonight when they square off against the New York Yankees, they will face their ace, CC Sabathia (4-3) due to the Yankees getting rained out yesterday. Baltimore will send Freddy Garcia (0-2) to the mound to face one of his former teams.
Baltimore is now 23-20 on the season, sit four games behind the Yankees in the AL East, and are tied for third in the division with the Rays. This three game set with New York is now fairly big for a May series.
Player of the Series
Our Player of the Series award goes to Adam Jones, who went 5-13 with a homer, four RBI, two runs scored and two stolen bases in the series.
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