The offense of the Baltimore Orioles had an opportunity to break out in a big way from their recent slump, but could not find a way to come up with the big hit. Wasted opportunities themed the night as the O’s dropped game one of the four game set 8-5 to the Texas Rangers last night.
Orioles starting pitcher Scott Feldman (0-1) was keeping the Rangers from dropping a big number through the first five innings, but the Baltimore offense kept wasting golden opportunity after golden opportunity. The O’s had a runner in scoring position in each of the first four innings, and it wasn’t till their 10that bat with runners in scoring position that they finally recorded their first hit in that situation. Baltimore finished the game going 1-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 runners on base.
Situational hitting turned out to be the key of the game because while the Orioles stranded 10 and went 1-12 with runners in scoring position, the Rangers on the other hand went 6-11 with runners in scoring position. Feldman was doing a great job of working out of trouble early on, but the sixth inning proved to be his demise. Along with Troy Patton, the two Orioles pitchers combined to give up six runs in the sixth and saw a 3-2 lead turn into an 8-3 deficit.
Feldman’s final line for the game was 5 1/3 innings pitched, while allowing 7 runs on 9 hits, one walk (intentional), two hit by pitches and two strikeouts.
The Birds just could not get the big hit most of the night, but did get one, at least at the time it was a big hit, as Manny Machado came up with the only Orioles hit with runners in scoring position on the night when he hit a two out RBI single in the fourth to give the O’s a 3-2 lead to cap off the three run inning.
On the flip side, Matt Wieters and Chris Davis combined to strikeout eight times and strand 12 runners on base on the night and it marked just the fourth time in Orioles history that two batters struck out four or more times in the same game. Wieters did add a late two run home run as well.
Baltimore returns to action tonight for game two of this four game set and will send Zach Britton (2-2) to the mound for the start as the Birds look to get back on track. Combined with a Tampa Bay Rays win last night, the Orioles are now third in the AL East, but still remain 4 ½ games out of first place.
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