The Baltimore Orioles were rolling, winners of five straight and looking to sweep the Houston Astros on Sunday, but fell short and then the team with the best record in baseball, the Detroit Tigers came into town. The Orioles proceeded to get swept three games to none and managed to score in just three innings of the entire series.
Baltimore's offense has been inconsistent all season thus far and it is no secret that it needs to get better, but no one could have seen this coming for the three game series. The Birds scored one run in the second inning of game one, one run in the first inning in game two and five runs in the fifth inning of game three. The other 24 innings of the series? Scoreless, for the Orioles at least.
For a quick comparison, the Tigers scored in four different innings in game three alone, and ended up scoring in seven different innings throughout the series.
It doesn't take a big-time math person to realize that the seven total runs in the series come out to an average of just over two runs a game, and let's face it, it's tough to win many ball games when you average just over two runs a game. Yes, we do realize the O's should have won on Tuesday, but just pointing out the scoring woes for the Birds.
The more frustrating part is that the Orioles had chances to score in several innings this series, but failed to get the big hit for the most part. Baltimore went a combined 4-21 with runners in scoring position in the series, while the Tigers nearly hit .500 going 7-15 in the three game set. That 4-21, as bad as it is, is misleading as well because all four hits with a runner in scoring position came in yesterday's 7-5 loss with the O's going 4-9 with runners in scoring position. Baltimore went 0-12 in the first two games of the series vs the Tigers.
Oddly enough, one of the more consistent hitters for the Orioles this year, Nick Markakis, had himself a bad series. He entered the series riding a 18-game hitting streak, but it all disappeared in a hurry from Markakis. Nick came into the series hitting .317 on the season and by the time the series had ended yesterday evening, Markakis found himself with a .291 average. Going 0-13 with two strikeouts will do that to a batting average.
It was not all bad for the Orioles as Adam Jones had himself a pretty nice series going 6-13 with a home run and two RBI and raised his batting average 16 points to .280.
As a whole, the Orioles finished the three game series hitting .216 (22-102) with two home runs, seven runs scored, seven walks and 17 strikeouts.
We here at Orioles 101 are not trying to paint some gloomy picture here, we just wanted to point out that the Orioles picked a bad time to have one of their worst offensive performances in a series this season with arguably the best team in the American League in town.
Despite their current four game losing streak, Baltimore remains in first place in the AL East with a half game lead over both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
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