Breaking down the Orioles 2-game stand against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
Game 1: 6-4 win on Wednesday night (June 17)
Game 2: 2-1 loss on Thursday afternoon (June 18)
What I liked:
1. J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado – Hardy and Machado continued their torrid Junes, providing six of the Orioles’ 14 hits in the series. Hardy had a double and three singles. Machado had a solo homer and a single in Game 2.
2. The bullpen – Orioles relievers were great for a sixth straight series, combining for 4 1/3 more scoreless innings.
3. Bud Norris’ start in Game 2 – Norris allowed two runs in six innings, giving up just five hits and two walks.
4. Ubaldo Jimenez’s start in Game 1 – Ubaldo, coming off two very inefficient starts, was better, allowing four runs (three earned) in 6 2/3 innings and recording eight strikeouts. Perhaps most significant: he did not allow a walk for just the second time in a start since Sept. 2013. And Ubaldo had an RBI infield single in the Orioles’ four-run fourth.
What I didn’t like:
1. Adam Jones’ absence – Jones did not play in either game and now has missed three straight games due to a sore right shoulder.
2. Plate discipline – The O’s had three walks versus 20 strikeouts over the two games. These aren’t new problems, but the O’s rank in the bottom third of the majors in both walk and strikeout rates. The Orioles’ offensive success has come via the home run (fourth in the majors with 82) and batting average with runners in scoring position (tied for first in the majors at .304).