Breaking down the Orioles three game stand at Tropicana Field.
Game 1: 3-1 loss on Friday night (July 24)
Game 2: 5-1 win on Saturday evening (July 25)
Game 3: 5-2 win on Sunday afternoon (July 26)
What I liked:
1. Big wins on Saturday and Sunday – The Game 1 loss left the O’s 5-15 since their 18-5 surge. The wins in Games 2 and 3 not only stopped the bleeding (at least for now), they improved the O’s to 26-24 in the American League East. The O’s don’t have another game in the division until Aug. 31.
2. The starting pitching – Especially in Games 1 and 2, Orioles starters delivered big time.
Chris Tillman allowed one run in seven innings in Game 1, giving up just two hits and three walks. And the one run came after he exited the game in the bottom of the eighth. Tillman now has allowed three runs in 21 innings over his last three starts, totaling 18 strikeouts versus five walks.
Miguel Gonzalez allowed one run in 7 2/3 innings in Game 2.
Wei-Yin Chen lasted for just 5 1/3 innings in Game 3, but the only damage came on back-to-back solo homers in the bottom of the fourth.
3. Timely hitting – Sometimes it’s when you do what you do. The O’s went 5-for-16 with runners in scoring position in the series. Chris Davis belted what seemed a series-turning grand slam in the top of the third of Game 2. Nolan Reimold had a two-run double to go with two singles and a walk in Game 3. Caleb Joseph had a two-run homer in Game 3.
The bullpen in Games 2 and 3 – Orioles relievers combined for five scoreless innings after Darren O’Day’s struggles in Game 1.
What I didn’t like:
1. O’Day’s outing in Game 1– He’s been terrific this season and for the last few years, so you can’t kill him for one bad outing. But boy did it hurt. He gave up three singles and an intentional walk in the Rays’ three-run eighth, turning a 1-0 lead into a 3-1 deficit and helping the O’s to their 15th loss in 20 games.
2. The offense overall – The O’s batted just .225 (23-for-102) and totaled just four walks in the series.