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Orioles Swept By Minnesota

Black-boxing a rough ending to the Orioles’ 10-game homestand.

 

Game 1: 15-2 loss on Thursday night (Aug. 20)

Game 2: 4-3 loss on Friday night (Aug. 21)

Game 3: 3-2 loss on Saturday night (Aug. 22)

Game 4: 4-3 12-inning loss on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 23)

 

What I liked:

1. The starting pitching in Games 2-4 – The O’s got three legitimate quality starts after Miguel Gonzalez’s disastrous outing in Game 1.

Wei-Yin Chen allowed one run in six innings in Game 2, though he gave up seven hits and two walks.

Chris Tillman allowed three runs in 6 2/3 innings in Game 3, giving up just four hits and two walks.

Kevin Gausman allowed two runs in seven innings in Game 4, recording eight strikeouts versus three hits and no walks.

 

Baltimore Orioles' Adam Jones throws his bat after he struck out against the Minnesota Twins during the 11th inning with two men on base, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, in Baltimore. The Twins won 4-3 in 12 innings. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones throws his bat after he struck out against the Minnesota Twins during the 11th inning with two men on base, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, in Baltimore. The Twins won 4-3 in 12 innings. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

What I didn’t like:

1. Bizarre homestand that epitomizes the Orioles’ up-and-down season – This series concluded a 5-5 homestand on which the O’s both authored a four-game sweep and were the victims of a four-game sweep.

 

2. The offense – The O’s totaled just 10 runs, hit just one homer and batted just .241 (35-for-145) over the four games.

 

3. The bullpen – What’s been a big strength for the O’s was a major problem in this series.  Orioles relievers combined to allow 12 runs (11 earned) in 14 1/3 innings, giving up 21 hits and five walks versus 19 strikeouts.

Jason Garcia and T.J. McFarland combined to allow eight runs in four innings on 10 hits and two walks in Game 1.

Darren O’Day, who hadn’t allowed a run since July 24, gave up three runs on four hits, a walk and a hit-by-pitch and recorded just two outs in the top of the eighth in Game 2.

Zach Britton suffered just his third blown save of the season in Game 4, giving up an infield single (on which Britton was slow in getting to first base), an RBI groundball single into left field and then another infield single in the top of the ninth.  The O’s entered this game 54-0 this season when leading after the eighth inning.

 

4. The defense in the top of the 12th in Game 4 – J.J. Hardy, who is dealing with a groin injury, was pinch-run for by Jimmy Paredes in the bottom of the 11th.  The following inning saw Manny Machado move from third base to shortstop and Paredes take over at third.  Machado, who came up through the minors as a shortstop but had never played the position at the major-league level, committed a fielding error on his first chance, allowing a groundball to go under his glove.  Paredes, known as a poor defender, then committed a run-scoring fielding error two batters later.

 

5. Gonzalez’s start in Game 1 – He allowed seven runs in five innings, giving up eight hits and two walks.  Gonzalez has a 5.84 ERA (45 earned runs in 69 1/3 innings) since the start of June.

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