No Rays of light as Orioles lose 15th straight on road; Offense held to 2 hits; Lakins sent to Norfolk - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

No Rays of light as Orioles lose 15th straight on road; Offense held to 2 hits; Lakins sent to Norfolk

After a poor weekend in Tampa Bay, the Orioles have a four-game losing streak. That might not seem like much in this season of losing streaks, but it’s the fourth skid of at least four in a row.

The Orioles’ 7-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Sunday was also their 15th straight on the road, a club record, and the sixth straight to the Rays this season.

They’ve been swept in five consecutive road series. Since John Means pitched a no-hitter on May 5th, they’re 7-26.

Starter Bruce Zimmermann (4-4) allowed three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. Travis Lakins and César Valdez each were charged with two runs — Valdez yielding a grand slam.

“I was impressed with his pitch mix,” manager Brandon Hyde said of Zimmermann. “Again the changeup wasn’t his best today, but he did a nice job navigating through the lineup, went to his slider in big spots, got some outs, and went into the sixth inning, and gave us a chance. But we just didn’t score.”

The Orioles just didn’t hit. On Sunday, they managed just two hits — a first-inning single by leadoff hitter DJ Stewart and an RBI single by Pat Valaika in the second. For the series, they had just 11 hits.

Josh Fleming (6-4) pitched four hitless innings for the win. He walked one. Michael Wacha was the opener for Tampa Bay (42-24) and allowed the Orioles’ run in two innings.

Matt Wisler, Andrew Kittredge and Jeffrey Springs each pitched perfect innings against an offense that suddenly has gone stagnant again after appearing to get rolling with 18 runs last Sunday and 10 more on Tuesday.

In the three games at Tampa Bay, the Orioles (22-42) had just two hits in 14 1/3 innings against the Rays’ bullpen.

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Austin Hays led off the second with a walk, took second on Freddy Galvis’ bunt and third on Maikel Franco’s infield out before scoring on Valaika’s single to left.

In the third, Tampa’s Taylor Walls led off with a single to left, stole second and, after Brett Phillips walked, moved to third on Manuel Margot’s force play. He scored on Yandy Diaz’s single to tie it at 1.

Walls drove in Brandon Lowe and Francisco Mejia, and the Orioles were down for the count, 3-1.

Zimmermann threw 95 pitches in 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits, walking three and striking out three. He gave himself a B-minus.

“That’s a really tough Rays team, scrappy as hell,” Zimmermann said. “You get them on base, and they’ll run. You get them at the plate and, like you saw today, they’ll put anything in play. Tough at-bats, all the way, one through nine.

“I thought I battled well, got a little unlucky there in the fourth with some soft contact. I also had some really nice plays from my infielders today, Nice throw by [catcher Austin] Wynns. Just got to do a better job of getting ahead. I felt like I was nibbling a little bit today.

“It was a grind … I definitely didn’t have my best stuff but, with what I had and the guys behind me, I thought I did a decent enough job. I expect more out of myself, though, to get through that sixth inning, hopefully next time.”

Phillips walked and Margot singled against Lakins. Margot took second on a throwing error by Hays in center field. Valdez replaced Lakins. Austin Meadows was walked intentionally, and Randy Arozarena hit a grand slam for the final margin.

It was the second time the Orioles had been held to two hits. The other time came on May 20th in a 10-1 loss to the Rays.

“It’s difficult, man, difficult,” Galvis said. “We have to come in here every single day to try to do the best that we can to win the game. That’s what we want to do. We have keep fighting, keep practicing, try to get better.

“On the homestand, we played good, and now we lost [four] in a row. It’s time to get back, and go to Cleveland, turn the page and try to get some games there.”

Notes: Centerfielder Cedric Mullins was given the day off. Mullins had played in the Orioles’ first 63 games. … After the game, the Orioles optioned Lakins to Triple-A Norfolk. It’s likely that Dean Kremer will be recalled from Norfolk to start Monday’s game in Cleveland. The Indians have scheduled J.C. Mejia (1-1, 4.15 ERA). Matt Harvey (3-7, 7.41), Keegan Akin (0-1, 4.13) and Jorge López (2-7, 5.64) will pitch against Cal Quantril (0-2, 3.21), Aaron Civale (9-2, 3.17) and Triston McKenzie (1-3, 6.38) on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday’s game begins at 1:10 p.m. … Since July 2017, the Orioles are 6-23 at Tropicana Field. They’ve lost 10 straight series, including four series sweeps.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    June 13, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    Why are they hanging on to Valdez?…go O’s…

    • Bhoffman1

      June 13, 2021 at 6:37 pm

      We need one Mexican league guy on the squad at all times and some rule 5 guys to remind fans that do not take this team serious yet. Yes Tyler Wells seems like a good move but Max, Valdez , Stevie, Larkin would not be on any other team in baseball.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        June 13, 2021 at 6:39 pm

        Negative vibes man ….. remember … it’s a process.

        😉

        (winkie face to make sure everybody picks up on the sarcasm)

      • Unoptionable-Option

        June 13, 2021 at 8:58 pm

        Cool straight up racism towards Mexican league guys, glad to see you being honest here Bhoff

    • CalsPals

      June 13, 2021 at 7:04 pm

      LOL, I got it the first time, but thanks for doing that for the slower ones…go O’s…

      • Unoptionable-Option

        June 13, 2021 at 9:00 pm

        The three of you – just wow…maybe stick to performance and not ethnicity. Just wow guys, really funny stuff here fellas

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          June 13, 2021 at 10:37 pm

          You sir, and those like you are the true racists. You once inferred that I was a racist simply for not thinking much of Ramon Urias. Let me clue you in on one minor detail …. Mexico is a country and not a race. And the Mexican Baseball league employs players of many nationalities and ethnicities.

    • CalsPals

      June 14, 2021 at 6:40 am

      Valdez sucks, what did I say racist, you’re a moron…I made a statement/question, blanket, don’t care if his name was Smith or Jones, you’ll see what you want to see, what a hypocrite…go O’s…

      • WorldlyView

        June 14, 2021 at 4:07 pm

        BRR and CP: It looks like you have again made the mistake of allowing the troll (apparently using a new nickname) to yank your chain, manipulate your emotions, and make you unnecessarily defensive.
        I hereby exonerate you and every other non-troll on this site from nefarious expressions of racism. Now you all can and should stick to commenting on baseball.

    • Jeffpop

      June 14, 2021 at 11:58 am

      Valdez does suck — and I am NOT a racist.

    • CalsPals

      June 14, 2021 at 1:14 pm

      Racism is what you’re seeing, read what was said, the only racist comments made are by you…go O’s…

  2. Orial

    June 13, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    At this point there’s nothing much that can be said except maybe–they’re consistent. Is the AAA talent level so bad that Valdez is still secured a spot in Baltimore?

    • WorldlyView

      June 13, 2021 at 11:37 pm

      O, The answer to your question is yes, the pitching talent level at Norfolk is that bad. If you look at the stats, they have just recently escaped from the worst won-lost record in the 20 team AAA East League and moved up to 16th place. The team’s ERA is also in 16th place. In terms of the batting average of opposing hitters, the pitching staff is dead last, i.e. the highest. Not surprising given the large number of Norfolk’s pitchers who were free agents signed to minor league contracts and waiver wire wonders. Given the better crop of prospects at the lower levels, I say again that I cannot foresee a winning Oriole team until 2024. And again, I would be happy to be proven wrong.

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