BALTIMORE—The Orioles are getting ready for a huge, four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays, one that will help decide the winner of the American League East.
After watching the Rays beat the Minnesota Twins, 5-4, on their clubhouse televisions before Wednesday night’s game, the Orioles supplied no offense and wasted an outstanding start by Kyle Gibson, losing 1-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals before an announced crowd of 14.442 at Camden Yards.
As a result, the Orioles, who dropped two of three to the Cardinals, will begin their series with Tampa Bay two games ahead of the Rays in the AL East. Their magic number to clinch a playoff spot remains at four.
They may have suffered a bigger loss. First baseman Ryan Mountcastle left the game in the third inning with left shoulder discomfort. Mountcastle injured his shoulder during his first inning at-bat when he walked.
Head athletic trainer Brian Ebel examined Mountcastle when he reached first, and he stayed in the game and played the second and third innings at first base before Ramón Urías pinch-hit for him in the third. Manager Brandon Hyde said after the game that Mountcastle is day-to-day. Mountcastle missed a month with vertigo earlier this season.
The Orioles removed Heston Kjerstad, their power-hitting outfield prospect, from Triple-A Norfolk’s game for a pinch-hitter after Mountcastle left the game. Kjerstad, who has played some first base for Norfolk and Double-A Bowie, is the 44th-rated prospect by MLB Pipeline.
The Cardinals (65-81) started left-hander Drew Rom, who was traded (along with Triple-A infielder César Prieto) to St. Louis for Jack Flaherty on August 1.
Rom (1-2) threw 4 2/3 hitless innings before Jorge Mateo had an infield single. He was removed after Anthony Santander’s double with one out in the sixth. He struck out seven and walked three.
After Rom left, Casey Lawrence, Giovanny Gallegos, John King and Ryan Helsley held the Orioles (91-54) scoreless over the last 3 2/3 innings.
Gunnar Henderson tripled with two outs, but Aaron Hicks popped to short to end the game. Helsley recorded his ninth save as the Orioles were shut out for the eighth time.
Richie Palacios, the former Towson University star who homered twice in Tuesday night’s game, homered in the fourth inning against Kyle Gibson, who pitched brilliantly but got no run support. Gibson (14-9) allowed one run on three hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Notes: Garrett Stallings (7-4) allowed one run on three hits in seven innings in relief of Austin Voth as Norfolk defeated Memphis, 3-2. Centerfielder Colton Cowser hit his 15th home run. … Rightfielder Dylan Beavers drove in three runs and hit his second home run as Double-A Bowie beat Harrisburg, 7-4. Centerfielder Jud Fabian, catcher Silas Ardoin and designated hitter Connor Pavolony also homered. …Kyle Bradish (11-6, 3.03) will face Tampa Bay’s Aaron Civale (7-3, 2.96) on Thursday night. The game will start at 7:15, and it will be televised exclusively on FOX.