Blue Jays series recap
By Editorial Staff
The first meeting of the season between these two bottom-dwelling AL East teams resulted in the Jays taking the series, but the O’s getting one win. With that, the Orioles still remain in the cellar of the division at 7 games back with a 26-31 record. As the Orioles continue to lose against not great teams, they fall further and further back from the lead in the division and further and further back from .500. The O’s really need to figure something out as the offense has cooled off again and the starters don’t have that spark they’ve had all season. The only thing intact at the moment is the bullpen. Something needs to change (yet again) so the O’s start winning some games. I thought that this month would result in a lot of wins for the Orioles since they had played so well against .500ish teams, but that is no longer the case as they’ve lost their past 3 series as well as going just 2-7 in their last 9. Recap of each game after the jump.
Friday Blue Jays: 8 Orioles: 4
Britton was on the mound, so that means the O’s are going to win right? Wrong. He’s now lost 3 straight decisions after starting 5-1 on the season. What’s going on with this guy? It’s definitely frustrating since he was the one starter every fan could count on and now he’s losing his star power. He went just 5 innings giving up 6 hits and 7 runs, only 5 of them earned. He also walked 3 and struck out 3. The real slaughter came in the 5th when J.P. Arencibia hit a grand slam with 2 outs on a 2-2 pitch allowing the Jays to go up 7-0. Prior to that, a single scored a run as well as a wild pitch in the 2nd. In the 3rd, a sac fly put the Jays up 3-0.
In the bottom of the 5th, Andino hit an RBI single after J.J. Hardy singled. Adam Jones also hit an RBI single to score Andino, allowing the Orioles to go up 7-2. But, in the 6th, the Jays added on a run when Yunel Escobar singled. In the 8th, J.J. Hardy hit his 4th homer of the season, a 2-run jack that also scored Matt Wieters, cutting the Jays’ lead to half at 8-4. However, the Jays bullpen shut it down for the rest of the 8th and 9th to secure the dominating win.
Saturday Orioles: 5 Blue Jays: 3
Jake Arrieta had the start in this game after coming off a few bad outings. In this game, he, again, did not have magnificent stuff. He ran into trouble a few times, but he was able to get out of it and get the win, giving him a season record of 7-3, which is tied for the most amount of wins by a starting pitcher in the American League. He was able to pitch 6 innings, something he hasn’t been able to do recently. He allowed 5 hits, 3 runs, and 4 walks with only 1 strikeout, a low number for him. Arrieta gave up a first inning homer to former Oriole Corey Patterson. I thought trouble was on the way from then on. In the 2nd, a sac fly scored the 2nd run for the Jays giving them the 2-0 advantage. In the 4th, another run was scored on a single. However, Arrieta got himself under control every time he got in trouble to limit the damage done and to allow his team to remain in the game.
The bullpen was stellar. Jim Johnson, Koji Uehara, and Kevin Gregg each pitched one inning. JJ pitched a perfect inning, Koji gave up a hit but struck out 3 batters to get the out. Kevin Gregg typically gave up 2 singles but got out of it with 2 strikeouts.
The offense was not hot, they got lucky. The first run scored game in the 2nd when J.J. Hardy grounded out to score Derrek Lee. This was Lee’s first game back and he did not disappoint, going 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored. The 6th inning is when it all happened. Vladdy got a lead-off single followed by a Derrek Lee single. Matt Wieters singled followed by J.J. Hardy grounded into a fielder’s chose and Vladdy was thrown out at home. Bases are loaded with one out and Mark Reynolds is up. What fan thought Reynolds would do anything BUT get out? Well, he didn’t. He came through the biggest he possibly could with a grand slam to put the Orioles up 5-3. It was his first career grand slam and all the Orioles needed to win the game.
Sunday Orioles: 4 Blue Jays: 7
Another offensive domination by the Jays, this time with Guthrie on the mound. I’ve said how almost every start Guthrie has had he has deserved to win but hasn’t because of lack of run support. This was not one of those starts. He had a terrible start. He went 5 innings giving up 9 hits and 6 runs with 3 walks and 2 homers bringing his season record to 2-8 with a 3.71 ERA. That’s still good for 3rd best on the team even though he has by far the worst record. That’s because he has a lot of quality outings like I mentioned, though this wasn’t one of them. He allowed a run in the first off a single. He allowed a run in the 3rd off of an Adam Lind single. He allowed a 3-run homer to Yunel Escobar in the 4th to give the Jays the 5-2 advantage. And he allowed a solo shot by Adam Lind in the 5th. By the way, Adam Lind hit another solo shot off of Alfredo Simon, going 4 for 4 in the game. Ugh.
The O’s got some offense from Vladdy, an RBI double, and an RBI ground out by Derrek Lee in the first to take the 2-1 lead. This was the first time the O’s scored in the 1st in a LONG time (I forget exactly how many games…something like 16). In the 5th, Tatum reached on an infield single, Andino double, and Nick Markakis hit a sac fly but that’s all the O’s could do with that opportunity. Finally, in the 9th, Mark Reynolds hit a solo shot to make the difference 3 at 7-4 but no rally was started and the O’s lost.
It’s tough to take any positives out of the recent woes of the Orioles. Out of this series, we can be happy that Arrieta had a good outing and that Mark Reynolds hit a grand slam and another homer in the next game, bringing him to 9 on the season and 29 RBIs, good for most on the team and 2nd most on the team, respectively (AJ has the most RBIs at 31). Anything else, we just have to hope for them to get something going against the A’s at home and maybe sweep them this time.