Orioles Missing Big Hitters as they Fall to Twins 5-2
By Scott Cahoon
Jul 15, 2013; Flushing, NY, USA; American League outfielder Adam Jones (10) of the Baltimore Orioles brings first baseman Chris Davis (19) of the Baltimore Orioles a drink during the Home Run Derby in advance of the 2013 All Star Game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
If I told you that Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy, and Chris Davis would combine for just three home runs in the first month of the season, would you have guessed the Orioles were over .500?
Davis, of course, remains out with a strained oblique and Hardy missed time earlier this year due to a strained hamstring. However, Jones has only hit one home run this season and has seen the second most at-bats on the team.
The Orioles could have used that trio’s run support this afternoon as they fell in the rubber match of their three-game series with the Minnesota Twins, 5-2. The loss drops Baltimore’s record to 15-14 and places them a half game behind the New York Yankees in the AL East standings.
The Orioles totaled only six runs in the entire three-game series, four of which came on two Nelson Cruz home runs.
Cruz, third baseman Manny Machado, and DH Delmon Young seemed to be the only Orioles who could find consistency with the bat today. Machado broke out of his 1-for-13 start to the season with two hits and Cruz hit his ninth home run of the season. Young also tallied two hits, raising his average to .320 in 53 plate appearances this year.
Twins starter Phil Hughes (3-1, 4.72 ERA) pitched into the seventh inning, holding the Orioles two just two runs on six hits and besting Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez (1-3, 5.28 ERA).
Gonzalez was yanked by Orioles manager Buck Showalter in the fifth inning after allowing four walks, resulting in the Twins third run. Gonzalez failed to record a quality start for the fourth time in six outings.
The Twins tacked on two more runs in the seventh inning off of Orioles reliever Ryan Webb, raising his ERA to 5.56. Left-hander Zach Britton tallied another scoreless outing as he came in to record the last two outs of the seventh inning and the first two outs of the eighth before Brad Brach struck out the final batter.
The Orioles were threatening in the top of the ninth as right fielder Nick Markakis came up to face Twins closer Glen Perkins with men on first and third and two outs. Markakis struck out looking to end the game, stranding his fourth and fifth baserunners of the day.