The Baltimore Orioles fell 10-6 behind a good outing by Kevin Gausman.
If you’re the type to track wins and losses in spring training, you’re probably not too thrilled with the Baltimore Orioles right now. Last night’s 10-6 loss (combined with a split squad loss earlier in the day) dropped their Grapefruit League record to 0-5-1. But don’t pull your hair out, folks – please!
Kevin Gausman started last night’s game, and looked pretty sharp in doing so. Gausman’s line: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. Don’t misread what I’m saying; Gausman was great last night. However at this stage the key part of that stat line is 2 IP. And that’s not something for which we can fault Gausman; all of these pitchers are on a pitch count. But while two innings isn’t really much, if you’re going to pitch two innings you might as well try to look good in doing so – Gausman did that.
Tampa’s Miller got the scoring started with an RBI-single in the third, after Gausman had hit the showers. Tampa would add an RBI-single in the fourth, however in the last of the inning Chris Davis would put the Birds on the board with a fielder’s choice-RBI. However in terms of winning and losing, the top of the fifth was the big moment in the game, as Tampa knotched six runs to take a commanding 9-1 lead.
However the Birds had some power in their bats in the last of the fifth, as Joey Rickard, bopped an RBI-double, and Nolan Reimold reached on a scoring error which also scored a run. Manny Machado would add an RBI-single, and Adam Jones a fielder’s choice-RBI, which cut the least to 9-5. Each team would add an additional run before all was said and done to run the final to 10-6.
Obviously you want to win these games at some point. However the good news is that the majority of the Orioles’ runs came while the regulars were still in the game. Granted they didn’t come off of mamouth Chris Davis homers or RBI-doubles to the gap by Jones, but I digress. Furthermore all but one of Tampa’s runs came off of farmhands who probably won’t be on the roster at the end of the day. (The lone exception was a run off of Britton.)
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Furthermore, this was only the second game in which the Orioles had their starters given that it was the second home game. While they’ll have their share of home games packed in as we go along in Grapefruit League play, I do think that there was some faulty scheduling in a way given how much time the Birds are having to spend on the road at the beginning. Having said that, I noticed that Tampa brought many of their regular players to Sarasota last night, which might be something the Orioles should consider doing also. Not the entire team, but allowing the regulars to get more at-bats is only going to help their timing.
If there’s one thing I would take away from this game, it would be Gausman’s outing. He looked as good as a pitcher can look in his very limited work last night. If he can stay on that straight and narrow path and the Birds can straighten out Gonzalez and Jimenez, the pitching staff might be in decent shape at the end of the day.
The Birds hit the road again today, as they head to Fort Myers to take on Boston. Mike Wright will make his second start of the spring, and he’ll be opposed by Clay Buchholz. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.