Orioles offense struggles as they drop the series against the Padres

After a fantastic start from Grayson Rodriguez to open the series, the Orioles fell flat
Baltimore Orioles  v San Diego Padres
Baltimore Orioles v San Diego Padres / Denis Poroy/GettyImages

After a thrilling series against the Mariners that featured back-to-back extra inning wins, it seemed like the team would have an abundance of confidence against a struggling Padres team. Instead, the Orioles offense never gained traction offensively, leading to them dropping 2 out of 3 in San Diego.

Orioles drop two of three games to Padres

Game 1: Orioles 4, Padres 1

The series in San Diego got off to a strong start with a 4-1 victory. The star of the night was easily Grayson Rodriguez, who had arguably the strongest start of his career. Grayson continued his recent dominance with a career-high 7 innings pitched.

He allowed just 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6 batters. The lone run surrendered by Rodriguez was a solo homerun to Garrett Cooper in the bottom of the 6th inning. It was the first homerun surrendered by Rodriguez since his return to the majors in July.

Grayson Rodriguez
Baltimore Orioles v San Diego Padres / Denis Poroy/GettyImages

The scoring started early for the Orioles thanks to a Ryan O'Hearn solo homerun in the second inning. It was O'Hearn's 10th homerun of the year. But the biggest hit of the game came from the budding superstar Gunnar Henderson in the 5th inning. Henderson came to the plate with the bases loaded and ripped a double down into the left-field corner, giving the O's a 4-0 lead.

That would be all of the offense needed by the Orioles thanks to the fantastic start by Rodriguez, followed by two shutout innings from newcomer Jacob Webb and closer Felix Bautista. The Padres would get something going in the bottom of the ninth against Bautista, but the game ended with a double-play off the bat of former Oriole Manny Machado.

Game 2: Orioles 3, Padres 10

This game quickly turned into a forgettable one after a 5 run first inning for the Padres, including a Gary Sanchez grand slam. The Padres would tack on 2 more runs in the second inning thanks to a Manny Machado double.

Jack Flaherty got the start for the Orioles and had by far his worst start as an Oriole. His command wavered from the jump, and he struggled immensely to get quick outs. He labored through 3 innings, using 84 pitches to get the nine outs.

Nick Vespi took over for Flaherty and had similar struggles. He pitched 2 innings but allowed 6 hits and 3 earned runs. Shintaro Fujinami, Mike Baumann, and catcher James McCann each pitched a shutout inning to finish the game.

James McCann
Baltimore Orioles v San Diego Padres / Denis Poroy/GettyImages

The offense in this game was scarce. Cedric Mullins got the O's on the board with an RBI single in the 6th inning as a part of his 2 for 4 day. The Orioles tacked on two more runs in the 9th inning thanks to an Austin Hays homerun and a Gunnar Henderson RBI single. Hays, Mullins, and O'Hearn all had multi-hit games, which will hopefully spark the offense going forward.

Game 3: Orioles 2, Padres 5

The Orioles had an uphill battle to climb in game 3 with Padres ace Blake Snell on the mound. However, the Orioles got the scoring started early thanks to some small ball in the first inning. Adley Rutschman singled to lead off the game, advancing to third on a wild pitch and a Ryan Mountcastle fly out. Then, Anthony Santander lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, allowing Rutschman to score from third. This was a good sign for the Orioles who were 44-11 when scoring first this season.

The lead wouldn't last for long thanks to a 3rd inning Padres rally that put the Padres up 3-1. Fernando Tatis Jr., Xander Bogaerts, and Jake Cronenworth all tallied RBI singles to put the Padres ahead. Dean Kremer had the start for the O's and had a solid outing outside of the 3rd inning. He settled in and finished with yet another quality start after going 6 innings and allowing just 3 runs. Kremer allowed 5 hits and 2 walks but struck out 4 batters.

Both starting pitchers settled in nicely, halting the scoring for both teams until the 6th inning. In the top if the 6th, Ryan Mountcastle continued his hot streak with a 408 foot bomb off of Blake Snell, bringing the Orioles within a run. But in the bottom of the 7th inning Trent Grisham would gain the run back with a solo homerun of his own off of Shintaro Fujinami.

Then, the Padres added another run thanks to pure electricity from Fernando Tatis Jr. After reaching on a single, Tatis Jr. would advance to third base on a throwing error from Cionel Perez on a pickoff attempt at first base. He'd then steal home later on in the at bat after Perez was seemingly not paying attention to the runner. This gave the Padres a 5-2 lead.

Ryan Mountcastle
Baltimore Orioles v San Diego Padres / Orlando Ramirez/GettyImages

The Orioles would get a few base runners in the 8th and 9th innings, but were unable to get any key hits to drive them in. All Star closer Josh Hader would close the door with a strikeout of Austin Hays with two runners on base to end the game.

This was a tough series for the Orioles that featured more struggles offensively. Hopefully the offense can get recalibrated against the A's who have a league worst 5.75 team ERA and 34-87 record on the season.