Pitching woes plague Orioles in series loss to Dodgers

Facing an unfamiliar opponent, a familiar flaw doomed the Orioles
Jun 13, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Gunnar Henderson (2) celebrates with Ramón Urías
Jun 13, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Gunnar Henderson (2) celebrates with Ramón Urías / Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Entering a three game series against the NL West leading Los Angeles Dodgers, the Orioles dropped two of the three games, losing the series to those Dodgers. The good news is that despite the series loss, they did avoid the sweep, thus ensuring that they haven't been swept yet in 2023.

Baltimore Orioles drop two of three games to the Los Angeles Dodgers

The bad is a familiar foe in recent weeks for the Orioles, and that's the pitching staff. There were some bright spots, but the pitching was a big reason why the Orioles lost this series. It's no secret the Orioles need pitching help, and this series continued to prove it.

In game one, things were going great for the Orioles and Grayson Rodriguez, called back up from Norfolk. They had a four run lead through five innings and Rodriguez looked sharp. Then, things weren't so great. Everything unraveled in the sixth inning, with the Dodgers plating five runs to take a 6-4 lead that they never gave up.

Three of the five runs in the sixth were charged to Rodriguez, a black mark on an otherwise good start. Bryan Baker gave up the other two to get tagged with the loss. Mike Baumann and Nick Vespi pitched well to keep the Orioles in the game, but one inning was all it took to lose this one.

Game two started very poorly. Tyler Wells was on the mound and didn't have it, getting tagged for five runs on six hits and two walks while lasting just two innings. Cole Irvin then came on in relief and was fantastic through four innings, but he came out to pitch a fifth and didn't record an out while getting charged with two runs.

It should be noted that Cionel Pérez was on the mound at that time. Pérez struggled from the get-go, walking three hitters and allowing one hit that added two runs to Irvin's line. Two runs were all that Pérez was charged with. Baumann then allowed one run over two innings of work, but the Orioles lost 10-3 to lose the series.

Game three was a Dean Kremer start, and we got the Mr. Hyde version of Kremer in this one. He allowed five runs on four hits and four walks while lasting just 4 2/3 innings. Fortunately for Kremer and the Orioles, the offense was clicking and they scored eight runs to win the game.

The Orioles bullpen also had a great day in the finale. Danny Coulombe pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings to help the bullpen out, bridging the gap to Yennier Cano and Félix Bautista to close the win, with Bautista picking up his 26th save of the season.

As it has been for a while, the pitching was a problem for the Orioles in this series. It hasn't hurt them a lot, as the team is still playing quite well and is now in first place in the AL East. It does need to be addressed, because it could start to hurt them if they keep playing with fire.

It doesn't get any easier for the Orioles or their pitching staff, as they face the Tampa Bay Rays for four games, with first place in the division likely on the line for every single game. Every run will be hard-fought, so it's best for the Orioles pitching can be on the top of their game if the team wishes to bounce back.