After winning their first three series under manager Buck Showalter, the Orioles have now dropped two in a row.
Matt Tuiasosopo homered in consecutive games in this series after hitting one in his first 30 games of the season. He knocked in seven runs in the last two games after collecting a grand total of two RBIs in his first 30 games.
His diving catch of Matt Wieters’ slicing fly ball to end the eighth inning was the final dagger.
“That was a good play. That was a major league play,” Showalter said. “We made a couple of those tonight, too, but because of the situation in the game and the inning, it certainly magnifies it a little. You can always, close game like that, go back and find the defensive play that made the difference one way or the other.”
That one made a huge difference. We might still be playing otherwise.
Former Orioles farmhand David Pauley improved to 2-4 after allowing four runs in six-plus innings. He retired 13 in a row before Brian Roberts’ leadoff double in the sixth.
“You tip your hat to the fact that he gave up two and buckled back down and went out and hung up some zeros after the three-run homer (by Tuiasosopo) to obviously get them back ahead,” Showalter said. “You see that a lot, guys who are unheralded, so to speak, so far, but I don’t take anything away from his performance.
“A lot of changeups, the two-seamer. He’s not a guy who’s going to overpower you. He’s the type of guy who uses your aggressiveness against you. He makes a living out of making his pitches appear to be balls that you can center and have them leave the zone. A lot of guys make a living out of trying to keep you off the sweet part of the bat, throw the ball in the zone, make you be aggressive, and that plays a lot better in the big leagues because hitters are more aggressive and guys hitting eighth and ninth are hitting third and fourth in the minor leagues and even in amateur baseball. So, as they get up here, the better the hitter, the more you can use their aggressiveness against them. You see that a lot from guys like him and Luke French.”