The Orioles’ No. 6 through No. 9 hitters in the lineup went 1-for-14 last night and 1-for-14 tonight.
There’s good consistency and bad consistency.
There’s also the postgame media session with manager Buck Showalter, who addressed his starters going five innings in back-to-back outings.
“The off day and some of the good starts, we were in a position the last two days to cover it,” Showalter said following tonight’s 6-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. “Mac (T.J. McFarland) gave us some good things. So did Tommy (Hunter). Allowed us to get through it and stay on our feet. But it’s not something you want to have every night or you will be in jeopardy.
“We play, what, 20 days in a row? It’s kind of why we’ve taken some precautions, not only for that period but for the rest of the season, trying to make sure everybody’s strong. We’re going to be able to withstand it short-term, but I think there’s better things ahead. Pitching five or six innings in the major leagues isn’t something you just scoff at. It’s hard to do. But we’ve had a little trouble keeping the ball in the ballpark with people on base, and some solos.
“You’re facing a guy like (Matt) Moore, you know runs are going to be at a premium. It’s a tough thing. He’s one of those guys who can miss the sweet part of the bat with a fastball and I think a lot of people miss how much of a pitcher he is. He’s got multiple pitches. Tough task ahead of us tomorrow, but we’ll see what happens.”
Moore finally gave up some runs tonight, but only two in 6 2/3 innings.
“It’s not like as advertised. We’ve seen him,” Showalter said. “You can see why they’ve got such a good chance to be in the thick of things, the starting pitching they run out there and the bullpen. They do some other good things, too.
“I think we were disappointed we got back in it with Jonesy’s blow and gave them two right back. That hurt.”
That would be Adam Jones, whose two-run homer in the third tied the game at 2-2. The Rays scored twice in the top of the fourth on a James Loney double, the ball skipping past Jones.
“It’s a funny game,” Showalter said. “If you look at the number of guys we struck out and they struck out, we’re ahead in that. You look at the number of guys they walked compared to the number of guys we walked, we won that battle. But we couldn’t keep the ball in the park.
“I think Tilly was something like six out of 22 first-pitch strikes. He’s a guy who can throw some multiple looks at you, but when you’re constantly behind in the count, it’s tough. That’s something all pitching coaches and all teams stress, trying to get strike one, and we really haven’t done that much the last couple of nights.”
As for Jones’ misplay, Showalter said, “He got a little in between there. He’s coming in there, trying to make the catch and saw at the last second he wasn’t going to be able to do it and he got a short-hop there. I applaud he was trying to make a play for us, and just got caught in between there in no man’s land. He was hoping to take it off the chest and just didn’t get the bounce he was looking for.”