Kansas City right-hander James Shields gave up just three hits over seven innings today as the Royals beat the Orioles 9-3. One was a two-run homer by Nelson Cruz in the sixth inning. But other than that, the O’s didn’t get much going against him today.
“He is one of the toughest pitchers in the league,” Cruz said. “His changeup is always working good. He had a good cutter today. He barely misses with his pitches and commands basically all of them.
“He has two or three secondary pitches to go to, and most of the time he is always on top of his game. He was dealing.”
Cruz said it is hard to understand why the Orioles have scored just 28 runs in 11 home games.
“Yeah, it’s one of those things, you don’t really know why,” he said. “Hopefully the next series we come up and score some runs for the pitchers. I feel like the heat is coming and that will help the hitters also.”
Losing pitcher Miguel Gonzalez talked about his outing. He gave up six hits and four runs (three earned) over six innings.
“Thought I threw the ball well,” he said. “Throwing strikes and getting ahead of guys and mixing in all the pitches. We had some good plays out there. Diving catch by David Lough. Played pretty good overall, but things didn’t go our way.”
With Shields handling the Orioles in the early innings, Gonzalez tried to focus on his game and not be concerned with a lack of runs against Shields.
“You can’t think about it. You have to do your best and make your pitches. Couple pitches were up on (Omar) Infante and he had a great night,” Gonzalez said.
Adam Jones was among a few Orioles hitless today. The Orioles scored just six runs in the weekend series.
“He was able to get the lead and Shields is a gamer,” Jones said. “They call him ‘Big Game’ Shields for a reason. Threw all his pitches for strikes. He had us off balance, except the ball that Cruz hit. You give him the lead he knows how to sustain it.”
Jones could not hang on to a deep fly ball in the top of the first today. It was a three-base error that led to the game’s first run.
“Missed it. Elements are the elements. Missed it,” he said.
The Orioles also failed to record an out when first baseman Nick Markakis made a high throw on a rundown play, and that runner later came in to score.
“Mistakes are going to happen,” Jones said. “As long as you made the mistakes aggressively. We live with our mistakes and live with our success. Can’t be high when you do and be low when you’re bad, just have to stay even-keeled.”
Injuries happen also. The Orioles have had their share so far, and Jones was asked about that.
“There will be injuries. That is why you have a 40-man roster and guys in the minor leagues. It’s a sport,” he said. “You can walk in any day and anything can happen. It’s not like regular life where you go to an office and your biggest risk is tripping over some stairs or something. You have to make the adjustments and no crying in sports.”