More on the struggling offense, plus minor league notes

The Orioles’ up-and-down offense has certainly had many more downs than ups in the 2018 season. In the series finale in Chicago on Thursday afternoon, the Orioles scored nine runs in the first three innings. They have scored three runs in 24 innings since.

They lost 5-1 to Tampa Bay on Saturday afternoon to fall to 17-35 overall and to 7-22 on the road. They are 4-6 on an 11-game road trip that ends today before they return home to face the Washington Nationals starting Monday.

Chris Davis drove in the only run yesterday and he did so with a groundball single to left field, his second single on the left side in two days. Davis has not often hit ground balls to the left side, so we’ll take that as a small but positive sign for him. He is 2-for-6 in this series. His RBI on Saturday was his first since May 9 - he had gone 13 consecutive games without one.

Scott-Orange-Sidebar-0511.jpgThe O’s highlight for the game Saturday was probably the relief outing by hard-throwing lefty Tanner Scott in the Rays sixth. He came on with the bases loaded and no outs and struck out the side on a 98 mph fastball and two sliders. He threw 15 pitches and got seven swings and misses, including six on his 10 sliders. It was a dominant relief appearance for the lefty.

In the series and road trip finale today, right-hander Kevin Gausman (3-3, 3.48 ERA) gets the start for the Orioles. Gausman is coming off an outing of 6 1/3 scoreless innings Tuesday in Chicago with 10 strikeouts. Gausman has recorded six quality starts over his last eight games, pitching to an ERA of 2.72 in that stretch.

On the farm: Triple-A Norfolk won 3-2 at Toledo last night to improve to 27-19. Norfolk has won five straight games. The Tides have moved a season-high eight games over the .500 mark and have won seven of their last nine road games.

In 11 games since being outrighted from Baltimore to Norfolk, third baseman Renato Núñez has hit .310 (13-for-42) with five doubles, one triple, one home run and six RBIs. Over his last 17 games, outfielder DJ Stewart has hit .316 (18-for-57) with four home runs, five doubles and 13 RBIs. Stewart has also drawn 15 walks in May, third-most in the International League. In eight games since joining the Tides from Baltimore, Caleb Joseph has hit .290 (9-for-31) with two doubles and six RBIs.

Double-A Bowie lost 3-1 at Binghamton last night. Right-hander Hunter Harvey threw well in a no-decision. Over five innings, he gave up one run with one walk and seven strikeouts to leave his ERA at 4.15.

Hot-hitting Cedric Mullins had three more hits. He has hit safely in his last 11 games and 14 of his last 16, and is hitting .400 (28-for-70) with 10 multi-hit games during that stretch. His 11-game hitting streak is a season high by a Baysox hitter. Infielder Corban Joseph has 10 multi-hit games over his past 30 games. In that span, he is batting .313 with 10 doubles, six homers and 19 RBIs.

Baysox outfielder Austin Hays has missed the past two games, reportedly due to a leg injury, although I have not been able to confirm that with any club official.

Single-A Frederick ended a seven-game homestand Thursday that featured a lot of offense. Over this span, the Keys scored 58 runs (8.3 per contest) and hit .335. Among their 80 hits in the seven games were 10 home runs, eight doubles and one triple. Frederick reached the double-digit scoring mark three times, with the highlight coming on Wednesday night, when the Keys tallied season highs for runs (16) and hits (23). The 23 hits were the second-most in a game in franchise history, coming up one short of the franchise mark set on Aug. 8, 1990

Frederick’s Preston Palmeiro and Ryan McKenna were both held hitless Friday night, ending their hitting streaks at 16 and 12 games, respectively. In recording the second-longest streak in the Carolina League this year, Palmeiro batted .323. McKenna batted .462 (25-for-54) with two homers, six doubles, 14 RBIs and 15 runs scored during his streak.

Right-hander Michael Baumann made his second Carolina League start on Friday allowing two runs (one earned) over 5 2/3. He is 1-0 with an ERA of 1.42 in two Frederick starts since moving up from Single-A Delmarva. Over 12 2/3 innings, he has allowed eight hits with four walks and eight strikeouts.

Delmarva notched its seventh shutout of the season, 3-0 over Lakewood in Salisbury on Friday night. It was the team’s fourth shutout in 10 games and second in the last three. But last night, Lakewood beat Delmarva 8-3 to drop the Shorebirds’ record to 29-18. Brenan Hanifee allowed three runs over 4 2/3 innings and his ERA is 2.55. Zach Jarrett went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

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