The Orioles didn’t make a roster move before Game 2 of today’s doubleheader. Executive vice president Dan Duquette met with manager Buck Showalter and the club decided to stand pat.
Chris Tillman retired the Rays in order in the top of the first, throwing seven of 11 pitches for strikes. He’s allowed 15 runs in the first inning this season, but none in his last two starts.
Adam Jones doubled with two outs in the bottom of the first, but Nelson Cruz bounced to short.
Third baseman Manny Machado is starting both ends of the doubleheader, moving up to second in the order tonight. Still no word on his suspension.
“I don’t care,” he said. “I’m playing baseball. That’s all I care about. That’s the only thing on my mind. When it comes, when they make the decision, that’s when it’s going to come.
“It’s going to come. You can’t control that.”
Machado extended his hitting streak to five games in the opener and is 8-for-19 with a double and home run during that stretch.
The Orioles are now 13-15 in day games this season, including 4-8 at home.
Turn on the lights.
The Orioles have grounded into at least two double plays in four consecutive games, tied for the second-longest streak in club history. It happened most recently May 28-June 1, 2006. The franchise record is six straight games April 13-20, 1982.
“I think what’s been troubling us the last five, six games has been the double play ball,” Jones said. “We grounded into 12, 13 double plays in the last four or five games. Those are the biggest rally killers.
“If you continue to get men on base, you’re going to succeed. We keep getting guys on base, but that hit with runners in scoring position has been elusive.”
In Game 1 today, the Orioles again were handcuffed by a relative unknown starter, Rays right-hander Alex Colome. They can do damage against the heavyweights, including Masahiro Tanaka and Chris Sale, but the flyweights batter them.
“I just think it’s what that guy brings that day,” said catcher Caleb Joseph. “Most of those guys are just dealing against us. They know they have to bring their A game to face our team.
“They’ve got a great offensive team. It just seems they come out and pitch really, really well. We’re not really too worried about it, because at the end of the day we like our chances with our offense.”
Update: James Loney homered in the top of the second inning to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead - the 15th run allowed by Tillman in the second inning this year, but only the second home run in his last six starts.
The Orioles came right back against Rays starter Jake Odorizzi in the bottom of the second, with consecutive one-out singles by J.J. Hardy, David Lough and Nick Hundley tying the game.
Lough is making his third start since June 10. The hit was his first since June 8.
The Orioles loaded the bases with two outs on Nick Markakis’ walk, on the 36th pitch thrown by Odorizzi, but Machado struck out.
Funny that three of the first five Orioles flied to the warning track, but the club scores in the second inning with Lough’s infield hit and Hundley’s blooper to left.
Before tonight, the bottom three hitters in the lineup - Lough, Hundley and Ryan Flaherty - were batting .182, .195 and .205.