SEATTLE - The Orioles’ road trip started with an offensive bang. They scored 23 runs on 29 hits with four homers in two wins at San Diego. But now they have scored just five runs on 13 hits with two homers at Seattle.
The Orioles lost 5-2 to the Mariners tonight to fall to 1-4 versus Seattle this year. They’ve scored 12 runs in those games.
Seattle lefty Wade LeBlanc held the Orioles to three hits and two runs over six innings and 81 pitches.
“We all knew what they’re going to do coming in,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s got a little cutter that I thought was effective for him, the changeup is always there. That’s a pitch you’ve always got to keep in the back of your mind. It’s just very typical of good left-handed pitchers. You see a lot of them with that same repertoire and approach.”
For the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman, it was another night of not getting much offense to support his pitching. He allowed eight hits and three runs to fall to 1-6 with a 3.97 ERA. He gave up Seth Smith’s solo homer in the first. In the sixth inning he yielded a double to Nelson Cruz, followed by a two-run homer to Kyle Seager that gave Seattle a 3-2 lead. Dae-Ho Lee’s two-run shot off Chaz Roe in the eighth ended the scoring.
“We were hoping to get the lead and get it to Brad (Brach) in the seventh, but we weren’t able to do it,” Showalter said, as his team falls to 47-32. “He (Gausman) just made a couple mistakes. When we’re not scoring any runs, it gets magnified, kind of like Chris (Tillman last night.) It’s more about them pitching well. Kevin, I’m pleased with Kevin. He’s learning some things along the way, like all young pitchers do.”
Showalter knows the Orioles could not keep piling up runs as they had been.
“We don’t say que sera sera, but when a pitcher is on top of their game and a hitter is on top of their game, the pitcher always wins,” Showalter said. “You go to the playoffs, whoever pitches the best is the last team standing. It’s not nearly as complicated as everyone makes it.”
Gausman was asked about the pitch that Seager blasted to right for the two-run shot. It was an elevated fastball on an 0-2 count.
“I mean, that is exactly where I was trying to throw it,” he said. “That was one thing maybe he was kind of sitting on. I had thrown a lot of fastballs up to these guys and you know, that is how I like attacking this lineup. So, maybe he was just sitting on it. He was obviously looking for a fastball right there.
“If you really look at it, I got beat on two pitches. Playing with Nelson, I know him pretty well. Even 3-0, I was trying to make a competitive pitch down and away. And I did and he put a good swing on it. That is what makes him so tough. Him and (Robinson) Cano, even 3-0, they’ll take some hacks.”
The way the Orioles had been scoring runs, most nights Gausman’s outing might have been a winning one. Instead the Orioles fall to 5-9 in his 14 starts. He is 5-17 with an ERA of 5.14 in his career in road starts.
“I feel like if our starter can give up three runs or less, we have a very good chance to win,” Gausman said. “Even against their bullpen I felt like we had a chance. Last night we strung something together too. Any game with this lineup you feel pretty confident and comfortable pitching with a lead.”
Jonathan Schoop’s 11-game hitting streak ended last night. Tonight he went 2-for-4 with an RBI single and is batting .300.