Manny Machado and Andrew Cashner after O’s loss to Cleveland

Individual performances are nice, like Chance Sisco throwing out three runners in a game or Manny Machado hitting two homers. Again. Yet they seem to keep happening in Orioles losses.

Manny-Machado-hand-up-white-sidebar.jpgMachado hit solo homers off two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber in the first and fourth innings today, yet his team lost again.m

Cleveland beat the Orioles 7-3 at Camden Yards, dropping the Orioles record to 3-6 at home and to 6-16 for the season. They’ve lost eight of nine and 10 of 12 games.

“There is no excuse for what’s happening,” Machado said in the quiet of the Baltimore clubhouse. “Nobody knows what’s going on. We are losing games and need to play better. We are not going to point fingers at anybody. We are in here together and will ride and die together. We just have to play better baseball.

“When you are facing Cy Young pitchers, it is tough to get some runs on him. You try to get some runs and hopefully keep the lead. They are a great ballclub on the other side. You just can’t rely on a couple of runs.”

For Machado, this April is unlike last April. In April of 2017 he hit .224/.343/.424 with four homers and 13 RBIs. So far this month he is batting .356/.434/.713 with eight homers and 17 RBIs.

“Unfortunately is it not going so well and the team is not winning. At the end of the day it’s about winning games. You come in here and have a good day like I did today and come out with a loss, it’s not fun. Other than that I just want to keep playing, keep swinging. Been finding a lot more holes this year and hopefully I can keep riding it and hopefully we start a hot streak,” he said.

Machado looks locked in at the plate. He went 3-for-3 today off Kluber, adding a single in the sixth before he flied out in the ninth against closer Cody Allen. He is batting .410 (16-for-39) during a 10-game hitting streak, his longest since June of 2016. He has two multi-homer games the last four games, three on the season and 17 for his career. He’s homered five times in the last four games.

“Swinging at pitches that are in the zone and just not trying to miss them. Just trying to stay with my work, my pre-workout stuff and you know, sometimes you miss them and sometimes you don’t. Just lucky right now that I’m barreling them up,” Machado said after hitting homers at 107 and 108 mph according to Statcast.

According to STATS, Machado is tied for sixth all-time in multi-homer games by a right-handed batter 25 or younger:

19 - Jimmie Foxx, Bob Horner, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez
18 - Andruw Jones
17 - Manny Machado, Joe DiMaggio, Ralph Kiner

On the mound today, right-hander Andrew Cashner put up three zeroes to start his day. But Cleveland scored twice each in the fourth and fifth to take a 4-3 lead. A three-run ninth off Brad Brach put the game away.

“You know once you get the lead, you can’t give it up,” said Cashner, now 1-3 with an ERA of 3.60. “I beared down and made some pitches. They fell in. I thought I gave up some hard-hit balls but there was a lot of soft contact too.

Cashner’s 112 pitches were his most since 117 on Sept. 11, 2015 for San Diego at San Francisco. His seven strikeouts today was his most since nine against Philadelphia on Sept. 7, 2016.

O’s starters have pitched solidly at times, but with an offense that has scored three runs or fewer 15 times, the losses keep piling up.

“It’s been tough,” stated Cashner. “The biggest thing is you just have to keep grinding each day. We’ve got a lot of guys with great track records. We’ve also played a lot of cold games. But there is no panic in here or nobody pressing. But we just have to do a better job and get it done. With the warm weather today, I thought we saw some guys swinging the bat better. I’ve definitely seen our at-bats be better. We just have to clean up a few things and keep moving forward.”

Sometimes players can try too hard to be the guy that gets his team going.

“Yeah, one of my worst years in the big leagues, you try to do so well for your teammates you end up hanging that ball or you end up missing a ball. When you try harder you definitely make it a lot tougher on yourself. I think Manny has been picking us up and carrying us here a lot. But I think you’ll see other guys pick it up,” Cashner said.

The Orioles are 2-8 versus Cleveland since the start of last season. In the finale of a four-game series on Monday night, right-hander Kevin Gausman (1-1, 5.57 ERA) pitches opposite right-hander Carlos Carrasco (3-0, 2.60 ERA).

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