A recent lack of runs, Wilkerson’s weekend, Baumann’s no-no

For an eight-game stretch from June 28 through July 6, the next-to-last game before the All-Star break, the Orioles offense produced 53 runs. But they were held to one run in the final game before the break and the offense has been slow ever since.

Over the last six games, the Orioles have scored just 13 runs. In the last two games, they’ve scored just two runs on seven hits. After the combined near-perfect game by Tampa Bay on Sunday, the O’s lost 8-1 last night to the Washington Nationals.

The Orioles had chances early in the game to get the lead and maybe set themselves up for a much better night then it turned out to be. They loaded the bases in the first with one out after Austin Voth walked one and hit two batters. But he pitched out of that jam. Then after Trey Mancini doubled to lead off the Baltimore third, he was stranded there. The Orioles went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and are 1-for-11 with RISP the past two games.

The Nationals scored six runs their last four at-bats to pull away. Their 20-year-old star outfielder, Juan Soto, hit a 443-foot homer and drove in two. Anthony Rendon added two RBIs.

The Orioles and Nationals have been playing each other since 2006. At one time the Orioles led the all-time series 36 wins to 24. But since the 2017 season they are 3-8 versus the Nats, and they’ve lost six of the last seven games between the two clubs.

While the Orioles have now lost three in a row and five of six games, Washington is 31-12 (.721) since May 24, which is the best record in the majors since then. When this run began, Washington was 19-31, and now their record is 50-43.

Stevie-Wilkerson-Hits-Foul-Lefty-White-Sidebar.jpgHe pitched, he hit, he could do it all: He wasn’t in the starting lineup last night, but the Orioles’ versatile Stevie Wilkerson had a good weekend against the Tampa Bay Rays. He went 4-for-10 at the plate, which included a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning in Game 1 Saturday as the Orioles won 2-1.

It was a weekend that left him feeling good about his game.

“It definitely gives you a little confidence, and there are some experiences there that probably won’t happen too often in the big leagues,” Wilkerson said. “It always feels good to do something good for your team. Eat an inning, get a big hit, keep a rally going. The day-to-day trying to prove yourself to your teammates and staff is an ongoing thing. Fun to have a couple of days like that.

“It’s a challenge every day. You learn something new every day. You never know what challenges you will see that day. But you do something one day and you have to come out and prove yourself the next day. That is the mentality I have. Every day I have to prove myself.”

Wilkerson’s weekend began Friday night, when he took the mound in the ninth of Tampa Bay’s 16-4 win. With a doubleheader looming the next day, he threw 67 mph pitches that induced three flyouts on 10 pitches. An impressive 1-2-3 frame. Coach Tim Cossins had let him know late in the game he might be taking the mound.

“He came up to me and said ‘You’re going to pitch an inning in the big leagues.’ So I said, ‘Let’s do this.’ Glad I was able to eat an inning and keep it pain-free. Fortunate it went that way.”

No-hitter in Bowie: Double-A Bowie right-hander Michael Baumann pitched a no-hitter last night in Bowie’s 6-0 win over Harrisburg. He needed just 95 pitches to throw the third nine-inning no-no in Baysox history, and the first since Radames Liz did it on June 1, 2007.

Baumann, the club’s third-round pick out of Jacksonville University in 2017, walked two and fanned 10. He never threw more than 16 pitches in an inning and threw fewer than 10 in five innings.

Since his promotion from Single-A Frederick, he’s been outstanding for the Baysox. In five games he is 2-1 with a 0.33 ERA and 0.67 WHIP. In 27 innings he’s allowed 10 hits and one run, with eight walks and 32 strikeouts. Over his past two starts he’s allowed one hit and no runs in 15 innings with four walks and 19 strikeouts.

Bowie is now 20-5 in the second half, with the best record in the Eastern League and leading its division by 2 1/2 games. Bowie has won 12 consecutive series.

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