NEW YORK — For only the second time since the Orioles moved to Baltimore, they went hitless in at least 15 at-bats with runners in scoring position in Wednesday's 12-3 loss to the Yankees.
Like Tuesday, the runners, the instruments for another comeback, were there for the Orioles. It started in the second, the same inning in which the Orioles scored seven runs Tuesday and never looked back.
On Wednesday, they drove in just one in the inning, on a ground out.
Two runners got aboard in the third, and another pair was on in the fourth, and then again in the fifth. And the sixth. And the seventh. By the eighth, when the Orioles got a double from Endy Chavez to drive in a runner from first base, they already trailed the Yankees by nine runs.
The Orioles finished with 13 hits but were 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position. The only other time an Orioles team went that many such at-bats without a hit was Aug. 21, 1995 in Seattle.
"The positive thing was, we were getting the hits to get people on. We just weren't getting them in," said shortstop J.J. Hardy, who was 3-for-4 on the day. "We could have made it a lot closer, for sure, if we had gotten a few more hits with those runners on."
The team's struggles Wednesday were a continuation of its season-long issues with runners on base and in scoring position.
The Orioles stranded a runner on base in every inning except the ninth and left 11 runners on base overall. The game was the ninth out of the last 23 in which the Orioles failed to get a hit a with runner in scoring position.
The Orioles have gone hitless in that scenario in 34 games this season, and in 22 more, they have recorded just one. Tuesday's 6-for-14 performance with runners in scoring position in an 11-5 comeback win was an aberration.
"Happens," center fielder Adam Jones said of the struggles with runners on base. "It happens with the game. You can't always drive them in, you always want to, but you can't always do it. So you tip your cap to the guys and move on to the next series."
Wieters in the lineup
Manager Buck Showalter decided not to give catcher Matt Wieters the day off on Wednesday, even though it was a day game following a night game. Wieters went 2-for-4 before being replaced by Taylor Teagarden in the bottom of the seventh.
Showalter has been trying to give Wieters some rest, and catchers frequently get a day game off when it is preceded by a game the previous night.
If the Orioles did not have a scheduled off day Thursday, Showalter said he likely would have given Wieters the extra rest.
"Plus, we've got 58 games left," Showalter said. "Matt's a good player."
Wieters has batted surprisingly poorly in contests following a game off. He has hit just .189 in such games, with three home runs in 37 at bats.
Wieters has only had two breaks of two or more days this season — July 27 and 28 and during the All-Star break. He is 3-for-8 in the two games following a multi-day break.
Quintanilla causing problems
Second baseman Omar Quintanilla is becoming a problem for the Orioles, and that's OK with Showalter.
The Orioles acquired Quintanilla from the Mets mainly for his defense after injuries to second basemen Robert Andino and Brian Roberts left a hole at second base. Quintanila, though, has impressed with his bat. He went 0-for-3 Wednesday but has posted a .371 average in 12 games with the Orioles.