Jeremy Guthrie admirably shouldered the blame for the Orioles' 6-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants today as he allowed back-to-back solo homers to former teammate Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe to break a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning.
However, the Orioles lost another game primarily because of their inability to hit with runners in scoring position. They went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranded 13 baserunners, failing to take full advantage of a wild Tim Lincecum, who allowed eight hits, walked four and threw three wild pitches in six innings. He did strike out 10 and the Orioles registered a season-high 15 strikeouts for the game.
For the series, the Orioles went 5-for-33 (.152) with runners in scoring position and stranded 33 runners. It continued their season-long woes in clutch spots as the Orioles are hitting a Major League-worst .213 as a team with runners in scoring position. The next worst team batting average with runners in scoring position in the A.L. is owned by the Seattle Mariners, who entered tonight with a .237 average.
"I think we had a chance to beat them," said Julio Lugo who was a late addition into the lineup for an injured Scott Moore, and went 3-for-5 with two RBIs. "We had a lot of chances with men in scoring position and less than two outs. That's been one of our weaknesses. We're not putting the ball in play at the right time. Sometimes, you don't need a hit to drive some runs in. That's one of the things that cost us even though I thought we swung the bats well as a team."
Their final chance came in the eighth when they had runners on the corners with one out and Giants closer Brian Wilson fanned Nick Markakis on four pitches and then got Nick Markakis to ground out.
"I think we had some situations that we were put in that we didn't execute, including myself in that last at-bat," said Markakis. "It's tough especially with the situation that we're in. When you don't execute those plays in crucial times, it's magnified times 10. It's not like we're not out there trying. We're trying and just coming up short right now."
The Orioles have now lost 10 straight series and 17 of their last 20 games.