The Orioles' fate was pretty much sealed in the bottom of the first inning earlier tonight when Jo-Jo Reyes allowed four runs in his first 12 pitches without managing to get an out.
A double by Peter Bourjos got it started. Alberto Callaspo and Howie Kendrick hit back-to-back singles, and then Torii Hunter drove Reyes' first-pitch fastball into the left-field seats. Just like that, the Orioles trailed by four runs.
Facing All-Star Dan Haren, they brought the tying run to the plate in the second inning and again in the eighth, but ill-timed strikeouts doomed them in an 8-3 loss.
"It just gets very challenging for an offense to constantly be digging out of a hole. Starting pitching has been an issue for us. That goes without saying," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "You're on the field 15 to 20 minutes the first inning, it seems like. We do that a lot. It really challenges your mentality. I'm proud of the way our guys keep battling back offensively, but you can see it's a challenge for us emotionally when you're constantly playing catch up."
The Orioles have been outscored 94-42 in first innings this year, and by an astounding 90 runs over the first three innings.
"I'm proud of the way our guys keep battling back offensively, but you can see it's a challenge for us emotionally when you're constantly playing catch up," Showalter said.
The Orioles (47-75) dropped their third consecutive game and their 15th in the last 20 contests, and are back on pace to lose 100 games. Only one Oriole team since 1954 has reached the 100-loss plateau and that was the dreadful 1988 squad that started 0-21 before finishing 54-107.
J.J. Hardy, Vladimir Guerrero, Matt Wieters and Robert Andino each had two hits and the Orioles totaled 12 hits for the game. However, they also stranded 10 baserunners and had the bases loaded twice with one and didn't score either time.