The focus is going to be on Brian Matusz, who allowed a career-high 13 hits on Tuesday and lost his fourth consecutive decision.

But the microscope has to be on the Orioles' offense.


For the ninth time in their last 10 games they have scored three runs or fewer. In that span, they have scored just 20 runs on 55 hits, including a terrible 14 for extra bases, and they're 5-for-52 with runners in scoring position.

That's a .096 average, folks.

"We keep getting ourselves into position, we just need to hit," says center fielder Adam Jones. "But we're getting ourselves in position. We're looking at it in a positive light. We've left some guys on base, we had the opportunity to score more runs, and we didn't. But we had the opportunity. We have to bear down, get in scoring position and get that hit. It's not easy."

As the Orioles have struggled, one of the explanations has been the pitchers they have faced. Guys like Brandon Beachy, R.A. Dickey, Johan Santana, Jordan Zimmermann and, Tuesday night, C.J. Wilson.

And that's true, to an extent.

"It's like the chicken or the egg. We've got people out there," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We did some good things to get them out there. Usually, guys that have the track record that Wilson has, there's a reason why they're able to make some pitches. It's frustrating. We hit a couple balls right on the button in key situations. The whole idea about hitting, you keep hitting the ball firmly and they're not going to have as much time to react. But obviously there was a lot less of that than we needed."

The real problem is that this club has few players who consistently put the ball in play. And even fewer that can get a deep fly ball with a runner on third and fewer than two outs. Or can move a runner to third with a grounder to the right side (that doesn't end up as a double play, that is).

These Orioles swing the bat. And that's OK when the ball keeps flying out of the park. But when the homer isn't there, the Orioles need to find other ways to score runs.

"No one's making excuses. We're going to go out there tomorrow and put ourselves in the same situations and hopefully come through," Jones said. "We're going up there swinging, we're not going up there passive. No one's making excuses in there. We're just frustrated that we're not getting it done."

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