It appeared almost out of thin air, but there it was in the Orioles’ half of the eighth inning: a first-rate opportunity to win a game they hadn’t yet done anything to deserve to lose.
Tim Beckham’s sinking line drive fell a half-step in front of a sliding Odúbel Herrera. Manny Machado and Mark Trumbo laid off enough 91-mph sliders from Seranthony Domínguez to earn the Orioles’ first two walks of the day.
Yet none scored, the Orioles left in disbelief and still trailing 3-2 after Chris Davis went the other way against the shift but still saw Maikel Franco corral it with a diving stop and retire him at first base. They lost by that margin, 3-2, before an announced 28,204 at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night after rain delayed first pitch by an hour and a half.
“You’re just snake-bit,” manager Buck Showalter said. “I thought Chris had some good at-bats tonight, hung in there and carved a ball the other way. Their guy made a good play and threw a little off-line at first. It’ll go down as a real good play by their first baseman.”
It wasn’t a Davis thing — he for once took what he was given, even if the result didn’t materialize. It wasn’t an Alex Cobb thing, not after he held the Phillies to four hits and three runs in 6 2/3 innings and only didn’t finish seven because of an error at third base by Beckham.
It’s just an Orioles thing. They are 24-60, no longer undefeated in July, and even when they do enough to put themselves in position to win, they simply don’t. This time, it wasn’t for lack of work to get there.
“There’s not much more we can do — other than, obviously, get a big hit,” Trumbo said. “But the effort was there. The frustration, it’s as much as you make of it.”
After an 85-minute rain delay allowed the grounds crew to prepare the field in time for the game to start with six steady innings of a muggy drizzle, the Orioles shot out to an early lead when Trumbo clubbed a 442-foot home run to center field in the second inning.
It was his eighth home run in 15 games, and his third in the past two, and would stand until a frustrating third inning for Cobb. After Franco singled with one out to represent Philadelphia’s first hit, Cobb had two outs when home plate umpire Mark Carlson squeezed him on the inside edge of the plate for a walk. Three pitches later, Rhys Hoskins doubled off the left-field wall to put the Orioles down 2-1.
That deficit was short-lived. Machado, who was warmly cheered by a Phillies crowd that wants him in their colors, doubled down the right-field line and scored when Trumbo hit a looper into short right-field and Nick Williams misplayed it.
Williams, however, came around to score after a one-out walk in the fourth inning put him on base for Andrew Knapp’s two-out triple, a roller down the first-base line that eluded Davis and got all the way to the corner before Trumbo tracked it down.
The Orioles had only one hit from that point until their eighth-inning effort — a single by Cobb in the fifth inning. Before that, rookie left-hander Paul Fry stranded the bases full of Cobb’s runners in the seventh, ensuring Cobb’s ERA dropped to 6.53.
“He pitched well,” Showalter said of Cobb. “We scored two runs again.”
Jonathan Schoop beat out an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error in the ninth inning, but ended the game there. The Orioles had one hit in seven chances with a runner in scoring position, and stranded seven.