BALTIMORE -- The opportunity was there.On the heels of a feel-good, skid-stopping win on Friday, the Orioles entered Saturday night with a chance to build on that momentum, to start a win streak, and to perhaps enter uncharted territory in clinching their first home series this season.Instead, all of Friday's
BALTIMORE -- The opportunity was there.
On the heels of a feel-good, skid-stopping win on Friday, the Orioles entered Saturday night with a chance to build on that momentum, to start a win streak, and to perhaps enter uncharted territory in clinching their first home series this season.
Instead, all of Friday's goodwill was quickly washed away. Right-hander Andrew Cashner turned in his worst start since signing with Baltimore this spring and the offense -- while piecing together a four-run seventh inning -- fell short of a big rally. The end result -- a 9-5 loss -- drops the O's to 7-20 on the season, and leaves them still searching for a hot streak to turn things around.
"[It's] very disappointing," Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini said. "We've been struggling. You want to string together a couple wins. Get a win streak started, maybe before our road trip."
Instead, Cashner became the third Oriole in five games who was unable to complete five innings, going a season-low four frames and surrendering a season-high seven runs (six earned) on seven hits and three walks.
"You could see [with] the very first hitter, that's something that's not very characteristic of him. His command. He just didn't have a good feel for it," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Cashner, who had gone six or more innings in four straight starts leading in. "He's trying to go off the plate and almost bounced a breaking ball, I think, to Cabrera, and kind of centers it up a little bit. Just never really got into sync, so to speak. He's been pitching so well for us for the most part. I know that's frustrating for him."
After allowing a first-inning run, Cashner put his club in a big hole with a four-run second that included Jose Cabrera's three-run homer. Cabrera, who drove in five of the runs scored with Cashner on the mound, sent a 1-0, 83-mph curveball into the right-field flag court for a two-out blast.
"Yeah with the base open, I've just got to make a better pitch," Cashner said. "I was trying to go curveball in the dirt there and I left it up.
The inning started with a one-out single and Cashner then walked No. 9 batter Dixon Machado to turn the lineup over. Leonys Martin delivered an RBI single, but Cashner struck out Jeimer Candelario to give himself a chance to get out of the frame. Cabrera had other plans. The Tigers' first baseman pushed across two more runs in the fourth, lining a ball past the glove of diving left fielder Craig Gentry.
Only one of those two runs was earned, however, as third baseman Danny Valencia's error allowed Machado to reach to start the inning.
"I just wasn't really commanding the offspeed in the zone, and when I did, it was middle," Cashner said of his night. "But I think I made some good pitches with my fastball and it was just a lot of missed hits that were just a little short, but that's a part of throwing the sinker. You have to live and die with it. Some nights are better than others, but the breaks just went the other way."
The Orioles' offense broke out in the seventh, chasing Tigers lefty Francisco Liriano and putting together a four-run frame -- including an RBI walk and hit-by-pitch that made it 8-5.
"Liriano pitched a fantastic game, but that inning he started missing his spots a little bit," said Mancini, who had a hard lineout in the frame. "We were a little more patient up there and strung some hits together."
The inning was highlighted by red-hot Manny Machado, who extended his team RBI lead (22) with a two-run single up the middle off Joe Jimenez to make it 8-5.
Orioles Rule 5 reliever Pedro Araujo allowed a run over 2 2/3 innings in relief of Cashner, while Darren O'Day surrendered a solo homer to Victor Martinez in the ninth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
O's score, but needed more: After Liriano was replaced in an 8-1 game by righty Warwick Saupold, Pedro Alvarez worked a walk to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Chance Sisco was plunked to drive in a run and Saupold walked Jace Peterson to push another run across. Machado closed the gap to three, but Jimenez got Adam Jones -- the potential tying run -- to fly out and strand runners at the corners.
HE SAID IT
"Like I say a lot to the guys, there's always a point in the game where you can either get back in it or you can put it away, so to speak. Proud, and commend our guys for getting the tying run to the plate and fighting our way all the way back. But it creates not much margin for error and the tack-on runs at the end of the game kind of create ... you almost have to be perfect out of the bullpen the rest of the way. It's tough." -- Showalter
Kevin Gausman will take the mound in Sunday's series finale against Detroit to cap the O's homestand. He will be opposed by lefty Daniel Norris. Gausman turned in his best outing of the season his last time out, going eight innings against the Indians, but took the loss because the bats went cold. He'll look to continue his recent string of impressive outings when he faces Detroit for the second time in three starts.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.