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O's bats can't pick up Hess in loss to Halos

Jones' run-scoring single in 9th breaks up shutout in opener
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

BALTIMORE -- You can twist it, turn it, analyze small pieces of the Orioles' season or the entire 81 games already in the books. You can, they say, make statistics say anything you want. Except these numbers, this offense, there is no other way to spin it. Baltimore's lineup continues to be an issue, a baffling, serious problem that has plagued the club since Opening Day.

Yes, the Orioles' defensive shortcomings came into play in Friday night's 7-1 loss to the Angels. And rookie David Hess, who has been on a slide after a fantastic first month in May, did little to quell concern. But for the 34th time this season -- nearly half of their games played -- the O's scored two or fewer runs. Twenty two of those times, like Friday night, they were held to one or fewer. Halos starter Felix Pena -- the club's 11th starter this season -- flummoxed the O's over 5 1/3 innings in his first road start.

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BALTIMORE -- You can twist it, turn it, analyze small pieces of the Orioles' season or the entire 81 games already in the books. You can, they say, make statistics say anything you want. Except these numbers, this offense, there is no other way to spin it. Baltimore's lineup continues to be an issue, a baffling, serious problem that has plagued the club since Opening Day.

Yes, the Orioles' defensive shortcomings came into play in Friday night's 7-1 loss to the Angels. And rookie David Hess, who has been on a slide after a fantastic first month in May, did little to quell concern. But for the 34th time this season -- nearly half of their games played -- the O's scored two or fewer runs. Twenty two of those times, like Friday night, they were held to one or fewer. Halos starter Felix Pena -- the club's 11th starter this season -- flummoxed the O's over 5 1/3 innings in his first road start.

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"It's frustrating," manager Buck Showalter said of the lack of offensive production. "I'm not going to get into strike zones and stuff, especially in our situation. It's not attractive, blaming things on umpires.

Video: LAA@BAL: Showalter on the pitching struggles in loss

"I'd like to see us do better. ... It's the story again, we scored one run and nothing through eight innings. You're not going to win that way."

The Orioles have lost six straight and 16 of their last 17 games at Camden Yards. With the season officially at its midway point, they are 23-58, already 31 games behind the first-place Yankees and Red Sox in the American League East and with the fewest wins in baseball. The O's are now 0-14 against the AL West.

What has to change?

"A lot," said left fielder Trey Mancini, who doubled and scored the O's lone run in the ninth. "It's kind of hard big picture, you just try to take it day by day. That's all you can do is work on little things and play as a team. Kind of like we did in that Atlanta series. Some good things happened [there] and there was kind of a different energy about us. So hopefully we can get back to that here and play well this second half."

There were bright spots, most notably the Major League debuts of pitchers Paul Fry and Ryan Meisinger, who followed Hess. But the Angels tallied double-digit hits and Hess -- who allowed six runs on nine hits and two walks -- could not go at least six innings for the fourth consecutive game.

Video: LAA@BAL: Hess fans Valbuena, strands a pair in 1st

"Obviously that's not good enough, said Hess, who said he felt like he made some progress but needed to be finer at times. "I didn't give our team a chance to win. I think going forward, finding a way to minimize those tough situations better."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Angels manager Mike Scioscia challenged the out call on Andrelton Simmons at home with one out in the sixth inning. Manny Machado, playing in, fielded the grounder and fired home, but replay showed that Simmons got in under catcher Chance Sisco's tag and the call was overturned. The play was part of a three-run sixth with the Angels going on to score two more one runs off Hess.

Video: LAA@BAL: Simmons races home on Maldonado's grounder

SOUND SMART
The debuts of Fry and Meisinger in the same game marked just the fifth time in Orioles history (since 1954) that two pitchers debuted in the same game according to STATS LLC. It was the second time this season (Nestor Cortes and Pedro Araujo), but prior to that it hadn't happened since 1967.

Video: LAA@BAL: Fry whiffs Calhoun to record 1st career K

HE SAID IT
"No, not on me. It's been tougher on our fans, and our players. I don't look at it that way. All things considered, it's an unbelievable way to do something you love and be able to pay the bills with it. As tough or as bad as things have been for 81 games, they can be just as good the other way around." -- Showalter, on how tough the first part of the season has been on him

UP NEXT
Orioles right-hander Andrew Cashner (2-8, 4.70 ERA) will square off against Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs (6-5, 2.69 ERA) in the middle game of this series at 4:05 p.m. ET on Saturday at Camden Yards. Cashner took a no-decision in his last start against the Mariners, despite going six innings for the third time in four outings. He owns a 3.68 ERA in June, but is winless in four starts.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, David Hess