BALTIMORE -- The Orioles faithful rose with the crack of the bat, suddenly intoxicated by the possibility of slugger Mark Trumbo's follow through. Perhaps this night would be different, and Baltimore would not wilt due to poor pitching. Perhaps Trumbo's second-inning swat would carry and carry and settle into the
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles faithful rose with the crack of the bat, suddenly intoxicated by the possibility of slugger Mark Trumbo's follow through. Perhaps this night would be different, and Baltimore would not wilt due to poor pitching. Perhaps Trumbo's second-inning swat would carry and carry and settle into the left-field seats.
Baltimore has been searching for a spark to turn around what is becoming an increasingly frustrating stretch. For a moment Thursday night at Camden Yards, with two outs and the bases loaded, it seemed like Trumbo might provide that jolt.
But then Cleveland left fielder Erik Gonzalez settled into position just in front of the warning track and calmly recorded the out. Trumbo retreated to the dugout, left to stomach the wasted opportunity in the Orioles' 6-3 loss to Cleveland.
The Orioles dropped three out of four games to the defending American League champion Indians.
"This series was very tough," Trumbo said. "That was elite pitching on that side. That was top tier. Every single one of those guys has nice stuff; they're having nice seasons by and large. That was a grind."
The second inning started off with promise for the Orioles. Indians starter Mike Clevinger allowed a leadoff single to Hyun Soo Kim and then hit both Ruben Tejada and Craig Gentry with pitches to load the bases.
Seth Smith, who led off the bottom of the first with a home run, stepped into the box. He grounded into a 1-2-3 double play, killing the runner charging home, but then Manny Machado walked to load the bases for Jonathan Schoop. He also walked and the Orioles tied the game at 2.
Trumbo then worked the count to 2-2 before sending a 78.5-mph slider into left field to end the inning.
"You look at stats, you look at things, and this team is good at this and that. You still got to go out there and do it," said bench coach John Russell, who was filling in for manager Buck Showalter. "That's why you play the game. Just because it says something on paper doesn't mean it's going to happen."
Russell found positives in the loss. He commended Schoop and Machado's at-bats, and insisted that the results would come as long as the Orioles continue to grind.
But the offense has repeatedly found itself in holes. Thursday's defeat marked the 19th straight game the Orioles allowed at least five runs, a streak that's left them with a 35-37 record and in a last-place tie with the Blue Jays in the AL East.
"We could have a huge second half," Trumbo said. "It could be a totally different story."
Joshua Needelman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Washington.