DETROIT -- To say the bounces are not going the Orioles' way is an understatement. But, it was a literal example in Wednesday's 6-5 walk-off series loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park.The O's much-maligned offense had just broken out for a three-run eighth inning, a huge number when you
DETROIT -- To say the bounces are not going the Orioles' way is an understatement. But, it was a literal example in Wednesday's 6-5 walk-off series loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park.
The O's much-maligned offense had just broken out for a three-run eighth inning, a huge number when you consider the team has been held to two or fewer runs eight times this season. The final run in that frame came when Chris Davis lined a ball off the left-field wall that bounced back into play. Davis narrowly missed a homer. Tigers catcher John Hicks, on the other hand, did not.
Hicks' ball off of reliever Darren O'Day, just like Davis', went careening off the top of the left-field wall. But Hicks' bounced out into the stands for a definitive three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning, which erased the Orioles' rally.
"We fought hard to get some runs across the plate. I felt good, I felt confident. Just didn't make the pitches I needed to," O'Day said following the Orioles' seventh loss in eight games. "Made some good pitches to [Miguel] Cabrera, but the pitch to [Nicholas] Castellanos and the pitch to Hicks were just terrible pitches. You know, tight margins and games are won or lost late in the game. It's just really poor pitching by me."
O'Day was charged with all three Detroit runs in the eighth.
The Orioles' lineup certainly put forth a valiant effort. After Hicks' home run gave the Tigers a 5-4 lead, Luis Sardinas hit a game-tying solo shot off Shane Greene in the ninth. But it took Detroit just two pitches to respond, as Dixon Machado homered off of Rule 5 Draft pick Pedro Araujo to end the game.
"We know that things aren't going our way right now, there's no question about it," Davis said. "You just have to keep grinding, battling, stay on it."
The Orioles, who have squandered quality starts from Dylan Bundy and Andrew Cashner in recent days, let a solid six innings from Kevin Gausman slip away on Wednesday. Gausman went six frames plus two batters, with Cabrera and Jeimer Candelario each going deep off the righty.
"I think Kevin, I'm not broadcasting that he's trying to two-seam the ball a little bit more, trying to work some balls on the ground, which he's doing, inducing some weak contact," manager Buck Showalter said of Gausman. "His work days are going great, he's competing and doing a lot better this time of year than he did last year. I'm proud of him."
Danny Valencia got one back for the Orioles in the second inning, sending Tigers starter Matthew Boyd's 3-2 pitch into the left-field seats in the second. It was the O's only run until the eighth, when Manny Machado tied things up with a single up the middle off Tigers reliever Drew VerHagen. Adam Jones followed with a sacrifice fly before Davis' long RBI single off the fence.
"I actually just looked at it, saw how close it was," Davis said of the near-miss home run. "It hit on the crease at the top of the wall. It doesn't get any closer."
It was the kind of ball that finds a lucky roll when a team is going good. And right now, that team isn't the Orioles.
"Yeah, it's challenging," O'Day said of the past week. "We're all competitors, and every day we come in here with a loss, it affects us. Guys are pros. They know that every day is a new day. I'm the same way. Hope I get on the mound tomorrow and it will be a different result."
GAUSMAN'S NEW LOOK
Gausman debuted a new delivery quirk Wednesday that he decided on just one day prior. The right-hander reached up over his head before going into his windup, a move he committed to after doing some dry throws on Tuesday and liking how it felt.
"Felt like I was landing in the same spot every time and like I was really reaching toward home plate," Gausman said. "I told [pitching coach] Roger [McDowell] yesterday I was going to do it, and he kind of challenged me and said, 'No you're not.' And whenever someone challenges me, I'm probably going to do it even more. So it was good. Obviously, [a] couple times I hit my hat on the way up, so I need to figure that out, but I think it will come with reps. It's definitely something I can build on."
HE SAID IT
"It's so early, obviously you don't want to bury yourself right out of the gates. We know it's a long season, this division is going to be a grind day in and day out, and it's going to go down to the wire like it does every year. The biggest thing for us to remember is, we are still a good team, we still have the ability to be a good team and we just have to right the ship right now." -- Davis, on the Orioles being 10 games behind the Red Sox in the American League East before Boston's game Wednesday night
The Orioles will send Alex Cobb to the mound in the series finale opposite Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann on Thursday at 1:10 p.m. ET, in a game available on MLB Network outside of the Baltimore area. Cobb went just 3 2/3 innings in his season debut at Fenway Park, as the Red Sox touched him up for 10 hits and eight runs (seven earned). He'll look to bounce back on Thursday afternoon.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.