If there were any positives for the Baltimore Orioles to take from Monday’s performance, it’s that the first game of their series with the visiting Detroit Tigers only counted as one loss.
But that probably puts more pressure on the Orioles to get things right in the middle game of a three-game series on Tuesday night.
“We have to win as many games as possible and see where we are at the end,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said.
Detroit trounced the Orioles 11-0 on Monday night, exposing Baltimore in many ways.
The Orioles (76-70) didn’t have a hit for the first six innings against Tigers starter Tyler Alexander. Even for a team that has experienced large doses of offensive dry periods, this seemed extreme. It came against a pitcher with 10 losses and not much success throughout the season.
“Had it handed to us,” Hyde said.
Ryan Mountcastle had Baltimore’s first hit and drew two walks despite missing Sunday’s game when he was hit by a pitch on his left elbow Saturday.
With the Orioles trying to climb to a playoff spot, Mountcastle said he figures he should be in the lineup despite the pain.
“Good enough to play,” he said. “Try to power through. All these games are big and don’t wany to miss any, especially this time of the year.”
The Tigers (56-91), who have won just two of their last eight games, matched their third-most runs of the season.
“We’re coming off a couple tough games,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said. “We haven’t been able to put a lot of runs across the board.”
Four doubles were the only extra-base hits, so it took some good trips to the plate to make it all happen for the Tigers.
“We don’t hit a lot of home runs anyway, so generating good quality at-bats (is critical),” Hinch said. “When our young guys have a good day like that collectively, it’s fun to see what’s ahead.”
Yet it was Alexander who set the tone in the first game of the series. Hinch said other areas were impressive as well.
“We made some defensive plays behind him and he kind of kept the momentum going,” he said.
Baltimore has put right-hander Austin Voth (5-2, 4.36 ERA) back in the rotation after he skipped a turn last week when the Orioles had two off days. It worked out well on several fronts as he had a chance to recharge and also picked up a victory with one inning of work in relief.
Voth, who spent his entire career with the Washington Nationals until this season’s trade, has faced the Tigers once before. That came in his sixth big-league game when he allowed three runs in 4 1/3 innings in a 2019 road outing.
Detroit is expected to have left-hander Joey Wentz (1-2, 4.15) make his fifth career appearance. This will be the rookie’s second road outing, and he won the first one earlier this month at Kansas City.
–Field Level Media