Bob Haynie: Smyly Baffles The Birds
On Wednesday afternoon, Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter was telling me and my radio partner Glenn Younes that Tampa Bay Rays lefty Drew Smyly was a very good pitcher. A few hours later, Smyly proved that very fact to the Birds in front of almost 21 thousand people at Camden Yards.
Smyly (9-10) tossed seven innings of two-hit baseball as the Rays defeated the Orioles 3-1 in the third game of the four-game series. Kevin Gausman (7-6) took the loss for Baltimore as the rookie RHP struggled with his command in the first two innings.
Showalter confirmed to us that the Orioles tried to acquire Smyly themselves, but they couldn’t work out a deal with the Detroit Tigers to make it happen. Smyly was tough as he struck out six and walked one while throwing just 87 pitches. In five starts with the Rays since the David Price trade, his ERA is an exceptional 1.50.
The lone Baltimore run came via Chris Davis’ 23rd home run in the second. Steve Pearce added a single in the sixth to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Other than that, there was pretty much nothing else from the offense.
Since blasting five HR’s and scoring nine runs in the series opener, the Orioles have managed just five runs in the last two games combined.
To be fair, the Rays do have good pitching. However, the Orioles have been prone to long stretches of offensive silence.
They still lead the majors in home runs and that is a good thing. They will need to become more consistent when it comes to run production if they want to maintain their lead in the AL East.
There are eight games left on Baltimore’s current home stand. They are all against teams (Rays, Twins, Reds) with losing records.
As September approaches, these are games that need to be won. The pitching is fine. It’s time for the bats to there on a regular basis.
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