A close outing Tuesday night lead to an unexpected performance from Orioles closer Jim Johnson, resulting in the Orioles dropping the first game in the series.
After a long road trip, the Orioles returned home for what should have been an easy two game series against the Padres. It was a close game to the ninth, thanks to Pearce’s RBI line drive to left field, giving the Orioles a 2-1 lead. Call to the bullpen: bring in closer Jim Johnson for the save.
But Johnson’s performance suffered, and he didn’t look like the pitcher who had just broke the Orioles record for 35 consecutive saves. Johnson allowed two singles from the first two batters, and then proceeds to give up two runs.
It was up to the lineup to score in walk off fashion, or at least tie the game. Markakis, Jones, and Davis were due up. Markakis grounds out. Jones grounds out. Davis walks, but Wieters is unable to make anything happen and strikes out swinging.
Because it was a two game series, the best the Orioles could do was split with the Padres. A game set for noon on Wednesday would give the Orioles a chance to do just that.
Unfortunately Tuesday’s game wasn’t any better for the Orioles. This is primarily thanks to an unimpressive outing by starting pitcher Freddy Garcia. The hits started during the second and didn’t stop coming from the Padres.
JJ Hardy and Matt Wieters homered in the second and fourth, cutting the lead in half to 4-2. Carlos Quentin singled in the sixth, bringing in a run. And then in the seventh Amarista hit a two run homerun, bringing the score to 7-2.
From then the Orioles tried to mount a comeback, but fell short. Adam Jones hit a single to left bringing in Manny Machado. Neither team was avle to bring a run across after this until the ninth. A single by Cabrera for the Padres brings the score 8-3. The Orioles could only bring one run in the bottom of the ninth, bringing the final score to 8-4.
Freddy Garcia was a main cause in today’s loss for the Orioles. The starting pitcher only had 3.2 innings pitched, with seven hits, four runs, four earned runs, two base on balls, and one strike out. Garcia also had a 5.51 ERA. It also did not help that no one on offense could really light the spark to get the momentum going.
I don’t see this series as being a bad thing for the Orioles. They have the day off tomorrow and continue their home stand Friday for a three game series against the Rays. A day of rest for the starting rotation and extra batting practice for the lineup will be key to getting the win over divisional rival Rays.