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Orioles Suffer Fifth Straight Defeat As Offensive, Defensive Struggles Continue

September 12, 2017
When the Orioles most needed their high-powered offense to deliver, it's failed. In their last five games, the Orioles have scored just eight runs, and now they've lost five straight for the first time in the season's second half.

During their 4-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre Sept. 11, the Orioles had just six hits.
 
The loss puts their record at 71-73. It's the first time they've been two games under .500 since Aug. 25.
 
With 18 games remaining, the Orioles' wild-card chances keep getting more remote. They're now 3.5 games behind Minnesota for the second wild-card spot.
 
Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez allowed three runs on six hits in five innings but was undone by sloppy defense play.
 
In a madcap second inning, Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernandez's drive to right field was misplayed by Mark Trumbo. Trumbo couldn't find the ball, and Hernandez was awarded third base on what was scored a double and an error.
 
Two batters later, Blue Jays third baseman Darwin Barney's drive to center was mishandled by Adam Jones, and Barney crawled into third base as second baseman Jonathan Schoop threw the relay home.
 
In the sixth, Toronto scored without the ball leaving the infield on two scratch hits, a swinging bunt, and an RBI single by Barney, who reached first when right-handed reliever Miguel Castro didn't get to first base in time to accept Chris Davis' relay.
 
Catcher Welington Castillo left the game in the second inning, an inning after he suffered a groin injury with Toronto catcher Miguel Montero at the plate. Castillo was diagnosed with a bruise and replaced by Caleb Joseph.
 
In May, Castillo suffered a testicular injury and spent 10 days on the disabled list earlier in the season with a groin injury.
 
If Castillo is out for an extended time, the Orioles could add another catcher to the roster.
 
Besides Joseph, they also have rookie Chance Sisco, but he is untested at the major league level. They could add Francisco Pena, who spent most of the season with Triple-A Norfolk. Pena replaced Castillo on the active roster twice early in the season, once with the groin injury and when Castillo went on the DL with a shoulder injury.
 
If the Orioles add Pena or another catcher, they would have to make an adjustment to their 40-man roster.
 
They're expected to activate outfielder Craig Gentry from the 10-day disabled list to serve as a pinch runner Sept. 12. Gentry suffered a broken right middle finger Sept. 1, and while he isn't cleared to hit or play in the field, Gentry can run.
 
The Orioles struck out 12 times. They've struck out 10 or more times in their last four games for the first time since May 27-30.
 
COMING UP: Right-hander Dylan Bundy (13-9, 4.12) will face Toronto right-hander Joe Biagini (3-10, 5.29) Sept. 12.

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox