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Bruce Zimmermann’s quality start marred by anemic Orioles offense in 3-0 loss to Tigers – The Denver Post

Except for the change he left at the top of the strike zone to start the seventh inning, Orioles left-hander Bruce Zimmermann hadn’t missed many spots on Saturday against the Detroit Tigers. That’s how he’s been all season, giving the Orioles a chance every time he takes the mound.

He did it again on Saturday, giving up two earned runs in over six innings. But as the Orioles roster continued an anemic streak through the first two games of this series, the odds fell through, handing Zimmermann a loss when he provided one more worthy outing.

The Orioles’ 3-0 loss secures a series loss, their offense a whisper that couldn’t keep up with the Tigers — even though Detroit’s hitters barely produced a roar.

“We didn’t give him a lot of support when he left,” Trey Mancini said of Zimmermann. “At the same time, it doesn’t matter to him at all. He goes there, no matter the score, and he goes there and throws very well.

Three times an Orioles batter (14-20) reached base with one out or less in the third, fourth and fifth innings after walks by Anthony Bemboom and Mancini and a single by Tyler Nevin, the first of Baltimore Day. Each time, these runners were wiped out by double plays. And when Mancini singled out to lead the ninth, a hard-hit ground shot from Anthony Santander (106.3 mph) turned into two more outs.

Baltimore couldn’t push a runner into base position until the seventh inning, when a runner from Ramón Urías ate third baseman Jeimer Candelario and ended up in shallow left field for a double. But even then, a pop-up from Rougned Odor and a strikeout from Nevin ended that threat.

He continued a dismal offensive display from Friday night, when the Orioles went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and blocked 14 runners in a 4-2 loss. On Saturday, there were fewer runners to fail, even with an early start from right-hander Michael Pineda.

After a rocket from Urías ricocheted off Pineda’s forearm, the 33-year-old starter went just one out in the second inning with a bruised right hand. It set up an unexpected bullpen day for the Tigers, but subsequent pitchers blew Baltimore’s order. Five relievers covered the remaining 7 2/3 innings, allowing only four hits.

“It’s not always easy, I’m sure, when your starter and starter fail unexpectedly,” Mancini said. “But those guys came out and did a really good job for them today. I have a lot of double play balls in big situations, which is something as an offense that we need to improve.

Some of the misfortunes of the Orioles are due to bad luck. Twice, Mancini hit balls deep right field, leaving his bat at over 100 mph with expected batting averages at or above .770. The two were caught just before the fence. Eight of the 12 hardest-hit balls came from Baltimore batters, according to Statcast, but seven of them resulted in outs.

There is another aspect, however, that revolves around the absences of injured starters Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays. Without those two bats in the middle of the lineup, the Orioles lack much of their firepower, something that had finally started to show after an April in which Baltimore scored 62 points. , the second least in the majors.

Injuries to Hays and Mountcastle sent Urías into the cleaning hole for the first time in his career, perhaps the most obvious sign that there were few places left for manager Brandon Hyde. And that led to a poor attacking performance, with no support for another useful start from Zimmermann.

“They’re two of our best guys, two of our race producers for us, guys we rely on to count the races,” Hyde said. “But other guys have to step in. It is a list of 26 players. We are in the big leagues. And we must be able to strike.

Another quality release

The two pitches that Zimmermann wants to be able to recover have both left the court in a hurry. There was the high change to start the seventh that Willi Castro threw into the bullpen, ending Zimmermann’s outing. And there was a pellet that Zimmermann left high in the area for Eric Haase to catch.

“They jumped at me on a couple of those balls, which when you’re in the zone as much as I am, you have to expect that, especially the third time around,” Zimmermann said. “It’s up to me to find out and mix it up a little better.”

But the two solo home runs and the previous sacrificial fly were minor errors from another solid performance – something Zimmermann has been doing all year. Zimmermann allowed two earned runs on seven hits while recording one walk and two strikeouts. He allowed three earned runs or less in each start, despite not pushing past six innings.

That’s the next step for Zimmermann, who said he’s still figuring out how to get there.

“The seventh is kind of the monkey on my back right now,” Zimmermann said. “But I know I’ll get rid of it soon.”

around the horn

>> After pitching two scoreless innings and recording two strikeouts in his major league debut on Friday, right-hander Denyi Reyes has been optioned for Triple-A Norfolk. In his place, the Orioles recalled outfielder Ryan McKenna, adding another bat to the bench to cover the absences of Hays and Mountcastle.

>> Southpaw Paul Fry, who was picked for Triple-A Norfolk earlier this week, was slated for an assignment on Saturday, removing him from the 40-man roster. Baltimore claimed right-hander Beau Sulser for waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates and opted Sulser — the brother of former Oriole Cole Sulser — for Triple-A.

ORIOLES@TIGER

Sunday, 1:40 p.m.

TV: MASN2

Radio: 97.9FM, 101.5FM, 1090AM

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