The reeling Baltimore Orioles tote a nine-game losing streak into Thursday’s series opener against the host Chicago White Sox and have lost 13 of 14 overall.
For those expecting the organization to trim playing time from the team’s young core as a result of the swoon, however, it’s best to think again.
Baltimore general manager Mike Elias made that clear as the Orioles stumbled yet again Wednesday, losing 3-2 to the Minnesota Twins to fall to 0-6 on their 10-game road trip.
“I don’t think anyone’s happy about the win-loss record,” Elias said. “We haven’t been since we’ve been there. But it’s very important for us to remain focused and committed. Overreacting, briefly, to struggles from young players, making rash decisions with guys that have bright futures, is not in our long-term nor short-term best interest. We remain committed and focused and working hard every day of what we do and understand that baseball can be like this, especially when you’re going through what we’re going through.
“And the players themselves have the same approach and know that the hits will start to fall or they will get into a groove on the mound. And we wait for that to happen. We see talent here and we want to continue supporting these players and allow them to develop and get better.”
Baltimore is seeking its first win since a 10-6 victory against the New York Yankees on May 16. The Orioles haven’t won consecutive games since a three-game spurt from April 29 to May 1.
White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease (2-1, 3.18 ERA) will aim to keep the Orioles down while rebounding from Saturday’s rocky start against the Yankees.
Cease scattered five runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out six while snapping a run of eight successive starts in which he allowed three earned runs or fewer. Cease has not faced Baltimore in his career.
Orioles rookie left-hander Bruce Zimmermann (2-3, 5.59 ERA) is set to make his first career start against Chicago five days after the shortest outing of his career. In three innings on Saturday at Washington, Zimmermann yielded five runs on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
He has pitched past the fifth inning once over the past five starts.
The White Sox were blanked for the fourth time this month on Wednesday, losing 4-0 to the visiting St. Louis Cardinals, who averted a three-game sweep.
Chicago was 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position while stranding 13.
“I look at it two ways, you know,” manager Tony La Russa said. “The first is, we had to create those chances, so obviously, our guys are working the at-bats. They just couldn’t break through.”
Nick Madrigal logged his second straight three-hit game for the White Sox and reached base four times.
Right fielder Adam Eaton and reliever Michael Kopech both left the game with hamstring injuries and are considered day-to-day.
Trey Mancini went 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Orioles on Wednesday for his third multi-hit game in the past six contests.
–Field Level Media