BALTIMORE -- The Orioles have been in a funk the past two weeks, and the team's frustrating stretch was on full display in Wednesday's 4-3 series-sweeping loss to the Twins.
The loss, the O's 10th in 13 games, marked Baltimore's first losing homestand (2-4) this year. It also continued to highlight the team's trouble to get both the offense and pitching clicking in the same game. After a 15-8 April that exceeded most people's expectations, May has been a month full of challenges.
"I think it all boils down to getting deeper into games, making better pitches to give your team a chance to win," said Wednesday's starter, Chris Tillman, who gave up four runs over five innings. "I think Alec [Asher] made a pretty good example of it. He went out, got a couple quick innings, and the offense went out and put some good swings together. I think that shows a lot about what this team is capable of. I didn't really give them too much of a chance early on. ... You have a couple quick innings, it's a completely different ballgame."
Tillman, who has one quality start in four tries, isn't alone. The O's rotation -- outside of righty Dylan Bundy -- has struggled with shutdown innings after scoring, and it has been unable to consistently get past the fifth inning. Wade Miley has had command issues that have prevented him from going deep into games. Kevin Gausman has three quality starts in 10 tries. And Ubaldo Jimenez could lose his rotation spot.
Baltimore's offense, which has had some big outputs lately, is still waiting for consistent contributions from the likes of Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo. The O's have been held to three or fewer runs in three of their past four games, and all three of their homers on Wednesday were solo shots.
"Offensively, it's kind of been boom or bust, and that's a challenge," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of his club's lack of timely hitting. "You've got to pitch real well. They kept the solo home run in play today, and usually when pitchers do that, you usually give yourself a chance to win. They've been pitching real well out of the bullpen, and we got to see that, unfortunately."