Miley's strong outing goes unrewarded

Orioles lefty works 6 innings without receiving run support

Miley's strong outing goes unrewarded

BALTIMORE -- Wade Miley "pitched well," in the Orioles' 7-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Saturday night, manager Buck Showalter said. It's an assertion that's hard to argue against: Miley pitched six innings of two-run ball, scattering four hits and walking two batters against six strikeouts.

It was a performance that likely would've netted Miley a win in recent weeks, given the Orioles' offensive tear. But the O's never got into a groove at the plate and have lost two of three matchups in this four-game series at Camden Yards against the Blue Jays, who will go for the series victory Sunday afternoon.

Miley cruised until the fifth inning, when center fielder Kevin Pillar stepped into the batter's box to lead off the frame. Pillar turned on an 0-2 pitch and sent it over the fence in left field, giving the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.

"If I made a better pitch there, then who knows?" Miley said.

The left-hander got out of the inning without another hitch but began the sixth with a walk to Steve Pearce. The Blue Jays loaded the bases and tacked on another run when Kendrys Morales lifted a sac fly to right field.

That marked the end of Miley's night, but the game was still within reach. The Orioles scored a run apiece in the eighth and ninth frames, but not before Toronto bullied the O's bullpen for three runs in the seventh and two runs in the eighth.

Showalter on the bullpen

It marked the second straight subpar offensive performance for the Orioles after a torrid August during which the O's pulled themselves back into the American League Wild Card race. The Orioles are 2 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the second AL Wild Card spot. 

It was the offense that carried the team last month, with the pitching staff producing just enough to get by. Miley did his part Saturday, but this time it was the bats that cost Baltimore.

Joshua Needelman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.