Pitcher Jesse Litsch struggled mightily trying to locate his fastballs as the Blue Jays lost 8-3 today. This loss made it his sixth in nine starts. He also only has one win in that span.
Litsch is running out of answers for his recent struggles. He worked to try and correct his problem over the All-Star break and determined that he was under-using his two-seam sinking fastball.
Although he used it more in this game, the results still proved unfavorable. Many two-seamers caught far too much of the plate and the Orioles' hitters made Litsch pay.
The turning point of the game came in the third inning. With the game locked up at one apiece, Orioles rookie Adam Jones, a key piece in the Erik Bedard trade, launched a shot over the center field wall for two runs.
The Jays would tie it up at three in the fifth inning after a surprisingly hot Alex Rios hit a run-scoring double. The lead was short lived, though, as Litsch continued to struggle.
He quickly retired the Orioles' No. 9 hitter, Brandon Fahey, to start the fifth inning, but it would all go downhill from there. Brian Roberts succeeded Fahey's at-bat by doing something he does quite well: hitting a double.
Adam Jones then hit a slow roller to David Eckstein and beat the weak throw to first. Aubrey Huff walked, loading the bases with only one hitter retired.
Melvin Mora ended Litsch's night with a two-run single, putting the Orioles ahead 5-3. Brandon League was brought in to stop the bleeding, but he immediately gave up a single to Luke Scott, tacking a sixth earned run onto Litsch's already dreadful pitching line. Jason Frasor gave up two meaningless runs in the last inning of the game.
Litsch may have pitched poorly, but the low offensive output from the Jays certainly didn't help. Orioles pitcher Radhames Liz had problems with his control all day. He allowed six walks in just 5.1 innings of work.
Unfortunately, the Jays hit just 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded a total of 11 runners. Liz and his 7.19 ERA managed to keep the damage to a minimum and he won his fourth game of the season. Litsch lost his seventh game of the year.
Up Next: Shaun Marcum (5-4) makes his first start since injuring his elbow more than a month ago. He will take on Garrett Olson (6-5), a pitcher with an abysmal 5.79 ERA on the year.
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