MIAMI--- It was a quiet Orioles clubhouse. Their offense had been mostly silent the last two games, and they were eager to find their way out of Marlins Park.
There was the bizarre ejection of Brian Matusz on Saturday night, and the disappearing offense. They had no runs in 13 innings and none in the first five innings on Sunday.
By then, the Orioles were down by five runs in a 5-2 loss to the Miami Marlins before 23,834.
In their first 37 games, the Orioles hit 46 home runs. This weekend they hit none.
“We know we’re capable of better, but we haven’t put much together offensively. It’s something we’re going to have to do better and give our pitchers some breathing room,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Adam Jones was 3-for-15 in the three games. Chris Davis was 1-for-12 and J.J. Hardy 1-for-10 before being rested on Sunday.
On Saturday, the Orioles (19-22) had a chance to reach .500 for the first time since May 6. Now, they’re back at three games under with the surprising Houston Astros coming into to Baltimore. The Astros lead the AL West by 6 ½ games.
“This is the adversity stage. How do you respond to this? That’s what makes and separates the big league guys and the good teams. How do you come back from struggles? How do you combat that? How do you make the adjustments?” Jones said.
Against Tom Koehler (3-3), the Orioles didn’t have a baserunner for the first four innings, and finally scored in the sixth.
They had the bases loaded in the seventh with one out, but Steve Pearce hit into a double play. In the eighth, they had the bases loaded twice. Davis’ infield out scored Manny Machado, but Ryan Lavarnway, who is just 3-for-28 this season, grounded to second with two outs.
“Offense has been a challenge for us,” Showalter said. For the 14th time in 22 losses, the Orioles scored two runs or fewer, and they’ve lost all of those games. They’re 1-15 when scoring three or fewer.
Most of the Orioles had never seen Koehler. That doesn’t fly with Showalter.
“That’s a very convenient excuse. He didn’t do anything we didn’t know he was going to do. He just did it very well,” Showalter said.
Jimmy Paredes’ drove in Machado with the first run on a foul fly to left. His on-base streak ended at 20, but he’s hitting a robust .344.
“The only person who is really hitting the ball is Paredes. So I think everybody needs to go hover around him, grab his bats and rub his bats against everybody else’s bats,” Jones said.
Besides the lack of offense, Miguel Gonzalez, who has arguably been the Orioles’ most effective starter had a poor outing, perhaps his worst of the season. He allowed multiple hits in the second, third, fourth and fifth.
Martin Prado led off the second with a single. Justin Bour doubled, and Prado scored on Christian Yelich’s infield out.
With one out in the third, Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna singled. Giancarlo Stanton walked, and Gordon scored on an infield out.
Miami (18-27) scored twice in the fourth. Yelich and Adeiny Hechavarria began the inning with singles. Jhonathan Solano hit into a force. Koehler’s bunt moved runners to second and third, and after Gordon was walked intentionally. Ozuna’s two-run single made it 4-0.
Prado led off the fifth with his third home run.
Gonzalez (5-3) was charged with five runs and a career-high 10 hits in four-plus innings. His fastball wasn’t working.
“Obviously we know this team is very aggressive. First pitch, second pitch, they're not going to give in. My off-speed wasn't really where I want it. That's why they put the ball in play and things worked their way and didn't work our way,” Gonzalez said.
Chaz Roe, whose contract was purchased on Sunday from Norfolk, pitched two scoreless innings and Matusz awaiting word on his fate, added two more.
Hardy was rested for the first time since he returned from a shoulder injury that cost him the first 25 games of the season. He could have pinch hit for Lavarnway in the eighth or for Matusz in the ninth.
“I wanted to give J as much of the day as I could. There’s a situation where I also know we only had two guys left on the bench, and only one versatile player and Ryan’s got as much pop as anybody, and J.J. hasn’t been swinging the ball real well. I also thought he could benefit from a day off the field. “He’s fine. And now we’re trying to keep him that way. He’ll be in the lineup tomorrow,” Showalter said.
NEXT: Wei-Yin Chen (1-3, 2.90) faces Houston’s Dallas Keuchel (6-0, 1.67) on Monday at 1:35 p.m.