ST. PETERSBURG — Orioles right-hander Tommy Hunter denied any frustration in the wake of Friday’s 2-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, in which he pitched one of his better games of the season but was handed a tough-luck loss because his teammates' bats had yet to arrive in Tampa Bay.
The Orioles were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and are hitless in their past 22 at-bats with runners in scoring position. They stranded 10 base runners on the night and struck out 11 times.
Most nights those statistics will lead to a loss.
But the Orioles have won games in which Hunter hasn’t pitched well, so not being able to capitalize on one of his best outings has to be frustrating through the whole clubhouse.
Remember the game in Toronto on April 13 when Hunter allowed four homers and left with a one-run deficit, only to see the Orioles come back for a 7-5 win? Or the 17-inning 9-6 win at Fenway Park on May 6? How about that 15-inning comeback victory in Kansas City on May 16, or the 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in 12 innings on June 9? Hunter was the Orioles' starter in all those games and his teammates picked him up.
So that’s why Hunter said Friday’s loss wasn’t frustrating
“It’s not frustrating at all,” Hunter said. “Those guys have hit for me before. They make plays for me. These guys, they play for me. I’ll take a loss every day if they’re going to come back and spot me five after I give up a five spot or something. You’re not going to have your stuff all the time, and these guys battle. They’ve battled for me the entire first half actually. So it’s my turn to pick it up a little more and pick these guys up.”