BALTIMORE—It’s getting to be an old story for the Orioles. The starting pitcher throws creditably, but the offense can’t come through. It was the case in the second game of the Orioles’ day/night doubleheader when Andrew Cashner allowed four runs, three earned, in seven innings.
The Orioles got just three hits against Sonny Gray, and they lost their seventh straight, 5-1 to the New York Yankees on Saturday night. In the first game, they lost, 10-3. Overall, the Orioles are 37-93.
“Offensively, it’s been a struggle,” manager Buck Showalter said. “We scored, what, four runs in 18 innings. Give a lot of credit to their pitching, but that and being consistent defensively has been a real challenge for us. So, there’s two obvious things we’ve got to get better at.”
Cashner is 4-12, and his ERA is 4.79, not wonderful, but grading on a curve, not terrible.
“That was a gutsy effort,” Showalter said. “It really was, in a time of need.”
Cashner, who according to a report by Fancred Sports, cleared revocable waivers, has personal goals, too.
“You obviously want to pitch for yourself, too,” Cashner said. “But I think you want to pick other guys up on the club. I think for me, it’s just that grinder mentality, never giving in, constantly grinding pitch to pitch. Whether you’re first or last, it doesn’t matter. You’re out there pitching for your team that day and trying to win.”
Mancini’s uneven game
If you looked at a box score, you might think Trey Mancini had a solid second game. He was 3-for-3 with a walk, but he criticized his play at first base.
Mancini fielded a grounder by Brett Gardner in the second and threw home to try to prevent Austin Romine from scoring. His throw home wasn’t good, and the run scored. In the fourth, he dropped a throw from Jonathan Villar at short, leading to another run.
“As an offense, you want to give your guys run support,” Mancini said. “It was a tough day. I did not play well at first base today. I didn’t help the cause there are at all. Cashner did a great job of doing damage control there.”
Mancini knew why he played poorly in the field.
“The one when I threw it home? I gripped it way too tight, and after that, I don’t know if it got in my head a little bit, but played a little timid,” Mancini said.
“If you do that here, you’re going to get eaten alive. Up to today, I feel like if I could hang my hat on something this year, I feel like I played well over there this year. Today, definitely not the case. It won’t happen again, and just a tough day over there.”
Jimmy Yacabonis was called up for the third time to serve as the 26th man in a doubleheader, and this time things didn’t work out well. Yacabonis allowed six runs in 3 1/3 innings in the Orioles’ first-game loss.
Yacabonis was made into a starter this season, and Showalter indicated that he’s nearly at his innings’ limit for the season and may be facing an end to his season.
“Definitely satisfied,” Yacabonis said of his season. “I’ve had a couple of hiccups here and there in Norfolk, where I had a couple of starts that didn’t go my way. Up here, I’ve had four starts, and today was by far the worst of the four. It’s a learning experience, and I’ve just got to sit back and just try and correct the things I did wrong and learn from.”
Yacabonis, who was returned after the second game of the doubleheader, is 3-4 with a 3.93 ERA with the Tides.
He was up for relief appearances in April and May, and then four sporadic starts beginning June 28.
“It’s definitely been tough, but I’ve been going through it all year, so it’s definitely not something I can make an excuse for,” Yacabonis said. “It’s the situation I’ve got to work through. It’s something, it’s part of the game. It’s a situation I’m currently in, so I’ve got to work through it.”
Showalter has seen better things from Yacabonis this season.
“Looked like after the first inning he was going to be able to give us some length there, but he used up a lot of pitches, deep counts, really just didn’t command the baseball like he has,” Showalter said. “It’s a work in progress. Today wasn’t a good day for him.”
When Showalter was asked how difficult it was for Yacabonis to parachute in for these spot starts, he had a ready quip.
“He actually drove in,” Showalter said.
On his Players’ Weekend jersey, Cedric Mullins chose “The Entertainer.” And entertain he did when he leaped high in center field and snared Giancarlo Stanton’s drive, robbing him of his 300th home run to end the sixth inning of the first game.
“I knew it had a lot of air to it,” Mullins said. “I gave myself some time to get to the wall and kind of judge whether or not I had to make a jump for it … robbing a home run. It doesn’t happen too often. It’s pretty fun.”