CHICAGO—Fresh off a difficult weekend in Minneapolis, the Orioles arrived in Chicago hoping to duplicate the success they had against the White Sox last week.
On their previous homestand, the Orioles lost three straight against the Twins but rebounded to win two of three against Chicago.
Three more losses to Minnesota this past weekend were followed by the Orioles’ fourth straight defeat, 5-3, Monday night to the White Sox.
The Orioles fell to 10-20 and have their fourth losing streak of four games.
In their four losses, the Orioles have scored just seven runs.
“I think there’s some situational hitting where we haven’t either advanced a runner at second with nobody out or scored a runner from third with less than two out kind of situation,” manager Brandon Hyde said.
“We did a good job early, and we’re kind of in a little bit of a funk here where we’re just not driving in the runs. I think those things happen, but at the same time we’ve just got to do a better job with situational hitting. Be able to advance runners, be able to score runners from third. Being able to make contact with a runner on third is huge.”
Catcher Pedro Severino hit his fourth home run. Hanser Alberto, who was playing right field, had three hits. Chris Davis had two hits and two RBIs.
“I think we left a lot of men on base, in scoring position, especially, so I think as a group, we’ve got to work on that and get better because we need to score more runs,” Alberto said.
Means’ night: Starting pitcher John Means allowed four runs — on a pair of two-run homers — on six hits in five innings. Means had been one of the more successful Oriole pitchers at keeping the ball in the park.
Entering the game, Means had allowed two home runs in 20 2/3 innings. He also hit two batters, doubling his season total.
“I didn’t have my best changeup today, and I was throwing some good ones down in the zone that they weren’t offering at,” Means said. “I tried to make too much of an adjustment and left some up. Overall, I didn’t feel it was that bad. I made some bad pitches, and they made me pay for it.”
Means said he doesn’t think about run support.
“No, especially from a pitcher’s perspective,” he said. “You try and go out there and try to get everybody out. You’re not worried about getting run support or anything like that. You’re worried about doing your job.”
Scott sent down: After the game, the Orioles optioned left-hander Tanner Scott to Triple-A Norfolk.
Scott has a 6.75 ERA in eight games and has walked eight batters in 6 2/3 innings. On Monday, he allowed a hit, walked two and threw a wild pitch while recording two outs.
“Tanner’s got elite stuff, but he’s got to be able to throw the ball over the plate,” Hyde said. “ He’s got to be able to make pitcher. You see the stuff. You just want to see some consistency. That was a good spot for him tonight. It just didn’t happen.”
Scott’s demotion leaves just one left-hander, Paul Fry, in the bullpen.
Ramirez makes 37: Yefry Ramirez, who had been recalled from Norfolk on Monday, became the 37th player used by the Orioles in 30 games.
He gave up a run in 1 1/3 innings.
Ramirez had a 1.50 ERA in four starts for Norfolk.
“I kept working on improving my slider and continuing to command my fastball,” Ramirez said through a translator.
Last year, Ramirez was 1-8 with a 5.92 ERA in 17 games for the Orioles.
“Last year was tremendous for me. I think that experience is going to allow me to make fewer mistakes this year and to be a better pitcher,” Ramirez said.
Waiting on Mancini: Trey Mancini, who fouled a pitch off his right index finger on Saturday, was out of the lineup for the second straight game.
Mancini expects to play today.
“With the improvement from yesterday to today, if the improvement from today to tomorrow is the same, I’ll be 100 percent good to go,” Mancini said.
“When it happened, I thought it was broken. I was pretty surprised when the X-ray came back negative and very relieved, obviously. I knew it would take a couple of days at least. Fingers can be a very delicate thing, unfortunately. I feel very lucky it’s not broken.”
Hyde is eager for Mancini’s return.
“You take Trey out of our lineup, he’s leading the American League in hits, so it’s obviously a blow,” Hyde said.
Karns back on IL: Nate Karns, who had been on a rehab assignment with Double-A Bowie, has returned to the 10-day injured list. Karns, who has forearm tightness, pitched in one game for Triple-A Norfolk and another for the Baysox. In his only outing for Bowie, Karns gave up two runs on two hits in an inning.
“I just don’t think he’s feeling right,” Hyde said. “Our guys wanted to take a look at him and get him reevaluated. Hopefully, he gets good news and he continues to pitch and stays on his rehab assignment, and when he’s healthy, be here.”
Hyde at home: This is Hyde’s first visit to Chicago as a visiting manager. He coached with the Cubs for the previous five seasons, and lives in the northern suburbs.
“I love Chicago,” Hyde said. “Great city. People are fantastic. I’m used to the North Side, but played here every year, obviously. It’s great to come home, sleep in your own bed, get up and go to my normal breakfast spot and kind of have a similar routine than I did when I was here.”
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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