Orioles allow sweep to slip away in ninth; defense struggles in both games; Ynoa impresses - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles allow sweep to slip away in ninth; defense struggles in both games; Ynoa impresses

CHICAGO—The Orioles made many mistakes in Wednesday’s doubleheader with the Chicago White Sox. Still, they carried a 6-5 lead into the ninth inning of the second game, hoping for their first sweep of a doubleheader in nearly three years.

But reliever Miguel Castro allowed a two-run single to Yonder Alonso with two outs in the ninth, and the Orioles lost the second game, 7-6. Despite sloppy defense, they rebounded from a 4-0 deficit to win the first game, 5-4.

Starting pitcher Andrew Cashner allowed four runs in four innings, including a three-run single on a night when the Oriole defense faltered early and often. Gabriel Ynoa pitched to the minimum nine batters in his three innings, allowing only a single to Tim Anderson to lead off the fifth. Anderson was erased on Welington Castillo’s double play.

Ynoa struck out five of the last six batters to face him. Evan Phillips pitched a perfect eighth but walked pinch-hitter Leury Garcia to begin the ninth. Adam Engel reached on a bunt single when Chris Davis misplayed the ball.

Paul Fry replaced Phillips and retired Yoan Moncada on an infield out. Castro struck out pinch-hitter Jose Rondon. Jose Abreu was intentionally walked, but Alonso singled to right to drive in Garcia and Engel.

The Orioles made five errors, three in the first game, two in the second.

“Doubleheaders are tough to win both games,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “When you have an opportunity to win, it would be great. We just didn’t take care of the ball defensively today and tonight. That kind of hurt us. Our bullpen guys threw the ball outstanding.”

Hyde contemplated letting Ynoa go longer but decided against it.

“I did consider it, but he hadn’t thrown four innings in a while,” Hyde said. “I just wanted to get Phillips in the game, and Phillips had a clean eighth. Then we had Phillips and Fry in the ninth. A leadoff walk and a misplay on a bunt kind of turned the tide a little bit for us.”

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Stevie Wilkerson had a three-run home run in the fourth, and Anthony Santander, who was on hand as the 26th player for the second game of the doubleheader, crushed a homer to lead off the sixth, tying the game at 5.

Anderson made two errors in the sixth, and his second error allowed Rio Ruiz to score with the go-ahead run.

Oriole pitchers struck out 16 batters in the second game and left 21 runners on base in the doubleheader.

“I thought we played really well today as a whole,” Cashner said. “I think our defense, we could probably clean up some things, but as far as hitting the baseball I thought we did a really good job, especially with two games in this weather. A big hit by Steve. I just can’t give up the lead right there if you want to win baseball games.”

After a day off today, the Orioles open a three-game series with Tampa Bay at home on Friday night.

“I think we played tough,” Wilkerson said. “It was a chilly day, long doubleheader, and I think we battled for 18 innings. We got the win in the first one, came up a little short in the second one, and I think we battled.”

Strange play No. 1: In the bottom of the second, catcher Austin Wynns made a horrible mistake. With Yolmer Sanchez on first and two outs, Ryan Cordell struck out, but Cashner’s pitch eluded Wynns. Instead of getting an easy out at first on Cordell, he threw to second. The throw was wild, and Sanchez reached third and scored on Engel’s infield single to tie the score at 1.

“I thought today was a little bit of a hiccup for us defensively,” Hyde said. “We need to get back to and really focus on catching the ball. The main thing was how well our bullpen guys threw.”

Strange play No. 2: Cashner struck out the first two batters of the fourth inning. Engel tripled to center, and Cashner walked Moncada and Nicky Delmonico.

Abreu, who homered an inning before, hit a single that should have scored two runs but instead cleared the bases when a cutoff man was missed and Demonico kept running. It gave the White Sox a 5-4 lead.

In the top of the fifth, Dwight Smith Jr. made a baserunning mistake when he tried to advance to second on a fly to left but was tagged out at second. It was that kind of night for the Orioles.

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