BALTIMORE—Mychal Givens hasn’t had many save opportunities this season. On Monday, he was in position to earn his fifth but instead he blew his second when he allowed five late runs to the New York Yankees in a wrenching 10-7 Orioles loss.
Givens wasn’t helped by his defense.
The right-hander came into a game the Orioles once led, 6-1, with a 7-5 lead in the eighth and two outs.
On his first pitch, Gleyber Torres hit his second home run of the night, his 10th of the season, and his eighth against the Orioles this year.
In the ninth, Brett Gardner led off with a single. Cameron Maybin singled to right, and outfielder Joey Rickard threw to third instead of second, which enabled Maybin to advance to second, removing a double play chance.
DJ LeMahieu then grounded to third, with the Orioles holding the baserunners while getting the out at first. Aaron Hicks followed with a fly ball to left. After catching it, Dwight Smith unwisely threw home as Gardner easily scored. It allowed Maybin to advance to third and was Smith’s second errant throw, and decision, of the night.
Luke Voit then hit a towering foul ball that catcher Pedro Severino misplayed, enabling the at-bat, and the inning, to continue. First baseman Trey Mancini didn’t come in for support on the popup, which Severino misjudged.
Voit then walked, after nearly getting hit with ball four, and Gary Sanchez followed with a three-run homer to break the 7-7 tie.
“Just didn’t get the job done,” Givens said. “That’s basically it. I put the game on me. I’ve been in those situations. It’s not like I haven’t been in it before. I just didn’t get the job done.”
The five runs scored against Givens were a career-high.
“It’s a tough loss,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We just did some things the last couple innings that allowed extra base runners, allowed runners to move up. We played winning baseball for seven innings and then didn’t the last two innings.”
The Orioles have had some glaring fundamental mistakes in recent games, and Hyde said he’s addressing them.
“We’re out early almost every single day,” he said. “I think we do more ground ball team fundamental stuff than I’ve probably ever seen in the big leagues, just because of the youth and inexperience we have at this level.
“When you play a game like that, with inexperience, the game speeds up on you. With the lack of experience, sometimes things happen. What you hope for is that guys learn from the mistakes. We made a lot of mistakes in the last two innings obviously and allowed a really, really good team and a good lineup to catch up and take the lead on us. That’s what’s disappointing. But you’ve got to come back and try to get better.”
Hyde often speaks about his experience with the Chicago Cubs, who made the postseason the last four years, and now has a team that’s lost 10 of 12 and has a 15-32 record.
“I knew the inexperience going in, and I didn’t know a lot of our players real well, so obviously I know them pretty well now a couple of months in,” Hyde said. “I’m seeing some things at the big league level that I haven’t seen in a while, but that’s why we’re here, and we’ve got to get better.”
Zack Britton pitched a scoreless eighth for the win, and Aroldis Chapman worked the ninth for his 12th save.
Alberto’s career night: Jonathan Villar did not start for the first time this season. His replacement as leadoff hitter, Hanser Alberto, had a stellar night.
Last Thursday, Alberto became a national punchline for his mental error at second base in Cleveland, when a potential double play ball resulted in no outs and two runners scoring for the Indians. Four nights later, he had a career high four hits and an unassisted double play.
Alberto led off for the first time as an Oriole and just the second time in his career, and began the night with a double. He scored on a double by Mancini.
Leading off the third, Alberto hit his third home run of the season to right. In the fourth, he singled, stole second and scored on Smith’s RBI single.
“I put a lot work in, and it finally worked,” Alberto said. “You just continue with hard work, and you get more hits like today.”
In the New York fifth, Maybin lined to Alberto, who stepped on second to double off Gardner. Alberto led off the eighth with a single, and Villar ran for him.
The Orioles had a season-high eight extra-base hits. Renato Nunez, who had been in a 6-for-68 tailspin, homered and doubled. Smith, who had been 3-for-25, tripled and had two singles.
Cashner’s night: Andrew Cashner produced his third straight quality start and his fifth overall in allowing three runs on five hits in six innings.
He allowed a home run to Gleyber Torres in the second.
“This is the toughest one of the season for sure,” Cashner said of the loss.
“To get out and get ahead early and to lose this one, this one was tough.”
Armstrong’s relief: Shawn Armstrong, acquired on waivers from Seattle on April 28, has been excellent since joining the Orioles.
He retired all four batters he faced. In his seven appearances, Armstrong has allowed one run on three hits and struck out 10. He has a 1.08 ERA.
“I thought Shawn Armstrong was unbelievably fantastic,” Hyde said.
“I’ll take a two-run lead with Mychal Givens in the game with four outs to go every night of the week when he’s available. He has been lights-out for us and he was probably due for a hiccup and tonight unfortunately was one of them … But we didn’t help him out. Mike’s not going to be perfect down there and he’s been almost perfect so far and tonight just didn’t happen.”
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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