DENVER—The Orioles were hoping for their first series win in more than a month and their first road series win since the season’s first week. They hadn’t even won consecutive games since May 4-6.
They took a 7-6 lead coming into the ninth after three-run rallies in the seventh and eighth. Branden Kline preserved the lead when he struck out Raimel Tapia and Trevor Story to end the eighth.
In the ninth, Kline got David Dahl to fly out, but Nolan Arenado singled, and Paul Fry walked Daniel Murphy. Mychal Givens, who lost three games this week, walked Mark Reynolds to load the bases.
Givens then walked Ian Desmond to force home Arenado, and Tony Wolters’ sacrifice fly scored pinch-runner Jeff Hoffman with the winning run, dealing the Orioles another deflating setback, 8-7.
Fry was charged with the loss.
“We’re just having a hard time getting the last three outs,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “We’re not closing games out and you can’t walk guys in the ninth inning and you can’t allow baserunners, so we’ve just got to do a better job. We’re putting ourselves in position to win. We made some careless plays defensively earlier in the game that led to some runs, but we battled back great. We had great at-bats throughout the game, and we’re just having a tough time getting the last three outs right now.”
Hyde also expressed concern about Givens.
“Well, he’s had a tough week, obviously, and, yeah, we need him. We need Mychal Givens,” Hyde said.
“He’s a big part of our club and so we have to find a way to get him right. These last three or four appearances weren’t how he threw the ball earlier in the year, and so we’ve got to get him back on track.”
The Orioles trailed, 5-1, after six but their offense fought back in the seventh and eighth.
In the eighth, Richie Martin and Keon Broxton led off with doubles. With two outs, Jonathan Villar walked and Trey Mancini tripled to right-center to finally put the Orioles in front.
After Shawn Armstrong allowed a leadoff double to Desmond in the eighth, and a one-out walk to Ryan McMahon, Kline came in for the big strikeouts.
The Orioles scored in the second when Hanser Alberto walked with one out. He took third on Broxton’s single. Austin Wynns bunted as Alberto broke for home. When Colorado starter German Marquez couldn’t handle the ball cleanly and tried to flip it to home, Alberto scored.
Starter David Hess was impressive through four innings, allowing just two hits. Hess struck out Story and Arenado, who each homered twice on Friday night, two times.
In the fifth, Brendan Rodgers led off with a single. With one out, Wolters grounded to Villar at short. He threw wildly to second, allowing Rodgers to move to third.
Marquez bunted and Rodgers broke for home. Hess fielded it quickly and made a perfect throw home, but catcher Austin Wynns dropped the throw, allowing the run to score and the runners to advance to second and third. Tapia lined to short, and Story struck out for the third time.
In the sixth, Dahl walked, and Arenado homered to left, his fourth of the weekend. It was the major league-leading 18th home run allowed by Hess.
With two outs, Desmond and Wolters singled. Marquez, one of the best hitters among pitchers, tripled off the wall in right-center. It scored Desmond and Walters and ended Hess’ day.
Hess allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.
In the Orioles’ three-run rally in the seventh, Wynns, Stevie Wilkerson, Villar and Mancini had consecutive singles to make it 5-2 Mike Dunn relieved Marquez and his only batter, Dwight Smith Jr., hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Villar.
Renato Nunez’s RBI single against Bryan Shaw cut the lead to 5-4.
The Rockies went up, 6-4, in the bottom of the seventh. Dahl singled and advanced to second on Arenado’s infield out. Nunez fielded Daniel Murphy’s grounder and overthrew reliever Richard Bleier, allowing Dahl to score. Nunez was charged with the Orioles’ third error of the game.