BALTIMORE—Dan Straily has been struggling as a starter, leading Orioles manager Brandon Hyde to move him to the bullpen. On Monday, the move paid off.
Gabriel Ynoa made his first major league start since 2017, and he left after four gritty innings with a 4-2 lead.
In came Straily, who quickly allowed a run. He then pitched four excellent innings, working into the ninth as the Orioles beat the Detroit Tigers, 5-3, on Memorial Day.
Straily pitched four-plus innings. He left after a leadoff single to Josh Harrison in the ninth. Shawn Armstrong walked his first batter, Grayson Grenier, and then recorded three outs for his first save of the season.
“I’ve had five days to sit in the bullpen and kind of think about this, do a lot of self-evaluation,” Straily said. “It’s been frustrating. It’s been a frustrating month.”
Straily’s first hitter was Christin Stewart, who singled. Nicholas Castellanos doubled, and the score was 4-3.
“After I gave up that run right there before I even got an out, it just clicked, ‘Enough is enough Let’s attack with what’s working. Let’s not get beat with what’s not.’”
The fly ball pitcher didn’t get any of his 12 outs on the ground, and was warmly congratulated by Hyde when he left.
“It was really nice to get the taste of success today and come out of the game and have Hyde tell me, ‘Good job,’” Straily said. “It had been a while since that. When you come out and you’re working your butt off trying to make an adjustment, you at least know you’re on the right track.”
Renato Nunez homered for the fifth time in six games, a two-run shot in the first, his 12th this season. Jonathan Villar hit his seventh home run. Hanser Alberto had two hits.
The Orioles closed the first third of the 2019 season with a record of 17-37, which projects to a final record of 51-111. Hyde thinks with better relief pitching the team’s record would be much better.
“I told the guys on the team, it’s OK to win in the show 7-1 once in a while, too,” Hyde said. “It’s OK to be up a few and then add on and then hold on. We seem to make every score tight and every game is close.”
Trumbo beginning rehab assignment: Mark Trumbo, who underwent surgery on his right knee last September, will begin a rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie on Tuesday. After playing for the Baysox, Trumbo is scheduled to spend time with Triple-A Norfolk.
Trumbo, who is on the 60-day injured list, anticipates the maximum 20 days of rehab before rejoining the Orioles.
“It’s a good thing to get as much as you can while you can, so I think that’s probably what we’ll do … Somewhere in the middle of June, we’re going to look to be re-evaluated,” Trumbo said.
Trumbo estimated that he had about 15 at-bats at extended spring training in Sarasota.
“It’s held up pretty well,” Trumbo said of his knee. “I have had probably more days off than I would be afforded in the regular season schedule, but I’m kind of looking forward to going three days in a row, four days in a row, that type of thing.”
Trumbo wants to focus on the game and not the knee as the rehab proceeds.
“It’s not totally out of mind,” Trumbo said. “Day-to-day stuff is not a problem. Anything you have that’s as serious as this, your mind’s going to be on it quite a bit. I’m looking forward to when it’s not. I believe it’ll be the biggest indicator that I’m back to full strength.”
Trumbo will continue to play first base and right field and get work as a designated hitter.
“Now it’s about getting at-bats and seeing how he recovers after he runs the bases and plays some defense, and hopefully he’ll be here pretty soon,” Hyde said.
Davis’ uncertain prognosis: First baseman Chris Davis was placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Saturday with inflammation in the left hip. Hyde said that Davis “had been dealing with a sore hip the last few days. Just trying to grind through it a little bit. We didn’t want to put it out there that he was dealing with it.
“Things just got to the point yesterday that we just thought it was the best thing to do for him is to get away from it a little bit, let his hip heal and get in the training room and not being out there worrying about taking at-bats or playing defense, just give him some rest.”
Hyde doesn’t know how long Davis will be out.
“It’s pretty sore,” Hyde said. “He dealt with it a little bit in spring training. I think it was the same side. I hope that he recovers quick, and he’s back there in 10 [days], but I have no idea.”
The Givens’ mystery: Hyde isn’t sure what’s wrong with relief pitcher Mychal Givens, who has a 24.00 ERA in his last four outings, suffering two blown saves and three losses in those games. Hyde plans to move him out of the closer role for the time being.
“I want to get him on the mound in a maybe a couple of lower-level situations, try to get him right,” Hyde said.
“We need Mike—bad. We need the good Mychal Givens. He’s forcing it a little bit knowing that he wants to be the guy there at the end.”
Position player coming: The Orioles optioned right-handed pitcher Evan Phillips to Triple-A Norfolk after the game. Phillips was promoted for Sunday’s game after Davis was put on the IL.
Phillips is 0-1 with a 6.92 ERA in 12 games.
Hyde said the Orioles did not want to go with two bench players for long, and outfielder DJ Stewart could be here for Tuesday’s game. He wasn’t in Norfolk’s lineup on Monday.
Ramirez on the move: The Orioles traded right-handed pitcher Yefry Ramirez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Ramirez, who was designated for assignment on May 22, was 0-2 with a 6.97 ERA in four games with the Orioles this season.
Hyde pays tribute to Buckner: Hyde began his postgame remarks by remembering Bill Buckner, the longtime major leaguer who died Monday at 69.
Buckner was a minor league hitting coach in the Chicago Cubs organization when Hyde was the team’s farm director.
“At that time, the Cubs had an organizational policy where they wanted everybody to shave, including coaches,” Hyde said.
“I had to be the one to tell Bill Buckner to shave his mustache. That was like one of the worst moments of my professional career, telling this legend to lose his identity.
“Fortunately, he took it well and treated me really well. Sad day for baseball.”