Orioles' bullpen loses another game; Means' strong start; Hyde uses Givens earlier - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ bullpen loses another game; Means’ strong start; Hyde uses Givens earlier

BALTIMORE—Looking for an effective reliever in a tie game, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde chose Branden Kline for the ninth inning.

Unfortunately for the Orioles, Kline gave up a walk and a two-run home to Detroit’s Brandon Dixon, breaking the tie and giving the Tigers a 4-2 win on Wednesday night.

Beginning on May 24, the Orioles had a string of nine consecutive games against teams that were under .500. They hoped to win a chunk of them.

Six games into that stretch, the Orioles have lost four. In three of the four losses, the Orioles gave up the decisive runs in the ninth.

Kline walked leadoff hitter Nicholas Castellanos. With one out, Dixon homered.

Hyde is trying to find an effective closer after the recent struggle of Mychal Givens, who was brought in the seventh after starter John Means gave the Orioles six strong innings and left with a 2-1 lead. Givens was sharp in a 1-2-3 seventh but gave up a home run to start the eighth. Richard Bleier finished the eighth before turning the game over to Kline.

“I’m just trying who’s available,” Hyde said. “We’re just having a tough time getting through the last couple of innings. Looking for guys to step up and pitch in big spots. BK threw great in Colorado, wanted to give him the opportunity tonight. Just didn’t happen. You just can’t walk the leadoff guy.”

The Orioles are 17-39 and have lost 17 of 21. They’ll end May without having won a series. Their last series win came against Chicago on April 22-24, and they haven’t won consecutive games since May 4-6. They’re 7-21 at home.

“We’ll try to figure it out,” catcher Austin Wynns said. “Solid defense, pitch well and timely hitting. Bottom line. We’ve got to do that.”


Means’ strong night: For the second consecutive game, an Orioles starter delivered a quality start and didn’t get a win.

Means gave up just a run on three hits in six innings, striking out seven. He retired the first nine Tigers and his only run came when Nicholas Castellanos doubled in the fourth.

“I definitely felt a lot better than the last couple [of starts],” Means said. “I’m starting to figure some stuff out. Obviously, not everything is going to roll throughout the whole season. It’s nice to get some results after tweaking some things.”

Dylan Bundy allowed three runs on seven hits in seven innings in Tuesday’s 3-0 loss. Neither Means nor Bundy allowed a walk.

“He and I go way back and we know each other very well,” Wynns said about Means. “His heater, his changeup, his slider, his curveball, they were all working and he did very well for us tonight.”

Givens’ night: Hyde said that he wanted to put Givens in “lower-leverage” situations and called him into the game in relief of Means in the seventh.

After an impressive 14-pitch seventh, he allowed a home run to Detroit’s John Hicks to lead off the eighth.

“Mike threw really well in the seventh, a couple of strikeouts,” Hyde said. “Fourteen pitches, he was dominating. Left a pitch in the middle of the plate to Hicks.

“…For the first two months of the season, I wanted to give the ball to Mike somehow. Now, I wanted him to take a step back and give someone else an opportunity, try to get him back to being Mychal Givens again. Just didn’t work out tonight.”

Hyde says he’ll continue using Givens, but isn’t committing to sending him out in the ninth yet.

“I’m going to keep throwing him out there,” Hyde said. “That seventh was dominating, and that’s the stuff we’re looking for on a nightly basis when he’s out there. It’s not going to be perfect. He just made a bad pitch to Hicks.”

It was his earliest appearance since July 27, 2018.

Giants next: The San Francisco Giants play three games in Baltimore this weekend. It’s the first visit for the Giants to Oriole Park since June 2004. Barry Bonds hit two home runs in three games.

On Sunday, the Orioles are scheduled to start Gabriel Ynoa, who began Monday’s game and, after four innings, yielded to Dan Straily, who worked four innings for the win.

Hyde said that while he’d again like to piggyback Ynoa and Straily, it might not be possible because he could need Straily in the bullpen before then.

San Francisco features outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, a longtime Orioles farmhand who was traded to the Giants in March. He made his major league debut last weekend.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Camden Brooks

    May 30, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Means continues to impress! His ERA has been sub 3.00 the entire season.

  2. OsfansinWV

    May 30, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Ugh…. Another disappointing loss!

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    May 30, 2019 at 8:28 am

    Well the good news is that attendance skyrocketed to over 10,000 last night.

    • Bancells Moustache

      May 30, 2019 at 9:59 am

      Who can resist the chance to tell the grandkids they saw the John Means lock horns with an immortal like Niko Goodrum.

    • Rich Dubroff

      May 30, 2019 at 10:29 am

      That included 236 dogs, Boog.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        May 30, 2019 at 7:26 pm

        There’s a joke there … but I ain’t got the sand.

  4. Orial

    May 30, 2019 at 8:37 am

    It’s tempting to(and I did) bash Hyde for bringing Givens out for his 2nd inning but the more I think about it why blame him anymore? Nothing works out of the bullpen. My “feel good”guy Kline goes and lays an egg proving that no matter who Hyde calls on it most likely won’t work. Fresh arms in 2020,2021 are our only salvation. For the umpteenth,boring time–patience everybody.

    • Bancells Moustache

      May 30, 2019 at 10:02 am

      The relief arms are going to continue to flummox the Orioles faithful due to our being spoiled. Say what you will about Dan Duquette, the man could build a bullpen. And Buck knew how to work one, with one glaring Canadian exception. The current regime will has a long way to go in matching that facet of the Showalter era.

      • Jbigle1

        May 30, 2019 at 10:35 am

        Were we spoiled? Yes we had a great BP. That was due to having a prime Brach,
        Givens, Oday, and Britton. But this BP is bad. And it makes sense. Bleier and Givens aren’t the typically good relievers they are. Fry has been the only slightly above average guy down there. And Armstrong in a very limited sample but he too is a castoff with no real track record. Without them this group is a bunch of castoffs and a couple of “prospects” trying to break in.

      • Orial

        May 30, 2019 at 10:36 am

        6 months into it(new regime) with a whole new bullpen.

  5. willmiranda

    May 30, 2019 at 10:06 am

    When you score only two runs in eighteen innings in a hitters’ ball park, you can’t blame the bullpen. I questioned before and I question again the notion that playing below-.500 teams should give us wins. These teams may be inferior in talent to the Yankees, but they’re not inferior to us. When losing teams collide and one is devoted to winning while the other has a mixed agenda, the result is predictable. I have been mocked about “must-win” games among losing teams, but they exist; and a rebuilding program that is indifferent to winning in the present is rebuilding a loser.

    • Jbigle1

      May 30, 2019 at 10:17 am

      I don’t think the orioles are indifferent to winning. It’s just a talent issue. Aside from Fry or Givens, who is struggling mightily, these guys we have in the bullpen couldn’t make it in most of the leagues bullpens. They just aren’t good enough or some are young and developing. What can Hyde do? It’s hard to blame him when he has 0 relievers he can trust.

  6. CalsPals

    May 30, 2019 at 11:03 am

    How about picking one lucky fan to pitch the 9th, HS kid, maybe we’ll get lucky & find someone, lol, love the O’s….

    • Bmoreravens3

      May 30, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      Lol at this point doesn’t hurt to try

  7. Ekim

    May 30, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    The only “lower-leverage” situation I’d be willing to put Givens in would be batting practice… Just saying…

  8. OsfansinWV

    May 30, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    I know patience is needed because it’s a rebuild and I fully understand what a rebuild consists of. Having said that, there has to be other pitchers in the minors to bring up and given a chance. They can’t possibly do any worse than what we get nightly now! Are they even trying to win or just tanking to get the 1st pick for the foreseeable future?? Heck…bring Sucre back for relief pitching along with Davis!

  9. Bhoffman1

    May 30, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    Sisco hit two homers today . Why do we have two right handed batting catchers. Why isn’t he here yet? If we draft Adley what is his future here even though Mr. Elias said last week he is a big part of our future.

    • Camden Brooks

      May 30, 2019 at 10:06 pm

      Asked and answered about 10 times.

      • Jbigle1

        May 30, 2019 at 11:20 pm

        Probably when he can catch…….

    • Camden Brooks

      May 31, 2019 at 4:56 am


    • Bhoffman1

      May 31, 2019 at 8:35 am

      You two guys are very negative. All the reports are that his catching has improved a lot. Plus Wynn doesn’t hit for much and his defense has been just ok

      • Jbigle1

        May 31, 2019 at 11:30 am

        Catching defense doesn’t improve overnight. He was horrendous and if it’s getting better that’s great. Let’s let it get much better. We don’t need to rush him up here and watch him cost us runs defensively. A bad catcher can cost you more runs defensively then he knocks in offensively. He gets 4 ABSa game but he’s involved on every pitch of the game defensively.

    • CalsPals

      May 31, 2019 at 8:46 am

      Agree, they make statements like they should be on another opposing site….I’d be ok w/that….

    • Camden Brooks

      May 31, 2019 at 9:14 am

      Go back and check all of my posts. I have never criticized current or previous management or players. The closest you’ll find to me being negative about this team was me agreeing in this post that Sisco needs to improve his defense. You want negativity, look in the mirror.

      • Jbigle1

        May 31, 2019 at 12:30 pm

        Yeah I’d say I’m rather positive on this team as well. No shortage of posters slamming the FO who hasn’t had any time at all to make any serious moves around here. I don’t think stating a fact about Sisco’s poor D makes me negative. It’s the truth and that’s why he isn’t up here. Anyone expecting him to come in and be a complete upgrade to severino is setting themselves up for disappointment. IF he hits better than Sevy he certainly is going to give that value up w his inferior defense. That’s all.. if it bothers you, I’m sorry. It’s just the likely outcome.

    • CalsPals

      May 31, 2019 at 2:54 pm

      Apparently you haven’t seen severino behind the plate much, he may throw out a high % of baserunners, but stopping & catching the routine ball is an adventure….all a mute pt for the future if the brass makes the correct pick in upcoming draft…go O’s…

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