BALTIMORE—The first inning lasted 45 minutes. Eleven runs were scored.
Somehow, starting pitcher Andrew Cashner made it through five innings and picked up a most ugly win as the Orioles beat the San Francisco Giants, 9-6, on Friday night.
In five innings, Cashner threw 109 pitches, allowing six runs on eight hits and improved his record to 6-2. He allowed five runs in the first and another in the second.
“It was probably one of my worst starts of my career,” Cashner said. “I never really got in a groove I felt like with anything. I was yanking my fastball, breaking ball was short, changeup was terrible. But it’s just one of those things. I just kept telling myself to get through the fifth, try to save the bullpen as much as I can no matter how many runs you give up. It’s just try to get to the fifth.”
In the first inning, manager Brandon Hyde had Dan Straily warming up in the bullpen.
“We were one hitter away from Straily being in the game in the top of the first inning,” Hyde said. “A game like that, you never know what’s going to happen. You start thinking ahead about how we’re going to piece this together. I didn’t think Cash would go more than three, even though he got through the first. He got through five.”
The Orioles, who had lost 17 of 21, bailed out Cashner by scoring six runs in the first. Dwight Smith Jr. hit his first grand slam, his 10th home run of the year.
“With that first inning, they hit us in the mouth pretty good,” Smith said “Just as long as we answered with something, so for us to take the lead there was huge.”
Trey Mancini gave the Orioles an 8-6 lead with his 11th home run, a two-run shot in the second.
Renato Nunez, who has homered in seven of his past 11 games, launched his 14th home run in the seventh.
Cashner, Paul Fry, Mychal Givens and Richard Bleier combined to hold the Giants, who were making their first appearance in Baltimore since 2004, to one hit in the final 6 1/3 innings.
“I just love how our starter battled as long as he could go and then our bullpen came in and put up zeroes after,” Hyde said. “That was just a great pitching performance. I love how we came back. We scrap offensively … We have tough nights, but our guys bring it on a nightly basis. I just love the way they didn’t play the score, they played for themselves.”
Bleier recorded the final five outs for his second save.
Givens effective: Givens retired all three batters he faced in his second game after Hyde removed him from the closer’s role.
“He just dominated,” Hyde said. “He threw strikes. He threw strikes, attacked hitters. Threw some good sliders. I think we’re on the right track.”
Father and son: Smith’s father, Dwight Smith Sr., a former major leaguer who played for the Orioles in 1994, was at the game to witness his son’s first grand slam.
“I feel like every time he is around I do something,” Smith said. “I have to do something for my family whenever they’re in town. He’s a good luck charm.
“He was acting like he was at a football game tonight. It was pretty funny to watch on the big screen tonight.”
Hyde going to daughter’s graduation: Hyde will miss today’s game to attend his daughter’s high school graduation in Illinois. Major league field coordinator/catching instructor Tim Cossins will manage the team in Hyde’s place.
“We’ve gone over some stuff,” Hyde said. “After [batting practice] we’re going to talk about some other things, and I’ll call him in the morning.
“I don’t think I’ve ever missed a game, so it’s a little strange.”
Yastrzemski comes to Baltimore: Mike Yastrzemski was drafted by the Orioles in 2013 and spent six seasons in the teams’ farm system.
After he was invited to major league spring training for the first time, Yastrzemski was traded to San Francisco for minor league pitcher Tyler Herb.
He made his major league debut on May 25, and in his first game against the Orioles, hit his first major league home run and tripled.
“It was definitely a dream to always be playing here,” Yastrzemski said. “I guess it doesn’t matter what side you’re playing on. Getting here is still the goal.”
Even with the Orioles using a franchise-record 56 players in 2018, Yastrzemski never was summoned to the big leagues.
“The way that it’s all unfolded is something that you never could have predicted,” Yastrzemski said.
Hyde didn’t get to know him well because Yastrzemski was an early cut in camp.
“A pro. A pro,” Hyde said. “The guys in our clubhouse love him … He’s a great worker and obviously a great guy. Love seeing these types of stories. It’s awesome he got an opportunity and got to the big leagues, and hope he does well after this weekend.”
Trumbo at Bowie: Mark Trumbo was 2-for-4 in his third rehab game for Double-A Bowie. Trumbo is 3-for-13 (.231).
Hunter Harvey pitched a career-high 7 1/3 innings and allowed one earned run on five hits as the Baysox lost to Hartford, 2-1.