BALTIMORE—Tim Cossins can’t answer questions about David Hess’ future. Cossins, who was sitting in for Brandon Hyde while the Orioles manager attended his daughter’s high school graduation Saturday, did what Hyde would do. He removed Hess from an increasingly one-sided contest.
Hess, who has now gone 10 starts without winning, saw his ERA increase to 7.36 when he was charged with seven runs in four-plus innings as the Orioles lost to the San Francisco Giants, 8-2, at Camden Yards.
The loss prevented the Orioles from winning consecutive games for the first time since May 4-6, though they can win their first series since April 22-24 if they beat the Giants on Sunday.
Hess, who’s now 1-7 and hasn’t won since he threw 6 1/3 hitless innings on April 1, was in trouble early. He walked his second and third batters in the first, Mike Yastrzemski and Buster Posey, who scored on Brandon Belt’s two-run single.
Belt added a two-run double in the fifth against Miguel Castro. Hess had left two batters before when he loaded the bases with none out.
Joe Panik’s RBI single scored Kevin Pillar. After Hess was pulled, Belt delivered his second double and Evan Longoria hit a sacrifice fly.
Buster Posey, who was the designated hitter, homered in the third.
“You can see in his starts there’s a period of time when he is in command and has bouts where he’s throwing the ball where he wants to throw the ball,” Cossins said.
“It’s about economizing his weaponry and pitching to spots that are going to get the results that he’s looking for. It’s going to come. Obviously, he’s a talented kid. It just seems like there’s times the ball goes in locations that he wouldn’t want to, or the result he would like. But he’s battling, working hard and all those things. Just trying to get it going.”
The Orioles trailed, 7-1, going into the bottom of the fifth.
“There are some positives definitely, but overall it was not good enough,” Hess said. “The numbers speak for themselves on that. I thought we made some good pitches in some situations and they hit them and so really that says either we didn’t set them up well enough or the pitches themselves weren’t working as well as we needed them to today. Not really very happy with how it all went down.”
Hyde has recently made one change to his rotation when he had Gabriel Ynoa start in place of Dan Straily, who followed him successfully in Monday’s win over Detroit. Ynoa starts again on Sunday.
With Hess struggling, Hyde could make another change, but Alex Cobb is weeks away from pitching again, and general manager Mike Elias recently indicated that he wanted Keegan Akin, in his first season at Triple-A Norfolk, to stay there for an extended time.
“That’s a decision that’s really not up to me,” Hess said. “I’m going to do whatever they think is best for me. That’s who we have in place for that reason. So whether that’s here, whether that’s somewhere else, whatever it may be, my goal is to go out there every single day regardless if it’s in a game on the mound or in between starts just to get better and continue to work and just continue to grind it out.”
The Giants’ Shaun Anderson allowed Renato Nunez’s 15th home run in the fourth, his eighth in his last 12 games, and an RBI single by Austin Wynns in the fifth.
Anderson completed seven innings. The Giants hadn’t had a starter go seven in the previous 40 games.
Cossins filling in: Cossins would have liked to have gotten a win in his role as an understudy.
“It was an unbelievable experience,” Cossins said. “”Anytime you can have an opportunity to do that, it’s a great opportunity. It’s something I’ll look back on forever and appreciate. Obviously, the result weighed more heavily than the memory, at least for me.”
Cossins said that sitting in the hot seat was quite different.
“It does speed up,” Cossins said. “I don’t feel like I was behind the beat. I just felt like there were fast decisions and it changes quickly, rapid puzzle pieces coming at you.
“…It was fast, very fast. I’m not going to say it wasn’t, but it really is definitely quick.”
Nunez’s hot streak: Nunez has shown power in the past. In 2017, Nunez hit 32 home runs for Triple-A Nashville in the Oakland organization.
“It’s got to be the preparation I’m putting in before the games,” Nunez said. “I talk with the hitting coaches about the pitchers, and how they’re going to work me. I have a plan, and I keep that plan the whole game.”
He says he’s not thinking about home runs when he’s at bat.
“No, of course not. I just go out there thinking barrel. Hit that ball hard. That’s what I think.”