BALTIMORE—After two impressive wins, the Orioles were attempting to win three in a row for just the third time this season.
Tom Eshelman, looking for his first major league win, quickly allowed five runs in the first three innings. For a moment, his spirits brightened because the Orioles scored five in the bottom of the third to tie the score at 5.
But, the Boston Red Sox scored eight runs in the top of the fourth, and by the end of a long Saturday night, the Orioles had allowed their most runs of the season in a 17-6 loss to the Red Sox.
Eshelman was charged with nine runs, four of them unearned, on six hits in 3 2/3 innings. Shortstop Richie Martin made a costly error in the fourth.
“They’re veterans over there and they understand what I was trying to do right from the get-go,” Eshelman said. “They watched film, and just better location on everything on my side of things. Just kind of understand who they are and going forward understand who lineups are and being able to locate pitches better is the No. 1 goal for me.”
Jackie Bradley Jr. hit two three-run home runs. Mookie Betts had three hits, including a two-run homer. And Rafael Devers homered and tripled for Boston.
The 17 runs were the most allowed by the Orioles since Boston scored 19 against them in the first game of a doubleheader on September 26, 2018.
Anthony Santander had a career-high four hits. He singled twice, tripled and homered. His home run landed on Eutaw Street, the second time he’s done that. Santander has six home runs.
Santander was attempting to become the first Oriole to hit for the cycle since Felix Pie on August 14, 2009.
“At the end of the game, I was just trying to put the ball in play, trying to help my team,” Santander said through an interpreter. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the cycle, but that’s just fine.”
Manager Brandon Hyde said that he felt the Orioles had effective swings, and Eshelman was disheartened he couldn’t capitalize on it.
“You’ve got a guy in here who was a double shy of the cycle and for that to not be the headline is kind of tough for me,” Eshelman said.
“The offense did a phenomenal job tonight and for me to not get a quicker inning for them to keep going is kind of frustrating on my end of things. I’ve just got to kind of learn from what I’m doing and move forward and understand what I can do better.”
Renato Nunez hit a three-run home run in the five-run third.
With the loss, the Orioles record falls to 30-67.
Yacabonis’ nightmare: Jimmy Yacabonis replaced Eshelman with two outs in the fourth. By the time he left after five batters in the fifth, Yacabonis faced 10 batters, and retired just one of them.
He gave up seven runs on eight hits, walking one. He was removed with the Orioles trailing 16-5.
Yacabonis pitched a perfect eighth on Friday night.
“He just didn’t have the same stuff as last night when it was electric,” Hyde said. “We were hoping he could give us a little bit of length, and it just didn’t happen. Just one of those really bad nights.
“Last night his stuff was great and tonight it just looked a little flat. It didn’t look the same. I don’t know if he was tired or what. But Tanner Scott picked us up big time with three great innings.”
Smith finally breaks the streak: Dwight Smith Jr. doubled in the ninth, breaking his 0-for-33 streak. It was the team’s second hitless streak that long this season. Chris Davis began 2019 with 33 at-bats without a hit.
Position player pitching madness: For the second time in eight days, Stevie Wilkerson was called upon to pitch for the Orioles.
Wilkerson followed Scott, who threw three scoreless innings. He threw a scoreless eighth and allowed Sandy Leon’s home run in the ninth.
He’s the fifth position player to pitch this season for the Orioles. Hanser Alberto, Chris Davis and Jesus Sucre have also pitched this season.
Hyde wasn’t confident Wilkerson could finish the game comfortably.
“I had no idea, but it helped us big time for tomorrow,” Hyde said.
He’d prefer to not use a position player to pitch.
“I’d rather not at all, ever,” Hyde said. “But sometimes, unfortunately, it happens. First time I’ve ever done it two innings with a guy, but he pitched two innings with under 20 pitches. He proved last time he could throw strikes, and he did it again tonight.”
Scott tried to be positive in his evaluation of Wilkerson.
“He’s got a good arm, throwing nice changeups, I guess,” Scott said. “It’s tough when a position player has to pitch, but went out there and did his best. Kind of fun to watch in a way, but not really.”