SAN DIEGO—Desperate for a starter, the Orioles resorted to calling up David Hess, who was sent down to Triple-A Norfolk last month in the hopes of making him a reliever.
Hess, who threw 86 pitches on Thursday for Norfolk, began the game inauspiciously. He allowed home runs to Fernando Tatis Jr. and Franmil Reyes on his first two pitches of the game — the first time since at least 1988 that a pitcher had done that.
Hess gave up two more home runs, and the Orioles lost, 8-1, to the Padres on Monday night.
Eric Hosmer hit a two-run shot in the fourth and three batters later, Luis Urias, who had been just 3-for-49 this season, deposited a ball in the right-field stands. Hosmer later homered against Dillon Tate.
“Really just trying to come out there and attack early and establish a presence of aggression,” Hess said. “That kind of bit me in the butt a little bit.”
The Orioles surrendered five or more home runs for the 13th time.
“He bounced back really well,” catcher Chance Sisco said. “We knew going into the game that Tatis swings a lot at the first pitch but just tried to execute a pitch. I mean, he swung at the first pitch and put good wood on it.
“Same thing with Reyes, he came up aggressive. Nothing you can really do about that. Can’t really worry about it, either. Just do what David did and bounce back. Make good pitches. Execute to the next batters.”
Hess was called up to start Monday night because John Means is on the 10-day injured list with a sore biceps. Manager Brandon Hyde didn’t rule out another start for Hess.
“We’ll talk about it because we’re not real deep in our rotation,” Hyde said. “With Johnny on the IL for a little while longer, we’re still looking, we have a fifth starter spot open, so I’m not sure where we’re going with that yet.”
Hess, whose ERA is 7.31, has allowed 25 home runs in 72 2/3 innings this season. His record is 1-10.
He tried not to think about previous starts when his first two pitches resulted in home runs.
“I think that you can go down that road, but I try not to do that, regardless of what’s going on,” Hess said. “Just trying to focus on what’s next and make the adjustments that are necessary and try to make better pitches, going forward from then on.”
The Orioles, who scored 27 runs in their first three games against the Los Angeles Angels and set a major league record with multiple home runs hit in 10 straight games, did not hit a home run for the second consecutive game.
They scored just one run against rookie starter Chris Paddack. Anthony Santander’s bloop RBI single in the third scored Jonathan Villar.
The Orioles had a chance to reduce a 5-1 deficit in the sixth. With two outs and two on and Paddack out of the game, leftfielder Wil Myers, who had just moved over from center, ran down Chance Sisco’s drive to end the inning.
Smith hurt again: Dwight Smith Jr., who left Saturday’s game with soreness in his left calf, hobbled off the field after a pinch-hit single in the seventh.
The Orioles said that Smith left the game because of the calf injury.
With an afternoon game on Tuesday, it may be hard to get a player to San Diego in time. DJ Stewart seems to be the logical replacement for Smith.
Tate’s tough debut: Dillon Tate, who was recalled from Double-A Bowie on Friday, made his major league debut. He had a difficult beginning, hitting Greg Garcia, then allowing an infield single to Manny Machado before Hosmer smacked his second home run of the game.
Tate then retired six of his next seven hitters.
“I don’t know if he was nervous or what,” Hyde said. “Make your major league debut and you hit the first guy. Hung a slider to Hosmer there. We didn’t help him out with the groundball before the homer. After that, I thought he had really good stuff. I thought he had some sink to his fastball, threw some nice sliders, and threw a nice second inning.”
Trade deadline getting closer: Hyde continues to be asked about the trade deadline, which is 4 p.m. Wednesday.
“I think guys are so aware now,” Hyde said. “There’s movement. There’s things happening every hour right now, it feels like. You’re aware that things might happen. Some of the guys that have been talked about have seen it happen.
“I don’t think it’s any secret organizationally that we’re going to get as many young players as possible. They’re working hard to make deals—if they even happen. It’s not something we really openly talk about. I just know the guys are aware of the situation. It hasn’t affected our play.”
Hyde isn’t sure there’s going to be trade activity.
“I have no idea, honestly,” Hyde said. “We might have five guys move. We might have nobody move. From what I’ve heard, it’s very up in the air.”
General manager Mike Elias and Hyde talk several times a day about the club and its plans
“He kind of lets me know what’s going on,” Hyde said. “… He’s not going to give away players. He’s not going to move people to move people. I think there’s got to be the right partner, the right fit and the right return. In our situation, it’s open for anybody if the return is there, so we’ll see if it is.”
Means return: Means is eligible to come off the IL on Saturday, but Hyde said he’ll pitch against the New York Yankees in the series that begins August 5.